It's easy to blame the equipment manufacture for things like the contactor, but the contactor manufacture never will get blamed. You may here someone give Rheem a good cussing but siemans, GE, Furnace, or Mars will never be cussed for not working. As for the strip heat not being connected, there could be a ton of reasons. If that is a heatpump the wire didn't look large enough for the unit and heater. It is possible the owner didn' want to upgrade the electrical or some crazy junk like that. Who Knows?