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  1. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    ..............
    First off I do not remember anyone saying they charged a trip charge or diagnostic fee to their customers and certainly not in the first year.
    ...................



    and to the techs what do you do when the customer calls up three years after an install has never had you out to service the equipment. Do you still say not trip charge.
    I'm sorry but I can't let you slide on that statement I highlighted in blue. Here's a quote from one of us on this thread.
    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.
    That was one of the things that got this discussion going a lot stronger.
    As for your last question, my answer is still no I do not charge a trip charge or diagnostic or anything if it is still under the parts & labor warranty. The only time they would incur a charge is if there was some sort of abuse that caused a problem or if someone else worked on the unit & did something that caused a problem. I want my customers to call me because they're comfortable with my service & trust me. I never want someone to call me because they feel obligated to.
    Gary
    -----------
    http://www.oceanhvac.com
    An engineer designs what he would never work on.
    A technician works on what he would never design.

  2. #54
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    6,316
    You are right I did say that but I worded it incorrectly, yes in my proposal it says that because I need to protect against customer abuse and frivolous nuisance calls. I do not charge a fee at my discretion. I should have included a caveat to my statement and frank thought I had.

    You are saying that if you go to a house and the equipment is three years old and the compressor failed you are just going to replace the compressor. You are not going to determine why that compressor failed. No compressor (almost) is going to fail in less than ten years and more likely longer than that if it was installed properly. I for one am going to know why (or make every effort to find out) a component failed prematurely. It is obvious under most circumstances why a capacitor fails but not a compressor and to a lesser extent a motor or board.

  3. #55
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    Aug 2012
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    26
    Yikes....calm down classical. No one is attacking you personally, just having a lively discussion. I appreciate all the comments here, even the ones I don't agree with. Bottom line, I wouldn't mind paying a "diagnostic" or "trip" fee if that were clearly spelled out up front in the contract I purchased. Since it wasn't it's my opinion that the contract should be followed as it was written. To address your other questions:

    For all those trying to sound all superior and the OP answer this, you go on a service call (not your install) that turns out to be covered by an extended warranty. The compressor is shorted to ground, do you charge a diagnostic fee to determine why the compressor failed, determine why at no charge or just replace the compressor blindly without determining the underlying problem.
    Not my situation, my problem was a starter cap that probably took all of 3 minutes to figure out. If the scenario above was my situation I would have appreciated if the contractor presented his findings and asked which option I prefer including what the diagnostic charge will be if I choose option 1 (maybe that fee would even be higher than the flat diagnostic fee or just charge me by the hour until you find the root cause). Bottom line, I should have a choice and I would accept the consequences of that choice.

    To the OP you seem like a person the old adage penny wise and pound foolish might apply. You had a contractor come out that you have used and admitted they have performed well and did a quality install on your systems. Now you have a unit that is appears from your comments to be over ten years old develop a leak. They recommend you install a new condenser but you choose to have another contractor repair the leak for half the price.
    Maybe you are right about me being penny wise and pound foolish, but contractor 1 gave me no option for repair. Contractor 2 gave me the choice and fully explained the potential consequences. If the evaporator develops a leak in 6 months, oh well it didn't work out too well for me but I will accept the consequences. My gut feel on contractor 1 is they were trying to extract more $$ for a replacement. Contractor 1 did get their diagnostic fee for that job so they did OK, but it still was a SIGNIFICANT savings even though I used contractor 2. By the way, the unit is 7 years old and the capillary developed a leak because they were rubbing together, had nothing to do with the evaporator itself. Next time the unit develops a leak, I'll just replace the R22 unit with an R410 unit anyway (but it won't be contractor 1 that gets the biz). Hopefully that is longer the 6 mos from now but if it is only 6 months I made the choice and I'll accept the consequences.

    I will also say this in thirty years I have never had a customer question or complain about the policy of charging a trip charge on a warranty call.
    Don't know what to tell you about that except that I am a good customer that pays my bill, but I won't roll over and play dead if I'm getting ripped off.

