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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20

    Question about a service charge call

    I have a question on a service call charge that I would like to have some feedback on from those that are in the business. In early May I had a preventive maintenance check on a system consisting of a 15 year old air handler and a 30 year old condenser. The system was checked, given a clean bill of health with a caveat that the system is old and something can go at any time. I paid $xx for the call.

    One month later in the middle of June the condenser started to freeze. Another service call and I was told that the air handler coil was leaking. I can't swear by it but I think that the service tech said that it was probably too cool in early May to stress the system which may have had the leak back then but was not seen at the time.

    I am in the process of receiving estimates on replacing the entire system with one of the estimates from the place that did the two service calls. I have not finished receiving and reviewing my estimates and today I received a bill from the place that did the two service calls. The bill is for the second service call in June for $xxx - $xx for charging the system with R22 refrigerant and the rest is for another service call. I absolutely agree that I owe for the R22 charge, but I believe that in May I already paid this place $xx for a preventive maintenance service call and I do not believe that I should be asked to pay for the second call when they already got $xx from me 1 month earlier.

    Am I wrong to question the second service call charge or is this just a case that there may not have been a leak in May but 1 month later there was a leak and that's just bad luck for me.
    Last edited by bostonguy; 08-06-2008 at 02:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Waffleville
    Posts
    10,339
    time for replacement of both indoor and outdoor units


    every company is different, but we usually don't charge another service call if within a month. but thats just our Co.

    if there was not much of a load (not hot out of inside) then it can be challenging to tell if refrigerant charge is adequate
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by beachtech View Post
    time for replacement of both indoor and outdoor units


    every company is different, but we usually don't charge another service call if within a month. but thats just our Co.

    if there was not much of a load (not hot out of inside) then it can be challenging to tell if refrigerant charge is adequate
    Yes, replacement of both units will be done. Gathering estimates as we speak.

    I realize every company is different but wanted to check to see if my instinct is right to challenge the second service call charge. It was only about 60 degrees outside when the preventive maintenance was performed and I even asked the service tech if it was warm enough to do what had to be done and he said that it was. So if the coolish temperature affected the ability to determine adequate refrigerant charge then I believe that I should not have to pay for the second service call other than the charge for the refrigerant. And I bet that if I choose this contractor to replace my system then the charge for the second call will suddenly be waived.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,591
    50/50 chance that it didn't leak when they were there in may.

    You paid for a PM check in may.
    Now they are billing for a service call, because they performed a service you requested.


    Sort of like taking your car in for an oil change. And a month later your oil pump stops working. You owe for the repair, and parts.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    56
    If you give them the change-out job tell them to eat the service charge but thier is nothing wrong with what they did.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20
    beenthere and on-call thanks for your opinions. It is not my intention to stiff the company for a performed service call. I guess the comment made by the service tech that it may not have been hot enough to determine adequate refrigeration when the maintenance check was done is the reason why I am frustrated with the second charge but I suppose it is reasonable to assume that the leak was not there in May but developed in June as I started to use the AC.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    Pay the service call and stop shopping bids.

    Build a relationship with them and lead a long, happy HVAC life together!
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman View Post
    Pay the service call and stop shopping bids.

    Build a relationship with them and lead a long, happy HVAC life together!
    So you're against a consumer getting more than one estimate to make a good decision on an investment? Interesting...

    I don't agree with shopping until you find the lowest price either, but I think getting 2-3 estimates is fair. By your post it seems you're implying that the OP stick with this company to replace no questions asked.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    Quote Originally Posted by RyanHughes View Post
    So you're against a consumer getting more than one estimate to make a good decision on an investment? Interesting...

    I don't agree with shopping until you find the lowest price either, but I think getting 2-3 estimates is fair. By your post it seems you're implying that the OP stick with this company to replace no questions asked.
    Part of doing service work and building a relationship with a customer is so they don't feel the need to shop yo around.
    The customer should know the company and quality of their work.
    The company I work for has been in business since 1954 and most of our customers never shop for other bids.
    They have seen hundreds of companies come and go in my town and know the quality of work we do cannot be matched.
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman View Post
    Pay the service call and stop shopping bids.

    Build a relationship with them and lead a long, happy HVAC life together!
    Totally understand what you are saying but here is why I am shopping bids. This place prepared an estimate without doing a load calc until I asked them to do one. The first estimate was for a 3.5 ton unit, then after I requested the load calc they re-sized down to 2.5 tons. Do you not agree that I should be hesitant on going with them without getting other bids since I had to ask them to do a load calc instead of it being done when they prepared the first estimate?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    Quote Originally Posted by bostonguy View Post
    Totally understand what you are saying but here is why I am shopping bids. This place prepared an estimate without doing a load calc until I asked them to do one. The first estimate was for a 3.5 ton unit, then after I requested the load calc they re-sized down to 2.5 tons. Do you not agree that I should be hesitant on going with them without getting other bids?
    I agree now...
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,591
    I'd of gotten 1 or 2 more bids even if they did a load calc right away.

    You might have a hard time finding companies willing to do load calcs.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    I'd of gotten 1 or 2 more bids even if they did a load calc right away.

    You might have a hard time finding companies willing to do load calcs.
    Thank you for all of the comments. I have had 2 places that did not do a load calc and estimated 2.5 tons, same as places that did do a load calc. Should I assume that I should no be considering the ones that did not do a load calc even though they sized it the same because if they do not do load calcs then potentially their install practices may be iffy?

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