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November 11, 2013 10:58 a.m.
Help Squad: Companies play blame game over bathroom
By: Jackie Pilossoph | For Sun-Times Media | @HelpSquadJP
Dear Help Squad,
I was told you could help me with this problem. Can you please read my letter to the Better Business Bureau and inform me if you can help me? I am unemployed and do not have the resources to hire an attorney at this time. I am under a lot of stress, and I am scheduled to have surgery, and have to come back home to a dysfunctional bathroom.
Here is an excerpt from Gardner’s letter:
“I am writing to inform you of shady, possibly illegal business practice with Allstate concerning my home insurance. I contacted Allstate on October 4, 2013 in regards to my first-floor bathroom. I informed Allstate that oil was leaking from my bathroom floor by the toilet. The agent I spoke to asked me if I wanted to proceed with a claim.
“Allstate sent someone over from Servpro, and they proceeded to remove my toilet, sink, doors, cut my walls four feet from the flour and they removed my hardwood floors from the bathroom. Also they removed the hardwood floors in my hallway and parts of the floor in my dining room. They then proceeded to leave after they tore my house up.
“After receiving pictures from Servpro, Allstate contacted me to inform me that he would not be paying for my bathroom, that my policy doesn’t cover leaks. Now my bathroom is torn up and Allstate will not pay to have my bathroom repaired and fixed back to its original state. I am living in an unhealthy space in my own home. I feel they should repair my bathroom and home back to its original state with the repairs fixed.”
Help Squad started with Allstate, and actually spoke with your agent, who explained that your policy only covers “sudden or accidental damage,” and that in the adjustor’s opinion, that was not the case.
What boggled our minds, however, is that they ripped up your bathroom and left it that way, which is what we explained to the agent, who then directed us to Servpro, implying they were responsible.
After days and days calling different representatives from Servpro headquarters, including the president of the company, we were informed by a representative of Servpro that Allstate authorized their company to tear up the bathroom, but they wouldn’t show us any proof of that authorization.
It seems Allstate and Servpro are playing the blame game here, and the one who is losing is you since neither company is willing to step up and pay a construction company to put your bathroom back together again.
After being transferred to corporate relations several times by Allstate, we have gotten nowhere with this.
We apologize that we were unable to help you, but we do have a suggestion: Prairie State Legal Services offers free legal representation to residents in Lake County who can’t otherwise obtain an attorney for a civil legal issue. You may reach them at (847) 662-6925.