    One more question to the OP and the techs here, OP have you had annual service performed on either or both of your systems
    Yes, I do, but that's not the point. My failure was a starter cap and had nothing to do with routine maintenance. It was clearly a failure that should be fully covered under the warranty I purchased.

    I know you probably don't want to hear that some on this forum do not agree with your policy of charging diagnostic fees on warranty repairs, but that's what makes this board so interesting....lively discussions and not everyone is going to agree. No one is going to hold a gun to your head and tell you to stop charging diagnostics, even if we don't agree that it's OK. If its working for you, please continue. I don't have to do business with you as a customer, but it sounds like you have plenty of customers that do.....

  4. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyed View Post
    I want my customers to call me because they're comfortable with my service & trust me. I never want someone to call me because they feel obligated to.
    Amen Gary!!! Wish you were in the Cary/Raleigh market!!

  5. #57
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    May 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave27519 View Post
    Yikes....calm down classical. No one is attacking you personally, just having a lively discussion. I appreciate all the comments here, even the ones I don't agree with. Bottom line, I wouldn't mind paying a "diagnostic" or "trip" fee if that were clearly spelled out up front in the contract I purchased. Since it wasn't it's my opinion that the contract should be followed as it was written. To address your other questions:



    Not my situation, my problem was a starter cap that probably took all of 3 minutes to figure out. If the scenario above was my situation I would have appreciated if the contractor presented his findings and asked which option I prefer including what the diagnostic charge will be if I choose option 1 (maybe that fee would even be higher than the flat diagnostic fee or just charge me by the hour until you find the root cause). Bottom line, I should have a choice and I would accept the consequences of that choice.



    Maybe you are right about me being penny wise and pound foolish, but contractor 1 gave me no option for repair. Contractor 2 gave me the choice and fully explained the potential consequences. If the evaporator develops a leak in 6 months, oh well it didn't work out too well for me but I will accept the consequences. My gut feel on contractor 1 is they were trying to extract more $$ for a replacement. Contractor 1 did get their diagnostic fee for that job so they did OK, but it still was a SIGNIFICANT savings even though I used contractor 2. By the way, the unit is 7 years old and the capillary developed a leak because they were rubbing together, had nothing to do with the evaporator itself. Next time the unit develops a leak, I'll just replace the R22 unit with an R410 unit anyway (but it won't be contractor 1 that gets the biz). Hopefully that is longer the 6 mos from now but if it is only 6 months I made the choice and I'll accept the consequences.



    Don't know what to tell you about that except that I am a good customer that pays my bill, but I won't roll over and play dead if I'm getting ripped off.



    Yes, I do, but that's not the point. My failure was a starter cap and had nothing to do with routine maintenance. It was clearly a failure that should be fully covered under the warranty I purchased.

    I know you probably don't want to hear that some on this forum do not agree with your policy of charging diagnostic fees on warranty repairs, but that's what makes this board so interesting....lively discussions and not everyone is going to agree. No one is going to hold a gun to your head and tell you to stop charging diagnostics, even if we don't agree that it's OK. If its working for you, please continue. I don't have to do business with you as a customer, but it sounds like you have plenty of customers that do.....
    I am in a great deal of pain right now and taking vicodin 3, I tripped and broke three ribs Monday so I am not fully coherent at times.

    I was under the impression that the repair was to a condenser not an evaporator coil somewhat of a different situation.

    It should take no tech more than 5 or 10 minutes to diagnosis and verify a bad capacitor.

    Throughout this discussion I have primarily been discussing general situations not necessarily your specific issue.

