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Thread: Opinion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    17
    Hi,
    Recently I had my HVAC contractor who has serviced my home for the last 15 years service one of my units. The problem I was having was I felt it was not producing heat as well as it has in the past. He put a set of guages on the unit and ran a few tests finding nothing wrong with the unit. I accepted his diagnosis as I have no reason not to belive him. With further discusion we talked about a new unit, The Trane XL14i, he gave me a quote & I said I wanted to think it over the next few days. He then leaves me a bill for $135.00 (I have an account & pay latter)
    A few days go by & I decide to go for the new unit. I call him up and tell him to install the unit at his earliest convienence. I then proceed to ask him do I have to pay for the service call from last week since I am ordering the new unit. He says "yes, Once we take out our tools It's a work order". I then say but I'm ordering a new unit for $4000.00. If you came here to give me an estimate that would be of no charge. After further discusion he gives in, But is it common practice to have paid for the service call? Thank you for your help Steven Stern

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,898
    The guy spent his time to come out and check the unit. He is owed for his time. He could have added it to the estimate for the new unit and told you he'd knock it off and you'd feel better but one way or another he has to cover his time.

    Are you getting all new? The XL14i has to have a matched variable speed air handler to get 14 SEER.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Niantic, Illinois
    Posts
    545
    I've worked for companies that go both sides of the fence on this issue. My personal belief is, unless it's some exotic part you've installed and can't get your money back out of it, give the customer his/her money back. In the interest of good faith bussiness if they just placed an order with me for a nice install like that, I would return the money even if I was eating parts and labor on that repair job. He should be making more than that on the install of the new equipment, if not he needs to re-evaluate his overhead and adjust his pricing. Some people complain of high hvac prices, well if we are a bit high it allows us the luxury of addressing situations like this the way the customer would like us to.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    17
    "Are you getting all new? The XL14i has to have a matched variable speed air handler to get 14 SEER"

    I have a variable speed blower already installed (3 years old). The XL41i is repalcing a Trane XL1200 that is 16years old.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,722
    If you want a free estimate, call for an estimate.

    You called for service, so he was right to charge for the call.

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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    483
    Originally posted by beenthere
    If you want a free estimate, call for an estimate.

    You called for service, so he was right to charge for the call.

    I agree.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    The problem I was having was I felt it was not producing heat as well as it has in the past. He put a set of guages on the unit and ran a few tests finding nothing wrong with the unit. I accepted his diagnosis as I have no reason not to belive him.


    He came out on a service call.He's worked on your stuff for 15 years,meaning you must trust him. He used up time he could have been spending fixing someone else's equipment,not to mention gas/tools evrything else. The estimate he gave you was free, the $135 was for the above mentioned things. If he dropped this charge,it was only to pacify you,not because it wasn't earned. JMO
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    The money was owed for the time he was there. Now if he is in the habit of marking his price up to cover the time he spends checking out equipment, and the use of his tools on it then he came out . I give the best price I can on bids and that doesnt have a built in amout to cover checking out the unit when someone feels something is wrong with it. If he told you at the time he would not charge you for the call when he gave you the bid that is one thing. If he gave you a bill at the time of the bid that is owed no matter what. I have had a few times that I went out checking air conditioners on weekends being they were not getting cooling. Checked it out and found compessor shot so I gave them a price on a new unit. They tell me that they are going to get prices so I give them a bill and tell them to get back to me if they want it done. Two weeks later They call me up saying to do it being the hair salon is squeeling about the heat. I go put it in and send the bill for the replacement and they send a check for the install but not the weekend service call. I call them and he gives me the excuse that all the other shops never charge him to look at his equipment if he buys something. Told him he should have used them in that case being I do charge anytime its a service call. He ranted an raved about it saying he would not use us again. Yep thats a customer I need lol .........not. Waiting 2- weeks trying to find someone else cheaper, I think it was more that no one else wanted his business because we ar'nt cheap. The others just knew better then dealing with him I would guess. If he has a problem anymore , Its cash up front.

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