Well today the last bid came in for my replacement of the heat pump system with a conventional gas furnace and A/C. I have had 5 bids before this one, and this one was laughable.
Guy rolls up in an old beater van that just says "Goodman" on the side in vinyl lettering you can buy at any hardware store. No uniform, clothes are pretty dirty, and he reeks of cigarette smoke (and maybe other smoke). Of course he got some mud on my carpet on the way in.
I look at his business card, probably printed this morning on his home printer. At the bottom is says "We work our Ass off so you won't freeze yours." Real professional.
He looks at the air handler and tells me he can just run the condensate pump line across my laundry room floor and stick it in the washer drain pipe. Because it would be so nice to have a tube running across my floor for the next 15 years! Unbelievable.
He takes a look at my current equipment. We go outside to look at the heat pump, and he says "Now, we only offer Goodman equipment because they are the best. They are a real solid unit." I am thinking, "Yeah, sure they are pal."
I am not saying Goodman is complete crap, but I know it would be if installed by this guy. I also have heard that Goodman will sell their units to jsut about anyone, which explains why this guy can't offer any other brand.
So I told him to also option on a gas water heater onto the bid (current one is electric). He says I need a power vent model (true), and that they can stick a 3.5" PVC flue and then get a Y adapter and run the water heater and furnace out the same flue. Uhhh... OK. Even I know you can't do that!
Then he says he is going to run out to his van and "crunch some numbers" and come back in with his bid. It was about half of what all the other bids came in at.
I noticed it did not include equipment removal, and asked him about it. He said that he would give me the number of a guy who would come and get the A/C "because of the freon involved and all that". My guess is you need some kind of license to reclaim refrigerant, and this guy doesn't have it. Maybe he partners with another hack job to "reclaim" the refrigerant into the atmospere.
His bid also did not include any of the electrical work , which mainly just consists of converting the 220v into a 110V for the new furnace and water heater. Probably because they don't know any hack job electricians.
Bid had his company name stamped on with a rubber stamp - possibly so he can change his company name every couple months.
Anyway, there were more details, but to think that some people let this guy do their work is just scary, and possibly dangerous. All the other bids were from reputable, BBB registered, companies that had been around a while. Coincidentally, this guy was the only one NOT registered with the BBB. I wonder why.
You know, if someone is going to be a hack job, at least TRY to look official. Buy a fake uniform. Rent a decent van to show up in, don't prove you are a complete idiot in front of the customer.
Anyway, just thought I would share that there are hacks alive and well, and I just can't belive some people fall for it at ANY price. I wouldn't have this guy do my work even if I was selling the house next WEEK!
Old Harold sure knows how to attract them :D
It makes me wonder how many people buy into this type of stuff... Obviously a few because I was looking (and laughing) at the Hall of Shame pics yesterday. I think this guy would probably end up with his work displayed there.
Sounds like a trip to my local supply house, always a few of those types in there.
An equal opportunity career,
saw on tv an ad for an HVAC certification by mail.
No-wonder H/Oer's know so much.
What is also laughable to most of us, is you calling six (6) that you admit to, contractors for pricing. How did you decide on 6? Why not 10? Why not 3? What is also amusing is that if you continue to parade every available contractor through your home, you'll probably come up with someone that makes even this clown look good! I have to ask the question. Which one of these schmucks has been doing your work, and why did you not let him perform this work for you? This is why estimates in the future will COST, and why there is no loyalty that exists from companies toward customers, simply because the customer (you) doesn't remain loyal to their service provider.
I predict you will get exactly what you pay for.
irishmist, I think your comments are largely misguided.
I don't have loyalty to a service provider because I don't have a service provider. This is my first house that I have been in less than a year. The current equipment is 25 years old, I have no idea who installed it. This is for a new system.
When I am going to drop $4k-7k, I think I have a right to get 5 or 6 different bids. It is no different than buying a new car. This is not pocket change to me, and I think it would be unwise to "test drive" only one or two models.
I also said this was my last bid, so I am not "parading" them through my home.
I cant believe his card.How much did he want upo front?
Might have been a scam.
Yeah, really professional, huh. I didn't inquire any further than taking his bid and saying thanks for your time and have a nice day.
I would not be surpised if it was a scam, and I half-expected him to say "of course we would need the cash up front to purchase the equipment at a discount price" or something like that.
Th one thing I noticed was the mention of BBB. I assume you checked into the BBB as to all other contractors rating. Point being, all one need to do to be accepted to the BBB is pay them a fee. Yep thats it. I personally know of a contractor who really pushes his BBB "status" but if you check,(can be done online) you'll find he has 11 complaints in 12 months. For someone to be dissatisified enough to report to the BBB, can you imagine the true number of dissatisified customers he has. He is still a member. BBB take it for what it is, a club with no membership rules.
Man you should have jumped on that before he got out the door :)
sounds like a real pro. lol
hopefully you have enough info to make a decision. good luck and happy shopping..
What is even worse is the guy was probably signed up on their 10 year parts and labor program.