I'm beginning to think that none of the dealers around here want my money. I want to buy a higher end system (probably 16-18 SEER) and I want for it to be sized properly. The main reason I am doing it is because my current system is terribly inefficient and it is also unreliable. Because of the expense that will be involved, I will need some type of financing, or I will need for the dealer to accept a credit card. Either way, I intend for the thing to be paid for within 6 months.
Here is a summary of the dealers that I've contacted (or tried to contact) so far:
1. Local American Standard and Amana dealer: The guy came out and spent about an hour with me. He took notes. He asked how big the house was. He took a look at the current system and also went into the attic and looked at the insulation and ductwork. I think that he counted my vents and windows. He called back the next morning and said that his calculation says that I need a 3 ton system. I assume that he did some type of heat load calc, but I am not sure that he gathered enough info. He proposed an AS system on the lower end, but only proposed Amana on the higher end, because he said the AS air handler wouldn't fit through the door of my closet. He didn't offer any solution to try to make it fit. The two Bryant dealers that I've talked to have identified the same problem getting the AH in there, but they've both said it is no big deal to R/R trim from the door facing to get it in there. Financing is available. The Amana warranty looks good, but I'm not thrilled about any Goodman stuff, because my current Goodman/Janitrol is JUNK. Apples to apples, his prices are more than most of the other dealers I've talked to.
2. Carrier/Payne dealer in another town 35 miles away: I talked to him on the phone. He never said a word about visiting the house. He shot me some prices over the phone for Payne stuff on the low end and Carrier stuff on the high end, all 4 ton stuff. Financing is available.
3. Local Frigidaire dealer: He came out and stayed for about two hours, asked lots of questions, looked eveything over really well. He is a really nice guy and I like him. No heat load calc, but he said I need 4 ton. Of all the guys that I've talked to thus far, I personally like him the best, but before anybody says it, I know, no heat load calc is a huge issue. He shot me three different prices for Frigidaire systems. all 4 ton stuff. No financing available. No credit cards accepted.
4. Bryant dealer in another town about 25 miles away. The guy came out and stayed about an hour. He took the longest look at my existing system and also took a look in the attic at the insulation and ductwork. No heat load calc. He called me back the next morning with some really good prices on high end Bryant systems, all 4 ton stuff, said the job would take two days and I would be without heat for one night. No financing available. No credit cards accepted.
5. Local Bryant dealer, rather large dealership, comes highly recommended by a good friend. Guy came out Wednesday afternoon and stayed for a while. Looked at existing system, but didn't take a peek in the attic. Of course, no load calc. Gave me great prices on 4 different Bryant systems before he left, all 4 ton stuff. He said he would call me back Thursday morning to answer my question about financing. At 4:45 Thursday, I still hadn't heard from him, so I called the office to request that he give me a call. The receptionist said that he had been out of the office all day, but that she would get him the message. It is now after 5:00 on Friday and I still haven't heard back from him. I found out from the receptionist that they do accept credit cards.
6. Very large Lennox/Maytag dealership in a town 35 miles away: Contacted them late this afternoon, expecting to hear from someone Monday.
7. Local Frigidaire dealership: Got the number from the Frigidaire website, the number is out of service, glad I didn't buy from this guy before he went under.
8. Another local Frigidaire dealership: I called and got a lady on the phone. I told her that I wanted a new heat pump. She asked if I had an existing system. I told her that I do, a 3 ton heat pump with a 3.5 ton air handler. She asked if I wanted to go back with that same size (no kidding, she really asked that). My reply: "I have no idea. Can't you do a heat load calc to see what I need?" Her reply: "Oh, yeah, he can do that." I guess I'll hear from someone Monday, but I'm not expecting much on this one.
I've contacted 8 dealerships thus far and every one of them has major flaws. Am I being unreasonable? Before I hand several thousand dollars over to someone, I expect them to put a little effort into making the sale.
I'm beginning to run out of options.
Side question: Most of the major manufacturers are touting 12 month, zero percent financing on their websites. Most of the dealers say they don't participate in that program. What gives?