Get What You Pay For?
When you pay for something, like an object or even a service, you expect to get what you pay for. There is an assumption that a company will be trustworthy and deliver their services as they describe them. Recently, many homeowners were give a rude awakening to the dishonesty of some roofing companies. The Building Products of Canada Corporation (BP) are under fire right now after a full blown lawsuit erupted in 2013. But, how? Well, it starts out with a homeowner in Montreal that believed she was getting a roof that would last her (as the company advertised) 30 years. When the company serviced her roof, they had put in defective roof shingles that were not up to the standards and fell apart within a decade. This of course left 20 years left on her warranty and thousands of dollars in repairs.
The BP Organic Shingles Lawsuit
In 2001, Carmen Cote Faucher received roofing services from her local roofing company. The corporation claimed that the organic shingles were under a 30-year warranty. Roofing contractors then purchased these shingles and used them on homes of customers, just like Mrs. Faucher. However, only a decade later, she found that the shingles needed a complete replacement.Obviously, an emergency roof repair and replacement would cost her money, which is why she filed an official complaint with the corporation.
Carmen and her husband both received immediate push back from the BP. They eventually took their case to court and battled out for a settlement. Surprisingly enough, the case escalated all the way to the Quebec Superior Court.
Why is This Case Important?
This particular case between the Faucher’s and the BP organic shingles is important, because it defines the limits of a warranty. More importantly, it demonstrates the legality of warranties and the protection they offer customers. A warranty, for those that aren’t aware is, “a written guarantee, issued to the purchaser of an article by its manufacturer, promising to repair or replace it if necessary within a specified period of time.” Warranties are a way for the customer to get the services they pay for and are supposed to be reimbursed in the case that the object or service does not fulfill its intended purpose.
In this case, the roofing company claimed that they would complete a roof installation that would be under a 30-year warranty. Because the shingles and the slope of the roof were so poorly completed, the roof needed to be replaced in only 10 short years. You would think the Faucher’s would get their money back, right? Wrong! In fact, the Quebec Superior Court reached a decision in the case of the Montreal-based Building Products of Canada Corporation, stating that compensation for the costs of replacing the roof slope and defective shingles would be paid for by the company, but the whole roof replacement costs would not. Due to this alarming end to the trial, it raises questions of how much money you are protected with under a warranty — if at all.
Your Claimed Warranty Won’t Protect You
If the complaints of this case were restricted to just one homeowner, this case would have not gotten as much publicity as it received. The sad truth is that BP sold thousands of products to many Canadian roofing businesses. Worst of all, these roofing companies, such as Eclipse, Mirage and Rampart, serviced thousands of customers between the years of 1985 to 2010. In between those years, the multi-million dollar building company was selling these small-time roofing companies products that were defective. Because of the dishonesty of the product corporation, thousands of people have roofing damage that needs immediate attention.
When it comes to roofing, a faulty roof can be annoying, dysfunctional, and hazardous. If the shingles of the roof are failing, water, debris, and other items can make their way into your home. Also, with a roof that is not fully secured, it can pose dangers to residents. One slip and a roof could cave in and cause serious damage. Due to the severity of the situation and the number of complaints, the case went to the highest level of judicial review. In the BP class-action, customers (or victims) were not fully compensated as they had expected. This obviously caused confusion and anger amongst the people who needed roof maintenance due to faulty roofing materials.
Pro-Rating in Roofing Services
Since the deal was reached in the BP shingle settlement, 3,000 people have inquired about the case and what the case resolution means. In fact, a website published by BP about the case has received 50,000 visitors. Aside from people being interested by the case, this situation brings to attention the nature of warranty and how labor services can be reimbursed. In this case, customers would only receive market value of the labor and the parts to replace the slope of their roof. However, this was implemented if at least five percent of the shingles are failing — not the entire roof (as some cases experienced). Also, customer settlements were contingent on how long the shingles lasted for. For example, someone who benefited from their roof for 15 years versus 10 years would get less money from the settlement.
This pro-rating was exemplified in an article by the Montreal Gazette. In their example, a homeowner that has a 25-year warranty claiming $10,000 worth in damages would only get $6,000 if they made a claim against BP after a decade. This means homeowners are half-covered by warranties. The rest of the money, unfortunately, is up to the homeowners to collect and restore their roofs. Plus, some of the customers have found that though they have laid claims against BP for the current damage of their roofs, that does not include other damages that will occur in the future. After all, in the case of the Faucher’s, they still have 20 years in their warranty. And, because sections of their roof has failed, they expect other parts will as well. So, most likely they will have to file yet another claim later on.
Implied Warranty vs Express Warranty
When thinking about warranties, this organic shingles lawsuit drums up the harsh fact that most warranties won’t cover all of the damages. The case also helps identify the types of warranties and how they differ. For example, there are two types of warranties: implied warranties and express warranties. Express warranties constitute written or verbal confirmations that a product is suspected to last for a designated amount of time. Implied warranties are automatic coverage of consumer goods that are valued over a certain amount. In implied warranties, customers only receive a base level of protection that often won’t cover the full amount they are due — sound familiar? If you think with a “glass half-full” mentality, every product you will ever purchase will have an implied warranty. Meaning, that consumers are somewhat protected from manufacturers selling them faulty products. Though the BP customers didn’t get their full payment, they did receive some compensation. BP is offering on their official settlement website a settlement benefits. Customers can claim their settlement benefits if they are class members. If you decide to claim settlement benefits you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
This situation has been unfortunate for all involved: the corporation, the roofing contractors, and the customers themselves. Everyone lost something in this tragic situation; for one, customer’s trust has been shaken and their wallets emptied. Roofing contractors have lost a bit of their reputations, as they were the ones implementing the organic shingles in their projects. And, the corporation lost a large portion of money in the settlements.
If you think that this is just a Canadian issue, you would be wrong. BP had been selling their products to roofers all over Canada, as well as the United States. Because of this, thousands of people from both countries have been affected. So, what is one way to ensure that this our ordeal never happens to you? Well, first you hire a roofing contractor that you trust. Second, you want to make sure that before you initiate any deals with a contractor you know and understand the terms of the products, such as their warranty, where they were purchased, and what company they were purchased from. You also may want to keep in mind that implementing shingles that are unique will make them all the more difficult to replace. In many claims of this trial, customers were forced to do a full residential roof replacement because the shingles they had purchased were too hard to find or were discontinued by BP.
Sargeant’s Roofing provides top quality wood, not from BP factories. Instead, we use an alternate product factory that has been delivering its customers with safe, durable shingles. If you want to entrust your roof to a company that has completed hundreds of successful roofing jobs, contact our business today. We hope that after this blog you have a better understanding of service warranties and learn to protect yourself against greedy companies that sell unreliable products. And, if you are currently battling with roofing repairs and want to turn to a reliable roofing contractor, Sargeant’s Roofing is a local Canadian business.