Well today the last bid came in for my replacement of the heat pump system with a conventional gas furnace and A/C. I have had 5 bids before this one, and this one was laughable.
Guy rolls up in an old beater van that just says "Goodman" on the side in vinyl lettering you can buy at any hardware store. No uniform, clothes are pretty dirty, and he reeks of cigarette smoke (and maybe other smoke). Of course he got some mud on my carpet on the way in.
I look at his business card, probably printed this morning on his home printer. At the bottom is says "We work our Ass off so you won't freeze yours." Real professional.
He looks at the air handler and tells me he can just run the condensate pump line across my laundry room floor and stick it in the washer drain pipe. Because it would be so nice to have a tube running across my floor for the next 15 years! Unbelievable.
He takes a look at my current equipment. We go outside to look at the heat pump, and he says "Now, we only offer Goodman equipment because they are the best. They are a real solid unit." I am thinking, "Yeah, sure they are pal."
I am not saying Goodman is complete crap, but I know it would be if installed by this guy. I also have heard that Goodman will sell their units to jsut about anyone, which explains why this guy can't offer any other brand.
So I told him to also option on a gas water heater onto the bid (current one is electric). He says I need a power vent model (true), and that they can stick a 3.5" PVC flue and then get a Y adapter and run the water heater and furnace out the same flue. Uhhh... OK. Even I know you can't do that!
Then he says he is going to run out to his van and "crunch some numbers" and come back in with his bid. It was about half of what all the other bids came in at.
I noticed it did not include equipment removal, and asked him about it. He said that he would give me the number of a guy who would come and get the A/C "because of the freon involved and all that". My guess is you need some kind of license to reclaim refrigerant, and this guy doesn't have it. Maybe he partners with another hack job to "reclaim" the refrigerant into the atmospere.
His bid also did not include any of the electrical work , which mainly just consists of converting the 220v into a 110V for the new furnace and water heater. Probably because they don't know any hack job electricians.
Bid had his company name stamped on with a rubber stamp - possibly so he can change his company name every couple months.
Anyway, there were more details, but to think that some people let this guy do their work is just scary, and possibly dangerous. All the other bids were from reputable, BBB registered, companies that had been around a while. Coincidentally, this guy was the only one NOT registered with the BBB. I wonder why.
You know, if someone is going to be a hack job, at least TRY to look official. Buy a fake uniform. Rent a decent van to show up in, don't prove you are a complete idiot in front of the customer.
Anyway, just thought I would share that there are hacks alive and well, and I just can't belive some people fall for it at ANY price. I wouldn't have this guy do my work even if I was selling the house next WEEK!