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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    26

    Goodman Goodcare Warranty Diagnosis Fee?

    My 3 year old Goodman Heat Pump stopped working (problem was the starter cap). I purchased the 10 year parts and labor Goodcare warranty when the unit was installed. I had the same contractor that installed the unit come out to perform the service. They informed me that there would be an $$ "diagnosis" fee to perform the warranty work. I read the T&C's of the Goodcare Warranty, and while the wording is a bit vague, the T&C's seem pretty clear that all parts and labor should be covered under the warranty.

    Here is an excerpt from the Goodcare T&C's:

    "We are responsible for furnishing servicing labor related to the replacement of Goodman parts at no cost to you in fulfillment of this agreement."

    I called Goodman Warranty dept and they side with the contractor in this case. Any Goodman dealers out there familiar with Goodcare warranty details care to comment? Is this "diagnosis" fee common for warranty work? I'm feeling pretty ripped off right now.
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 08-08-2012 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Delaware
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    3,824
    What was the diagnosis?
    Always here

  3. #3
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    Aug 2012
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    The diagnosis was the starter cap on the condenser motor, certainly quick and easy to figure out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave27519 View Post
    The diagnosis was the starter cap on the condenser motor, certainly quick and easy to figure out.
    I have two questions,
    1 - Was this done during normal business hours?
    Approx. 8 - 5 Mon-Fri

    2 - Is the unit easily accessible to work on?

    If the answer to both those questions are yes then I'm surprised if Goodman is not investigating further. Being charged any type of labor for a covered item defeats the purpose of a labor warranty. The contractor gets reimbursed for labor, refrigerant & recovery on a Goodcare warranty service call. Sometimes he wins & sometimes he loses but the rates are set & just because he wants more money than he gets reimbursed doesn't mean the customer should have to pay. Goodman does not pay any after hours or overtime charges or for anything beyond the scope of a normal repair so there are exceptions. Are you sure you're not leaving something out of the equation?
    Gary
    -----------
    http://www.oceanhvac.com
    An engineer designs what he would never work on.
    A technician works on what he would never design.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    26
    Quote Originally Posted by garyed View Post
    I have two questions,
    1 - Was this done during normal business hours?
    Approx. 8 - 5 Mon-Fri

    2 - Is the unit easily accessible to work on?

    If the answer to both those questions are yes then I'm surprised if Goodman is not investigating further. Being charged any type of labor for a covered item defeats the purpose of a labor warranty. The contractor gets reimbursed for labor, refrigerant & recovery on a Goodcare warranty service call. Sometimes he wins & sometimes he loses but the rates are set & just because he wants more money than he gets reimbursed doesn't mean the customer should have to pay. Goodman does not pay any after hours or overtime charges or for anything beyond the scope of a normal repair so there are exceptions. Are you sure you're not leaving something out of the equation?
    Answer to both questions is yes (in fact took 2 days before they could get a tech out here and the unit is wide open with very easy access). I'm not leaving anything out (at least that I am aware of on purpose).

    I was at work when they came, but I told my wife not to pay and have them call me if they want to discuss. They gave her a really hard time, but ended up leaving without payment. They never called me, but a couple weeks later I got a letter from the home office with a copy of the Goodcare T&C's. They highlighted a section of T&C's in yellow that they claim means a "diagnosis" fee is allowed under the warranty terms. The section they highlighted to me says if I call them out for warranty service and when they get here find the unit is working fine and have to demonstrate how to operate the system or if they confirm the unit is working properly, then I pay for the service call which would be perfectly acceptable. That section does not say anything about a diagnosis fee, but somehow the contractor seems to think it does.

    When I first called Goodman and got to the warranty dept, the person who answered the phone immediately and very clearly sided with the contractor. I asked to speak to the supervisor who listened to my complaint, said I have a good point, but still seemed to lean on siding with contractor. They offered to reimburse the fee, but since I didn't pay it there is nothing to reimburse. The supervisor also asked for a copy of the letter the contractor sent me, so it's possible they are investigating and do not want to say anything to me until they hear the other side. The fact Goodman was very quick to side with contractor before hearing any details made me think that it's common practice for the contractor to charge diagnostic fees.

    What I really wanted to know:

    1. Is a warranty diagnosis fee common practice under Goodcare warranty? My experience is every other extended warranty whether an appliance or automobile it is not common practice.

    2. If I move to another contractor that is authorized to provide Goodcare service, will he have incentive to do a good job for me since he neither installed the system nor sold me the warranty?

