Closed company refuses to honor lifetime warranty

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When is a lifetime warranty, not really forever?

Tyfiani Chandler, a WAVE 3 News viewer, contacted the Troubleshooter claiming a national brand was refusing to honor a promise to stand behind their work.

When Chandler recently went to her basement she had to laugh. A day before she was going to show her house to a buyer, it started to leak.

It wasn't the first time. In fact, 10 years earlier she paid Olshan Foundation Repair more than $7,000 to seal off leaks in her basement.

Olshan touts itself as a trusted name in the waterproofing industry, with decades in the business and

a hall of fame pitcher as the company's pitchman. Most importantly to Chandler, they offer a lifetime warranty.

Olshan lived up to the warranty twice in the past when Chandler's basement sprung new leaks, but this time she called the 1-800 number on the website, located right above that lifetime warranty guarantee, the number was disconnected.

She finally got a hold of someone at the main office in Texas.

Then got flooded with the bad news. Olshan OKI serving Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana was out of business.

"He was just like we're sorry to tell you the office is closed. And your warranty went with that location," said Chandler.

How could that be? The warranty was transferable from homeowner to homeowner. Why not store to store?

The Louisville Better Business Bureau said the Olshan warranty doesn't include anything about only being valid for a specific location.

Charlie Mattingly with the BBB said, "It looks to me like the company has been pretty deceptive about how the company has offered that warranty and how they have now refused to stand behind it."

We tracked down a Olshan spokesperson in Texas. She said each location is incorporated in that state as an individual company and not a franchise of the national brand.

A technical distinction, but one Olshan believed released locations in other states from honoring Chandler's Kentucky warranty.

Olshan's solution? Chandler should hire a contractor that's still in business near her to service the system and pay the cost herself.

"I was just kind of dumb founded. I didn't believe what I was hearing," she said.

So what can Chandler do now? Well, she can get a lawyer, but right now she said no one will take the case and the legal costs could end up being more than the cost of hiring another company.

She filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Kentucky Attorney General.

Both those offices are now investigating and encouraging any other upset Olshan customers to file complaints as well.

For more information on how to filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, click here.

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