My saga with Goodman, let's see what happens with their customer service!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Hello everyone, my first post here. Lurked a couple times, but never posted. A little background, 7 years doing this in Phoenix, AZ, work for a Carrier dealer who is also a DOD contractor, do over a half million in Carrier sales the last couple of years with various chillers/packages/purons, etc.. Senior tech, do a lot of ducting problems also, had a lot of general experience with a lot of different units, water leaks, boilers,mini splits, etc.,etc.. I'll stop blowing my horn, but I've been around the block and know how the game is played.

    4/21/05 Commercial call is no a/c. Find a dead Lennox unit 3 ton HP 20 years old, compressor is blown all to heck, even blew the old hard start to pieces. Recommend changing the whole thing, customer only OK's condensor despite us telling them the ID section is 1979 and rusted. Replace the condensor with a CPLE036 Goodman because they want cheap and won't pay for a Carrier. Verify piston is right, clean ID coil, etc. up and running.
    A couple days after that get a call back the fan won't shut off on the ID fan. Pull the wire of the stat and wait, wait, wait. Still running. No 24v at the relay, but I'm still running. Change out the very hard to get to relay thanks to a lazy original installer, up and going again.
    A week or so later, get a callback, no cooling. Find ID coil iced up badly, another tech says oil on my freshly cleaned evap coil and his detector is going off. Order up a matching Goodman air handler which is a direct swap for the 1979 Janijunk that's in there, really tight fit others won't even fit. Move unit over a few feet not to screw the next guy who has to get in there. Pumped down the new condensor that morning into itself and changed out the air handler, pull a 250 micron vac with a new JB digital vaccuum gauge. Charge it and even drill a new hole through the outside wall to get a nice drain angle, no more stained ceiling tiles.
    A week later, another call, no cooling. Same thing, low on charge. Now at this point I know I have a leak in the condensor somewhere, it's the only thing I've never pulled a vacuum on or touched. Linesets are good, evap is brand new, held a 250 micron vacuum. Oil all over the Goodman, which if you know Goodman's you know is a given from the factory. Start snooping around with the Inficon leak tester and it's hitting 3 spots on the coils, but there's oil all over the bottom of the unit, and not shipping oil. Order up a new warranty coil and get it Friday.
    Today, install new coil which requires piping, not a direct part. Pull out my outdoor piston to verify right size, 52, have a 59 out of old unit. Spend 20 minutes on the phone with the local Goodman "technical" support and at one point the idiot tells me I shouldn't even have a piston in the machine. I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle him. Finally finds 59 is correct, Goodman doesn't feel the need to put it on the unit like Carrier or even train their monkeys aparantly! Pull a vacuum and can't get the thing to drop. Hit it with nitrogen and find another leak on the small cap tube that supplies the middle port on my RV. Solder it up and hope it holds since these people are angry to say the least. Pull a vacuum and charge it, good pressures and say goodbye.
    I've spent so much time on this machine it's not funny, and I'm confident it's not going to last, but Goodman is essentially saying it's my problem even though they have had problems with it before.

    Skip to Saturday, install a new 12 SEER 3 ton HP package Goodman for a neighbor who happens to also be my friend and sit my dog when I have to go out of town for work. I do the work for free, get unit at cost, pay cash for crane, etc.. I know how a lot of you feel about side jobs, but this isn't some guy I met somewhere who wanted a good deal, this is a personal friend who I see daily. Absolutely nothing off the truck, even use her ladder, so I don't want to hear that argument. This would be no different in my mind than if I decided to replace my 10 year old Goodman on my own house, which the day is coming.

