May 8, 2018 by phicks2012
For those who might have been following this interminable saga, on April Fool’s Day Jason finally took the new “jaw coupler assemply” (received from Amazon.com) up to the attic, and got the new elevator motor (received from Cole Electric Technologies) installed and working.
For reference, that’s the motor the rep from American Elevator Company (here again to be abbreviated to “AEC”, which ought to stand for to “Add Egregious Costs”) told me mendaciously that I could only get from a licensed elevator company like them, and for nearly twice the price. That’s also the motor that AEC then wouldn’t order for me or sell to me unless I had lots of other expensive and unnecessary work done.
Actually, with the proper parts, the motor installation itself was fairly simple — slide it in and tighten four bolts. But, being foolish — well, is WAS April Fool’s Day — at that point we actually thought we were finally home free. I mean, the new motor with the new “jaw coupler assembly” ran perfectly, right? Right!!
Unfortunately, the universe was clearly in a puckish mood, because we discovered, much to our intense aggravation, that the elevator “call buttons” no longer worked. We could not call for the elevator. Nope, it would only run using the “UP’ and “DOWN” buttons on the box in the attic. The buttons in the cab and on the other levels were totally useless, and that definitely didn’t do us a whole lot of good. 😉
Now it needs to be pointed out that the call buttons worked just FINE before the AEC service tech came out the first time. The only thing wrong with the elevator had been an over-heating motor, so I called the company and told them their guy (let’s call him Craig) needed to bloody well come back and undo whathever it was he did to disable them. Funny, but I expected results. Instead, I was kept on hold for long enough to solve the national debt, and then disconnected. When I called back I was told that (according to their technician at least) all he’d done was to switch off the breakers. Yeah. I TOTALLY believed THAT. <– [Note Sarcasm].
Unfortunately the breakers were back on and the buttons still weren’t working, so I was fairly certain he’d done something he wasn’t admitting to — something that he expected would force me to spend buttloads of money while they’d only have to come back and flip a switch or reset a relay.
Now, to say I’d come to distrust AEC (and the horse they rode in on) after two years of total BS and repeated refusals to honor their various verbal (and even printed) estimates, would be understating the fact by a trans-atlantic margin. I no longer believed a word they said, so I started looking around for options that (I reasoned) might not have been around two years ago when this frustrating process started. I found a few other Home Elevator Repair Companies, with the key word here being “repair”, because I was hoping that if these companies didn’t actually “sell” elevators then they would have less motive to up-sell me or to hand me a bill guaranteed to beggar a lottery winner or an oil-rich Arab Emirate.
I’m fairly sure AEC only hires people who have served apprenticeships under Bernie Madoff, and that they never had any intention whatsoever of fixing my “existing” elevator, but I did find and call some of the other companies, and at Home Elevators, Inc. I spoke to a very nice man named John who told me my “back story” made him ashamed to be in “the business”. His company only worked on one brand of elevators (not mine), but he referred me to a company I’d never heard of — one that turned out to have a 5-Star rating and did both sell and work on my brand of elevator.
When I told the lady at Blue Moose Elevators & Stair Lifts my story, she said she was surprised to hear it, but then reluctantly admitted that they’d gone out to service a stair lift for a woman who’d been told (by AEC) that she needed an entirely new lift because the old one could not be fixed — and the problem turned out to be that it needed a squirt or two of grease. Color ME surprised? Not!
Anyway, they were fairly booked up, but after dealing with this problem for two years I was hardly in a blind rush, and she told me she’d give me a call back in about a week to schedule an appointment for them come out and see what they could do.
Did she actually call me back? Yes, she did, and scheduled a visit for April 12th — without charging me anything up front (the way AEC had done without in fact fixing a bloody thing during their initial “service call”, and actually leaving things worse than before).
I was really hoping that since Blue Moose worked on my brand of elevator and had the parts on hand they could come out and fairly quickly diagnose my problem — and they came right on schedule. The technician didn’t try to tell me I needed a new system. He simply asked some questions and went to work trying to figure out why the call buttons weren’t working — and what he found out was that (sure enough) a relay on top of the cab had been disabled in a way that was highly unlikely to have occurred accidentally. Thirty-five minutes after he arrived the call buttons were working. Twenty minutes after that the limiter switch in the basement that hadn’t been working reliably to stop the cab in place down there was adjusted. $225.00 total to get everything done, and not a single suggestion that my elevator was not “up to code”.
The technician, Daniel, was delightful, and from now on Blue Moose is definitely going to be my elevator service company. Take THAT AEC!! It’s Blue Moose I’m going to call to fix the door gate, replace the cheesey cab ceiling (if we can’t do that ourselves), and stabilize the cab. The rest of the stuff you insisted I absolutely HAD TO DO, including replacing the whole system, was Total and Utter Bovine Fecal Matter!!
Thank You Blue Moose!!!!! Thank You, Daniel!!!
When a company treats me like a valued customer, does good work, and is reasonably priced, I am a loyal customer, so — By the way, they also install and service Dumbwaiters, Vertical Lifts, Stair CLimbers, Storm Shelters, School Safe Rooms, Wheelchair Lifts and Stair Lifts. http://www.bluemooseelevators.com/