The Better Business Bureau is telling consumers to use caution when dealing with Seal Smart, LLC.
According to the BBB, customers say they believed that Seal Smart, LLC’s 25-year warranty meant the company would take care of problems with the seal applied to their wood decks, outdoor concrete, or masonry during that time frame. However, the BBB says some of their experiences have been otherwise.
The company’s website states that the 25-year warranty covers “any failure of our work to perform as stated in our written statements and specifications that have been given to you…” but doesn’t cover “defects, decay, damage or imperfections that exist in the wood or masonry prior to our work.”
Consumers tell BBB the company is unresponsive to complaints, cancels appointments and fails to issue timely refunds to customers who are dissatisfied with the appearance of decks and driveways at different times within the warranty period. The Monett, Mo., business is owned by William R. Vermillion.
BBB has received more than 50 complaints and negative consumer reviews about Seal Smart, LLC, over the past 3 years, about half of those occurring in the last six months. Several complaints remain unresolved. The company currently has an “F” BBB rating, the lowest possible.
BBB contacted the company in September 2016 about a pattern of complaints concerning cracking and warping of wood after treatment.
The company responded, “We do our best to educate the customer and explain to them what our product does and doesn’t do. Our product permanently seals their wood and protects against rot. Our product doesn’t protect against cracking…Our product doesn’t protect against warping.”
The company’s website, however, claims “Without Seal Smart, wood rots, decays & warps…caused by prolonged moisture inside the wood.”
It further states, “Seal-Smart Wood Sealant protects without staining or discoloring. New or old, Seal-Smart Wood Sealant will add years of life to your wood structure…” and “restores wood, as close as possible, to its natural color.”
The company requires customers to sign a statement of understanding (SOU) document that explains what consumers can expect when the concrete is cleaned and sealed, according to Seal Smart’s general manager, Roy Vermillion, the owner’s brother. Vermillion told BBB the company currently does not guarantee concrete, but an April 2017 SOU shared with BBB by a consumer states, “Seal-Smart Concrete Sealant carries a Twenty-Five (25) Year Manufacturer's Guarantee.” Vermillion told BBB it must be an old document.
In a November 2017 interview with BBB, Vermillion blamed many complaints on some employees who made promises to consumers, both at the time of sale and when problems occurred. He said he intended to address existing complaints and employee issues, as well as put new processes in place to better track customer communication, but several complaints remain unaddressed and new complaints continue to be filed with BBB.
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