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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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We had a Geothermal heating & cooling system intalled in our

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We had a Geothermal heating & cooling system intalled in our home. The contractor told us that we would be able to heat and cool our house for around $1000.00 per year. My electric bills have been running approx. 3 times what they were before the geothermal was installed. $300.00 - $400.00 per month in the winter. The contractor didn't install it properly and we have been been having problems with it for almost 2 years. I payed him $15,000.00 for this system, what can I do?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand your situation and concern. Did you advise the contractor that it was not installed properly and that he needed to come out and correct the problem? If so, what was his response? Also, did you receive anything in writing, regarding the estimated cost to heat and cool the unit per year, which you relied on, when making this purchase?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes we have told him that it isn't working right many times and he has came and he has sent his employees and he has sent other contractors and none of these people are trained to work on a geothermal system. They keep trying this and that and the problems are still there. I have told him to get someone from the company where the unit comes from and he refuses because they want him to pay there flight and labor costs and he dosen't want to spend that. I am in northern WI. and the home company is in Indiana. We did not get anything in writing reguarding the cost of heating and cooling at the time of purchace, but he and his grandson who worked for him then, both sat at our kitchen table and told me and my wife that we would be able to heat and cool our home for around $1000.00 per year. That is why we signed the contract.

Steve, thank you for the additional information. The contractor does have an obligation to make sure the unit was installed properly. If it was not, then they need to correct it.They should be able to identify the problem and if they can not, need to bring in a 3rd party / outside source, to determine what is wrong. If they are unable or unwilling to do so and you have to do this yourself, you could have a basis to sue the contractor for damages. The difficult part is going to be able to go after them for damages, as a result of the system not heating and cooling for around $1000 a year, like they said. They could always make the argument that this was just an estimate and your use effects the true cost, which they did not know at the time. However, you can always argue that you relied on their representation, which resulted in you buying the unit, which was false and misleading. You would also need to determine the relief which you seek, which could be the cost above the $1000 from the time this was installed until now and the replacement cost, for another unit and any refund, for the unit which you bought from them. It is going to be your word against theirs, since nothing is in writing and up to the Judge or Jury, to decide who to believe. It is possible, that the reason that the bill is so high, is a result of the improper installation, which is something which should be determined ahead of time, since it could be an easier fix, then having to sue.

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