Customer Complaint Training – Oven Catching Fire
CUSTOMER COMPLAINT – A few months after the home inspection the clients moved into the home and operated the oven. After the oven was on for five minutes it sparked and caught on fire. The fire department had to be called and now the customer is upset because they think that we missed this during the home inspection. There were renovations done to the kitchen and the oven was unplugged and moved around after the inspection but the client thinks that our company should have called out the discoloration of the bake element burner being yellow, which is where the the customer claims that the fire started. (See Inspection Photos Below)
PROCEDURE – While the inspector is in the kitchen they will inspect the oven by turning on the bake, broil and the burners. One of the most important pictures to take is the last picture, which time stamps that the oven has been turned off after we have finished inspecting the oven. We are only turning these elements on to test for proper operation. According to InterNACHI standards the inspection of any appliances is outside the scope of a home inspection, but we will turn the oven on using the normal operating controls to test that it heats up.
RESOLUTION – The inspection manager called the client to discuss out procedures and let them know that we just turn the elements on for a few minutes to check that they are heating up. The client was not happy with that response but there was truly nothing else that could have been done while inspecting the oven. During the conversation the client got angry and hung up, and proceeded to post a negative review online to share their displeasure with the company. A response has been formulated and will be placed online to respond to this customer complaint and we will try to reach out to the client again. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to avoid a negative review. When the inspector does their job and inspects everything properly according to our standards we would not offer a refund. The pictures clearly show that the oven was working at the time of the inspection and since that point the oven has been unplugged and moved around, which most likely caused something to come loose and spark, which caused the fire when the client plugged the oven back in to operate it for the first time. This is an unfortunate situation for all parties involved, but it was determined upon further investigation that there was nothing the inspector could have done differently for the inspection of the oven.