Get Garcia, Get Results: Capping an Unfinished Chimney Repair

Four months after she paid her deposit, Phyllis Allen was $129 out and still had no cap on her chimney

By Ana Garcia, Robbi Peele and Consuelo McAboy
|  Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013  |  Updated 3:15 PM PDT
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Santa Ana winds forced Phyllis Allen to repair the cap on her chimney, so she called a local repair company who she says took her deposit and never completed the work. Four months after she paid her deposit, Phyllis was $129 out and still had no cap on her chimney so she contacted the NBC4 Get Garcia Team who got her results. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 11, 2012.

Ana Garcia

Santa Ana winds forced Phyllis Allen to repair the cap on her chimney, so she called a local repair company who she says took her deposit and never completed the work. Four months after she paid her deposit, Phyllis was $129 out and still had no cap on her chimney so she contacted the NBC4 Get Garcia Team who got her results. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 11, 2012.

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When the Santa Ana winds blew the cap off the chimney of Phyllis Allen’s home, she thought all she had to do was make a phone call. And she did.

She called Chimney Knights, which sent out a technician who took a $129 deposit and said they would order the cap – in February.

Four months later, Phyllis still had no cap on her chimney so she called the Get Garcia Team.

“My greatest fear is that a squirrel is gonna fall down off in there and not be able to get back up,” Phyllis said.

Phyllis said she got a run around from company owner, Sarkis “Sam” Zelveyan, who she says never returned her calls and the refund he promised never arrived.

Zelveyan told NBC4’s Get Garcia Team there was a problem with the vendor.

“The product was ordered and three times it was shipped to us and it was the wrong product,” he said.

He also said he tried to Phyllis a refund – twice – but she says she never received it.

In the meantime, Phyllis called another company – Boston Brick and Stone – who told her the chimney was missing the chimney cap and two other parts, making the fireplace a hazard.

While Zelveyen insists he warned Phyllis not to use her fireplace until it was repaired, Phyllis says he never told her.

Boston Brick and Stone owner Dave Laverdiere says any warning should have been made in writing.

After examining the only documentation Chimney Knights gave Phyllis, he said,

“The main problem with this is that it does not say, ‘Do not use your fireplace.’ People need to be told that they can’t use their fireplace and the people telling them need to make sure they understand,” Laverdiere said after examining the documentation Chimney Knights gave Phyllis.

“It’s their responsibility.”

The story has a silver lining: It has been warm enough that Phyllis has not used her fireplace and after we contacted Zelveyan, he drove to Phyllis’ home, apologized and gave her $250 – a $129 refund plus a little extra for the inconvenience.

Do have a tip you'd like the Get Garcia team to investigate? Call 818-520-TIPS or email GetGarcia@nbcuni.com.

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