Company Gives Couple Senior Discount After NBC 5 Investigates

Imagine spending a couple grand on a new appliance only to find out later that you could have saved big bucks.

It happened to one Rockwall couple. Gail and Don Caruths' water heater went out on a Saturday.

"I found Al's Plumbing so they could come that day," Gail said.

Caruth left and her husband, Don, was there when the service provider arrived.

"At no point did the service man offer a discount for being a senior or anything else," Don said.

So, imagine the Caruths' surprise when they called Al's Plumbing for a different problem a year later.

That's when the second service provider told them the company offered seniors a 10-percent discount.

It would have saved the Caruth about $250 on the water heater they bought a year earlier.

The plumber suggested the couple call Al's Plumbing to see if they could get a refund.

The Caruths did just that, but said the company wasn't willing to refund the money.

"At the time of service we had to inform them," said Don. "That's a little difficult to do when at the time of service you do not know that they offer a discount."

The Caruths, who are on a fixed income, complained to the Best Business Bureau.

Last July, Al's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning apologized for the "miscommunication" saying it would "refund 251.65 for the senior discount."

But no check arrived.

When NBC 5 Consumer Specialist Deanna Dewberry called Al's Plumbing, the company confirmed they do have a senior discount. It could not be found mentioned anywhere on the company's website.

Dewberry asked "How are they supposed to know about the 10-percent discount?"

The woman who spoke for the company said she didn't know. She said sometimes their service providers don't always want to offer the senior discount because they don't want to risk offending some customers.

After a year of fighting for the promised refund, the Caruths turned to NBC 5.

Within a week, they had their check.

The Caruths say they've learned a valuable lesson.

"When we have people come over and do services, ask for discount for senior discount because they go along way," Gail said.

Restaurants, stores and service providers often have discounts for seniors, veterans and teachers. Even just daily deals which are open to everyone are out there, but you have to ask to get them.

As for the folks at Al's Plumbing, a manager told NBC 5 that it is a good company with a 20-year record of good service as evidenced by the fact the Caruths called them a second time when they had another plumbing problem. They think a customer service representative who no longer works for the company may have forgotten to send the refund.

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