Kirtland family unable to move into new home after delivery crew hits utility pole
Power, phone, cable and septic system off-line
Joe Pagonakis, newsnet5.com
2:17 PM, Jul 2, 2013
6:13 PM, Jul 2, 2013
KIRTLAND, Ohio - Lisa Suhadolnik, John Becker and their children were hoping to move into their newly-purchased Kirtland home on May 11.
But a delivery team caused a series of unexpected delays, creating weeks of frustration and heartache.
A crew from DR&LA Inc. was attempting to deliver a new refrigerator when the top of their delivery truck accidentally brought down a power pole and bundle of utility lines leading to the house.
Becker was left stunned after the incident cut power, phone, cable and the home's septic system, preventing the family from moving into the house.
"Are you kidding me, seriously,"Becker said. "The two young guys in the truck were just standing there, they didn't know what to say."
To make matters worse, Becker and Suhadolnik had to pay $1,600 out of pocket to have the utility pole temporarily repaired. They've been unable to move forward with the insurance claim related to the incident.
"We're battling going from claim agent to claim agent. Still payment hasn't been made on our initial invoice and we still have repairs to do," Becker said. "The pole is really being retained by a rope that the Illuminating Company put up and that's just temporary."
Suhadolnik told NewsChannel5 Spirit Delivery hired DR&LA Inc. to deliver the refrigerator, but when things went wrong she couldn't get any answers.
"I'm at my wits end. I've made upwards of 75 phone calls," Suhadolnik said. "I've sent countless emails, the email chain is excruciating and I really don't have the time for it anymore."
The family can't move into the house until all utilities are hooked up, running and the Lake County Health Department gives final approval on the restoration of the homes septic system.
Sunadolnik showed 5 On Your Side more than $3,000 in damage estimates and claimed she made numerous calls to DR&LA's insurance carrier, hoping to get them to finally issue repair funds.
"I'm taking it out on my kids. I feel bad for them. This has just been a nightmare," Suhadolnik said. "It goes on and on, too much time involved with no answers. The bottom line is no one will take ownership of the problem."
The NewsChannel5 Troubleshooter team contacted Farmer's Insurance Corporate Headquarters, the insurance carrier involved in this case. Farmer's Insurance responded immediately and apologized for the delays. The company blamed the situation on slow response time from representatives at DR&LA.
Farmer's Insurance assured NewsChannel5 the repair check to the family was on the "fast track" and would be delivered by the end of the week. 5 On Your Side and newsnet5.com will continue to follow-up on this case.
Consumers should understand that the delivery of appliances from big box stores is often contracted to a separate company and, in some cases, is even sub-contracted to a third party.
When buying big ticket items consumers should always ask for the name of the company handling the delivery.
Consumers can then make adequate background checks with the Better Business Bureau and the Ohio Attorney General before making a purchase.