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  1. #1

    Frown Did I just get ripped off?

    I've been in my new home for just over 4 years. We have two York 4/5 ton units fitted, the smaller one for upstairs.

    When we first fired-up the system at the start of the hot season (here in Houston, Tx) the downstairs unit wasn't working at all and the upstairs barely cooling. I called a local A/C contractor, who came around this evening. he looked in the above-ceiling roof space, where the heating/cooling plenums are and told me how badly installed were the two units (cooler plenum stacked on top of the central heating gas-fired boiler, with poor access to the a/c coils).

    The service hand didn't check for leaks in any way at all, other than to check the R22 pressure in the downstairs unit - which was negative - or so he said). He just started pumping R22 into the system while running it, got it up to around 35 pounds of pressure, when I spotted heavy 'snow' at a joint in the in-line filter near the compressor - he said he had used 15 lbs of R22 at $$$ a pound, or $$$-worth of gas. He plans to come back tomorrow to change out the filter, recharge the gas and charge me another $$$, for a total of $$$.

    The filter looks like it is leaking because it has steel body and with a threaded copper connection into it - a typical galvanic corrosion issue due to dissimilar metals - terribly poor design by York (and I'm a Yorkshireman, so I'm qualified to make the judgment !!!!)

    I read that any decent contractor must check for leaks throughout the system before charging with R22. He didn't.

    Questions:

    1. What should I do - tell his boss to tell him not to bother coming back and fight him over the bill? (I found by internet search, that local sales of R22 bottles are $$$ for a 30lb bottle, or just under $$$ a lb, versus the $$$ / lb that he wants to charge me - more than a n% mark-up.

    2. Does anyone know an honest contractor in the Houston / Humble area who will replace the filter for me at a reasonable charge, check the rest of my system for leaks and general condition, and re-charge my system at a reasonable cost?

    Any help with advice will be much appreciated.
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 05-08-2012 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    34,083
    Seems like an awful lot of go-juice for a 4 or 5 ton A/C. Heat pumps and super high SEER units might be close to that. We can address price on here so you'll have to chat with the owner about that. Pretty dumb for him to fill an empty unit back up without first finding the leak. Did he get approval to do it? Doesn't sound like it so maybe you have some grounds to refuse to pay for a "repair" you didn't authorize.

    There are several good guys on here from Houston. JasonHoustonTX, Classical and Mr. Bill. Also I know the owners of Dr Cool Professor Heat. You can count on them to be honest too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    15,945
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Armitage View Post
    (I found by internet search, that local sales of R22 bottles are $$$ for a 30lb bottle, or just under $$$ a lb, versus the $$$ / lb that he wants to charge me - more than a n% mark-up.
    I just did a google search on ordering the top of the line USDA prime cut Rib eye steak for $12.00 each, and Salt Grass Steak house wants $45.00 for the same steak, that's over a 300% mark up.
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 05-08-2012 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Pricing
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    I just did a google search on ordering the top of the line USDA prime cut Rib eye steak for $12.00 each, and Salt Grass Steak house wants $45.00 for the same steak, that's over a 300% mark up.
    Touche
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,627
    did he give you a price and you agree to it or did he just put it in ,also if a system is very low on refrigerant it is a good idea to perform a leak search before adding refrigerant .as for the price well he cant sell it for what he pays for it and put gas in the truck pay health insurance pay liability insurance and all the other bills that comes with running a business

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    15,945
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Pretty dumb for him to fill an empty unit back up without first finding the leak. Did he get approval to do it? Doesn't sound like it so maybe you have some grounds to refuse to pay for a "repair" you didn't authorize.
    I agree! the tech should have addressed the leak first, and then charged the unit, but probably like most company's here they have a lot of unskilled "new school" young techs that know nothing but sale,sale,sale. If I was the home owner, I would not let any tech, that don't have some grey in his hair touch my system.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
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    4,627
    that darn doctor charged me 1000dollars to sew up the cut in my head and i know the needle and thread only cost him 10 dollars

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    USA
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    4,381
    I answer your thread title with . . . Yes ..... Although what he's charging you per lb is very reasonable. Did he actually use or need 15 is something maybe questionable. i wouldn't pay that invoice ... But that's just me. Id also get another company in there. again, as far as what he charges per lb is something he can do . . after all you can't buy the jug & if you had it good luck getting a reputable company to use your supply of refrigerant

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    that darn doctor charged me 1000dollars to sew up the cut in my head and i know the needle and thread only cost him 10 dollars
    Hey needle and thread is only $5.00 at wally world.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,945
    R-22 is high and getting higher, so on every call I use R-22 or even 410A, I offer to "show" the home owner the weight before and after on my scale, I sure don't want to beat myself out of any $$$.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,627
    did they advertise a 29.95 service call

  12. #12

    Did I get ripped off

    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Seems like an awful lot of go-juice for a 4 or 5 ton A/C. Heat pumps and super high SEER units might be close to that. We can address price on here so you'll have to chat with the owner about that. Pretty dumb for him to fill an empty unit back up without first finding the leak. Did he get approval to do it? Doesn't sound like it so maybe you have some grounds to refuse to pay for a "repair" you didn't authorize.

    There are several good guys on here from Houston. JasonHoustonTX, Classical and Mr. Bill. Also I know the owners of Dr Cool Professor Heat. You can count on them to be honest too.
    Thanks Bald Loonie - I just joined this Forum, so do't know my way around it too well yet.

    Are you allowed to provide contact information for those good guys you mentioned: JasonHoustonTX, Classical and Mr. Bill? I managed to get a hold of Dr Cool and just emailed them.

    Really appreciate your advice.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Armitage View Post
    He just started pumping R22 into the system while running it, got it up to around 35 pounds of pressure, he said he had used 15 lbs of R22 at $$$ a pound, or $$$-worth of gas. He plans to come back tomorrow to change out the filter, recharge the gas and charge me another $$$, for a total of $$$.
    Let me guess, one of the bigger local company's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Armitage View Post
    He just started pumping R22 into the system while running it, got it up to around 35 pounds of pressure, he said he had used 15 lbs of R22.
    You must have a 1000' lineset with a 2" suction line.
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 05-08-2012 at 09:07 PM. Reason: Pricing
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

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