12/13/2013 09:18 EST | Updated 02/12/2014 05:59 EST

Ripped-off B.C. senior wins 'substantial' plumbing refund

A 90-year-old Coquitlam woman has won a partial refund, after CBC News revealed she was grossly overcharged by B.C. plumbing company Seven Standards Services Ltd.

The North Vancouver-based company arrived at Kay Alexander's home in August, after she received a call from someone saying her gas-fired hot water tank needed checking.

The company told her she needed a new tank and charged her $1,786.40, almost double the industry's going rate. But shortly after it was installed, pipes near the unit began leaking.

In September, Alexander called Seven Standards Services back and asked them to repair it. The bill for the repairs amounted to $2,128.00, bringing the total for the tank and maintenance to $3,914.40.

Realizing she had been ripped off, Alexander came forward to the CBC Investigates team. Ultimately, B.C.’s consumer watchdog — Consumer Protection BC — began investigating.

Afshin “Sean” Pourian, who owns Seven Standards Services, refused an on-camera interview, telling the CBC he can charge whatever he wants for the work his company does.

But the watchdog says unconscionably high charges beyond industry standard rates are prohibited, and has now worked out a partial refund for Alexander. The amount cannot be revealed due to a confidentiality agreement.

Alexander says she is delighted by the news — but made a point of cashing the cheque quickly, after Pourian threatened to cancel the cheque when he found out CBC News knew about the deal.

Pourian also operates under the name Advantage Plus Heating and Plumbing.

Kay Alexander's plumbing bills from Seven Standards Services