    Thanks for all your help and comments. Just trying to figure out if I'm being unreasonable to fight this or not.....thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,197
    Everyone has a different way of doing business. I sell a lot of Goodcare warranties & normally there is no charge to the customer if it is covered under the warranty contract. There are exceptions, if it is after hours or a weekend I let them know there will be an extra charge because that is not considered normal business hours. I'm surprised Goodman sided with the contractor but there may be more to the story. If there is no more to it then it doesn't seen right.
    Gary
    -----------
    http://www.oceanhvac.com
    An engineer designs what he would never work on.
    A technician works on what he would never design.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,633
    Might be time to find another contractor that does goodman good care most contractors can

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    955
    As was said, each company has their way of doing business. The Goodman warranty covers the part and the labor to install the part. They do not pay for diagnostics, travel, etc. Some companies do not charge the customer (especially if they installed it) and other do to cover expenses.
    GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    26
    Quote Originally Posted by gregp View Post
    As was said, each company has their way of doing business. The Goodman warranty covers the part and the labor to install the part. They do not pay for diagnostics, travel, etc. Some companies do not charge the customer (especially if they installed it) and other do to cover expenses.
    The Goodcare T&C's specifically states they cover travel. They do not specifically mention diagnostics, but the T&C's do say: "LABOR - We are responsible for furnishing servicing labor related to the replacement of Goodman parts at no cost to you in fulfillment of this agreement." Isn't diagnosing the problem "related to the replacement of Goodman parts"? You can't make a repair or replace a part without first diagnosing, so to me they are related and should be covered by warranty? Also the statement "no cost to you"? To me that very clearly means what it says, "no cost to you".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,321
    I charge a diagnostic fee on all warranty calls regardless of brand and whether or not we installed the equipment and it is in my proposal. There is nothing about this practice and Goodman, Trane Lennox etc. have no say in the matter.

    Myreason for this practice is because customers have a tendency to call about imagined problems and want the diagnosis for free.

    Most insurance has a deductible and A/C repairs should be no different.

  11. #11
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    Aug 2012
    Posts
    9
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum. In order to post a response here, you must have verified qualifications and have been approved by the AOP Committee. You may ask a question by starting a new thread.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Additional infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 08-10-2012 at 05:57 PM. Reason: Non AOP member

  12. #12
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    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by JarrodS View Post
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum. In order to post a response here, you must have verified qualifications and have been approved by the AOP Committee. You may ask a question by starting a new thread.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Additional infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    JarrodS - I think you are spot on. If the contractor tells you there is no "fee" or "out of pocket expense" I would get that in writing.

    The more I think about it, I don't think it's likely the omission of "diagnostics" from the contract was a simple oversight. I'm sure Goodman did not put the contract out there without thorough review from their legal dept, so it's more likely they left the loophole open on purpose for contractors who want to charge this fee while not "officially" telling their contractors to go ahead and charge it.

    When I spoke to Goodman warranty dept supervisor, they did not take a strong position either way on the fee but did offer to reimburse me without much of a fight. Seems to me their strategy is most people will just pay the fee and shut up. On the rare occasion that someone (like me) actually calls to complain they will quickly offer to reimburse the fee. They probably save significant $$ this way, especially if they reduce the warranty reimbursement amount they pay contractors by about the same as the fee. Legally they probably believe they are covered due to the vague wording in the contract. Although I do think a good lawyer would have a good chance of winning the argument in favor of not allowing the fee in court based on the contract wording.

    My real issue is not so much the fee (which is not that much), but the principal that I feel the whole process is deceptive and unethical.
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 08-10-2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Edit quote

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,503
    A few questions.
    Setting aside the diagnostic fee-
    Are you happy with the contractor?
    Did he do a quality installation?
    Does he show up on time?
    Is he professional?

    If you answered yes- I'd pay the man before I called anyone else out. That's my opinion. Is it really worth it to call out someone else who didn't install the system? Who knows what quality work you will receive.

    On my installs- I charge a diagnostic after a year. I have to. There's no real money to be made on warranty work- no matter how the manufacturer spins their words. I will waive the fee for certain situations but I spell it all out in their contract.

    Remember- on a quality installation which I'm assuming you have- warranty work is rare. If you are lucky- this could be the only repair needed for years- assuming you have regular service performed.

    I say pay the man & move on. It's not worth rolling the dice on a new contractor who didn't install the system.

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