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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    86

    Any idea if Costco screens installers?

    Walking through costco today I noticed that they are now offering Lennox heating and air systems.

    The strange part is that it seems like a Costco representative comes out and does a load calc. You buy the equipment through Costco, then an lennox installer comes out to install the equipment.

    This seems like a bad idea because the end user has know idea how good or bad the installer will be.

    I'm curious to know if any of you have inside information on whether this is a legit service, or run away. I'm a huge costco fan, and try to buy everything i can through costco.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    6,841
    Why would you want to deal with a big box company for something as personal as a heating or AC system for your home? I'd highly recommend contacting as many companies as it takes to find the right local company for you. Attachments included for your use.
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    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Plant City, Florida
    Posts
    2,198
    Quote Originally Posted by djp0623 View Post
    Walking through costco today I noticed that they are now offering Lennox heating and air systems.

    The strange part is that it seems like a Costco representative comes out and does a load calc. You buy the equipment through Costco, then an lennox installer comes out to install the equipment.

    This seems like a bad idea because the end user has know idea how good or bad the installer will be.

    I'm curious to know if any of you have inside information on whether this is a legit service, or run away. I'm a huge costco fan, and try to buy everything i can through costco.
    Does Costcohave a mechanical contractors license?

    if they sell the equipment, they have to have a license, even if they are using licensed contractors to install the equipment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,765
    buying through costco would be the same as home depot, it is an independant dealer that gets the leads from costco and sells the job.
    costco adds on their markup and collects the money.

    you will get better pricing dealing direct with the dealer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    4,423
    Quote Originally Posted by t527ed View Post
    buying through costco would be the same as home depot, it is an independant dealer that gets the leads from costco and sells the job.
    costco adds on their markup and collects the money.

    you will get better pricing dealing direct with the dealer.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    1,127
    I don't know guys, starting with a heat load is head and shoulders above the average contractor already. Is the heat load done before any commitment? And does the Costco rep doing the heat load provide oversight on the install?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
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    21,760
    Quote Originally Posted by commerce48 View Post
    I don't know guys, starting with a heat load is head and shoulders above the average contractor already. Is the heat load done before any commitment? And does the Costco rep doing the heat load provide oversight on the install?
    Not all load calcs are done the same, and doing one properly requires an understanding of HVAC that only comes from experience.

    To say anyone could do a load calc is to say anyone could rebuild an auto engine with a manual... just not a good idea.

    Now I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but there are lots of things inherent in a load calc that can render the results WRONG... unless one has enough experience in HVAC to understand what they are doing.

    Remember this: Costco is FIRST and FOREMOST a retailer in business to make a profit... the same as HD and Lowes. To expect them to be experts in a VERY complicated field such as HVAC... well that is, IMO, naive.

    BTW: I have been a member of Costco since 1999, so I know about them.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    913
    Nothing wrong with buying HVAC equipment from Costco.

    -Basic info is given at the booth regarding HVAC
    -If customer is interested, an appointment is made for a salesman from the installing company to come out, do a load calculation on the home, and provide options and pricing for the HO.
    - The installing contractor honors the contract as far as warranty terms go, as well as yearly maintenance on the equipment.

    Any issues regarding installation, servicing etc, is done normally directly with the installing contractor.

    Pricing is slightly higher when purchasing through Costco, but, depending where you live and who the installing contractor is, it's worth it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
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    1,070
    Quote Originally Posted by t527ed View Post
    costco adds on their markup and collects the money. you will get better pricing dealing direct with the dealer.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnt2_2002 View Post
    Pricing is slightly higher when purchasing through Costco, but, depending where you live and who the installing contractor is, it's worth it.
    I think you'll find the costco price is lower than dealing with contractors directly. You run the risk of getting a bottom feeder to do the installation but most homeowners run this risk regardless.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    913
    Quote Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
    I think you'll find the costco price is lower than dealing with contractors directly. You run the risk of getting a bottom feeder to do the installation but most homeowners run this risk regardless.
    I guess, in terms if pricing, it depends on the market in that area/region. I'm in service, not sales, so I don't really see the pricing to often.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
    I think you'll find the costco price is lower than dealing with contractors directly. You run the risk of getting a bottom feeder to do the installation but most homeowners run this risk regardless.
    This is exactly what I would be worried about. Does Costco weed out the bottom feeders?

    Why exactly is going through costco better? It sounds like a middle man. My experience with costco would suggest that you will get a better price from lower equipment price or costco cash card. However, I'm not willing to sacrifice a quality installation.

    It sounds like the luck of the draw. Call costco, lennox rep comes out and does what he/she does, then leaves. You then decide if they are capable of doing a quality install. If they are, then great, take advantage of the costco perks. Cash card, 2% back for executive members, or whatever they are offering.

    Usually going through costco gets you a longer warranty. I'll look into it an report back. I'm not holding my breath. I have a contractor selected for an infinity 19 system. As soon as march rolls around (cool cash) I plan on having my system installed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    253
    I see little advantage of using Costco as a middle man to introduce you to an HVAC contractor. You are either going to pay a higher price to cover Costco's profit, or the contractor has to cut corners in order to compensate for the money going to Costco. There may be a small advantage in the case where the contractor has made an error and Costco pressures him to do fix the problem and make the customer happy.

    I don't think anyone working at the Costco home office knows what a bottom feeder looks like in the HVAC business. They are going to verify the contractor is licensed and has no compliants filed with the Better Business Bureau. They have no idea what it take to do a quality installtion.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
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    9,765
    Quote Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
    I think you'll find the costco price is lower than dealing with contractors directly. You run the risk of getting a bottom feeder to do the installation but most homeowners run this risk regardless.
    why would a contractor who has to give costco a % of the sale price charge more if dealing direct with the customer?????

    its an installed hvac system not a big bottle of ketchup they buy by the truckload .....

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