Customer Complaint Training – Garage GFCI Outlets and Freezers
CUSTOMER COMPLAINT – Two days after the inspection the seller called the office to inform us that we had tripped the GFCI in the garage but did not reset it, causing the food in the freezer to spoil. They would like us to pay for the cost to replace the food that was ruined in the freezer.
PROCEDURE – While performing the home inspection one of the very last things that should be done is the garage electrical outlets section. Even if you inspect the garage early in the inspection, the outlets section should be skipped and done at the end of the inspection. This is especially important if there is a refrigerator or a freezer that is in the garage and connected to an outlet that is GFCI protected. At the end of the inspection, after using your check menu, this section should come up as incomplete. That is when you will go back out to the garage, test the GFCI outlet, and take a picture. What is most important is that the inspector takes an additional picture of the refrigerator/freezer with the doors open and the lights turned on. This picture will be time stamped in the program and it will help to be able to prove to the homeowners that we did follow procedure and reset the GFCI, and we have pictures in the report to prove that it was working when we left the property.
RESOLUTION – After going over the report and discussing it with the inspector we were able to determine that we were not responsible for the freezer being turned off and the food going bad. We had time stamped pictures in the report that show the freezer open with the lights on and working at the time of the inspection. The seller still had their doubts and still wanted us to pay for the spoiled food but since our inspector followed procedure we were able to defend ourselves and did not end up having to cut a check for the spoiled food.