  6. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    ......................
    You are saying that if you go to a house and the equipment is three years old and the compressor failed you are just going to replace the compressor. You are not going to determine why that compressor failed. No compressor (almost) is going to fail in less than ten years and more likely longer than that if it was installed properly. I for one am going to know why (or make every effort to find out) a component failed prematurely. It is obvious under most circumstances why a capacitor fails but not a compressor and to a lesser extent a motor or board.
    I hate to admit it but I'm just not that smart. When a compressor fails under warranty which is not very common the only thing I know to do is check to see if everything is working up to spec. If its a burn out I add some acid treatment but other than that I put in a new dryer & try to see how close the charge is to what the unit calls for by SH & SC & weight. I check the static & that's about it. If there is an airflow problem, sometimes its fixable & sometimes not within reason but I see a lot of compressors go 15 years under adverse conditions. I've had a few restrictions that I suspected caused the compressor to go out but I really think the majority of failures are not explainable. It sounds like a lot but I don't think I've changed more than three or four compressors under warranty on systems I installed in over thirty years. Even counting the ones I didn't install, most of them never gave me a reason that pinpointed why they failed.
    Gary
    -----------
    http://www.oceanhvac.com
    An engineer designs what he would never work on.
    A technician works on what he would never design.

  7. #59
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    Aug 2007
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    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    I am in a great deal of pain right now and taking vicodin 3, I tripped and broke three ribs Monday so I am not fully coherent at times.

    I was under the impression that the repair was to a condenser not an evaporator coil somewhat of a different situation.

    It should take no tech more than 5 or 10 minutes to diagnosis and verify a bad capacitor.

    Throughout this discussion I have primarily been discussing general situations not necessarily your specific issue.
    I told you retirement was harder on you than working

  8. #60
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    Aug 2012
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    26
    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    I am in a great deal of pain right now and taking vicodin 3, I tripped and broke three ribs Monday so I am not fully coherent at times.

    I was under the impression that the repair was to a condenser not an evaporator coil somewhat of a different situation.

    It should take no tech more than 5 or 10 minutes to diagnosis and verify a bad capacitor.

    Throughout this discussion I have primarily been discussing general situations not necessarily your specific issue.
    No worries at all....hope you are feeling better soon. Careful with that Vicodin stuff...known a few to get hooked on it.

  9. #61
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    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    I am in a great deal of pain right now and taking vicodin 3, I tripped and broke three ribs Monday so I am not fully coherent at times.

    I was under the impression that the repair was to a condenser not an evaporator coil somewhat of a different situation.

    It should take no tech more than 5 or 10 minutes to diagnosis and verify a bad capacitor.

    Throughout this discussion I have primarily been discussing general situations not necessarily your specific issue.
    By the way, my original post did say it was a condenser so you are not mistaken. I realized the mistake after I posted, but did not go back to change "condenser" to "evaporator" in that first post.

  10. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyed View Post
    I hate to admit it but I'm just not that smart. When a compressor fails under warranty which is not very common the only thing I know to do is check to see if everything is working up to spec. If its a burn out I add some acid treatment but other than that I put in a new dryer & try to see how close the charge is to what the unit calls for by SH & SC & weight. I check the static & that's about it. If there is an airflow problem, sometimes its fixable & sometimes not within reason but I see a lot of compressors go 15 years under adverse conditions. I've had a few restrictions that I suspected caused the compressor to go out but I really think the majority of failures are not explainable. It sounds like a lot but I don't think I've changed more than three or four compressors under warranty on systems I installed in over thirty years. Even counting the ones I didn't install, most of them never gave me a reason that pinpointed why they failed.
    Compressors usually fail due to airflow issues or dirt which cause airflow issues. If you verify airflow is correct than look at maintenance issues and voltage problems. If you have only had a few compressor failures on your installs you must pay attention to details and have good install procedures but not everyone does. Like I said I do not worry about my installs just others.

  11. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave27519 View Post
    No worries at all....hope you are feeling better soon. Careful with that Vicodin stuff...known a few to get hooked on it.
    I appreciate the sentiment, I have rehabbed many times and I take pills just long enough to get through the pain, I hate taking pills and struggle remembering to take the ones am supposed to take.

  12. #64
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    Dec 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    I appreciate the sentiment, I have rehabbed many times and I take pills just long enough to get through the pain, I hate taking pills and struggle remembering to take the ones am supposed to take.
    I may have to come get a few from you if I plan on following this thread.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “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

  13. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    I may have to come get a few from you if I plan on following this thread.
    Good one Bill.....thanks for a little chuckle!!! By the way, love your avatar photo....didn't know the Duke was an HVAC man!!!

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