    Now the reason I went with Goodman. First I've had decent luck with them so far, our whole neighborhood of 30 homes has only 2 newer ones, subdivision built in 1995. Second, direct swap, except for the now larger return opening which is easily blocked and sealed. I also like the lugs on the contactors, and mostly universal parts, more than I can say for Trane, ICP, and Carriers I've installed lately. It was an easy 3 hour swap with new disco, whips, Braeburn stat, drain, and duct sealing. Fire it up and man that scroll doesn't sound right? Throw the gauges on it and I've got 20# static with the disconnect out. Think uh-oh, run down and get another set of gauges. Yep, I've got a leaker. Well it's Saturday and they're closed and the house is hot, so I throw some juice in and give it another shot. 91 inside, 105 outside and I've got 100# suction, 175 head. Keep it running at those pressures, and at least it's something and the house does cool down enough to sleep in that night. Offer my house even for a cool place to stay.
    First thing today, Monday, call my distributor and basicly am told, here's a $150, we'll get a compressor up from another store and it's your problem. I ask what about my leak and they tell me again it's essentially my problem, time to get out the bubbles and detector and go to work. Got done working today and head home. Recover the juice and throw a 350# nitro charge in it. There's a super small leak somewhere, but I can't find it. Drops about a pound in 15 minutes, but I know in my heart there's a leak. Went over everything with bubbles, but couldn't find anything. The evap coil is situated such that there's no way you're ever going to easily find a leak if there is one. Plus you shouldn't have to, it's a brand new unit, less than a day old! Pull another vacuum, get down to 788-800 microns with a 7 cfm pump and it rises up to 900 before I say forget it, I need to get the air back on. Recharge it with the recovered, unit will only take 5# of a 137 oz charge (just over 8#) and my suction is 100/head 190.
    Get to make some more phone calls tomorrow, but I know it's probably not going to get me anywhere. I'll be sure to post up just to keep others informed of the service I receive from Goodman who according to their literature prides themselves on quality and reliability! At this point, the only adequate settlement I would accept would be to take the joke of a $150 money you were going to pay me to install a compressor in your machine and pay for my crane. Have a new unit waiting for me, that I will verify it has at least a good static charge even before I leave your parking lot. I will return your leaking, broken compressor "new" unit and you can ship it back to see where your inspectors slipped up and hopefully learn from your mistakes. At this point it's sort of about the money, but more about how manufacturers are treating the contractors that are installing their equipment. I may actually end up pulling it down and just installing a Trane, even if I have to eat the cost of the ductwork and stand. If it comes to that without the offer of a new unit from Goodman, it's time to go on parade for that unit. Time to hit the Home Depot parking lot with my weekend truck with it in the bed with free brochures detailing the problems. I think Home Depot's contractors would love it, seeing they're a Trane dealer! Perhaps start sending Goodman pics of it all over the valley, sort of like that little garden gnome that was stolen and went around the world.

    It's going to be an interesting week, I may make you think twice about installing a Goodman which I haven't really been hesitant to install before recently.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    you are kinda long winded arent you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Houston, Texas
    Sounds like this was a side job .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Derby City
    There are several aspects of this thread that concern me. Most of you guys know me well enough by now to know I am a firm believer in constructive criticism, so here goes:

    First, please don't kid yourself into believing you know all there is to know about 'playing the game' after 7 years, and be open to new ideas, and especially learning.

    I do believe it begs the question: Was this a side job? Sounds like you run calls, sell systems, AND install. Sounds like a side job, therefore the question.

    Secondly, it is somewhat ironic that at some point, either the Carrier unit was installed on the old 'janijunk' fan coil, or the Carrier fan coil was replaced with the janitrol. Either way, you had a hybrid system when you arrived.

    I am wondering, would you have installed a new Carrier heat pump on the existing fan-coil unit if the customer had wanted the Carrier heat pump? (Rhetorical question since we don't really know what you would have done, faced with that question.)

    If you were truly concerned (there's a lesson here, so please don't get offended) about the match, WHY DID YOU DO IT????? Sometimes you have to do, OR NOT DO, what you know to be right, OR WRONG.

    Another rhetorical question: If you had the chance to do it over again, would you have walked away from this job, or done the same thing? I think we both know the answer, i.e. lesson learned.

    If you give-in to Goodman's position that it's 'your problem' when all this has taken place in such a short period of time, shame on you! I would be in their face, and it wouldn't matter if it was Goodman, Carrier, Lennox, York, Trane or whoever. You, as a contractor, and THEIR customer have to take a stand. (Or be willing to take hits like this!)

    Now about the customer. We have ALL dealt with this type and unfortunately this is a classic situation. The guy probably knows now that he made a bad decision, but he is going to stick it out to the end, at YOUR expense, for the most part.

    Ultimate irony!!!!! You refer to the 'janijunk' above, but have a Goodman in YOUR OWN HOUSE. My guess is that barring anything unforeseen, you'll put a Goodman in your house when the time comes. Don't be hypocritical. I have had major problems with ALL manufacturers at any given time. It can happen to any of them.

    NOTE: I do not care for Goodman products for a number of reasons, not the least of which is very poor support network, which you have discovered. Their philosophy? If it's off our dock, it's yours, lock, stock and barrel.

    Sounds like side jobs are not that unusual for you. I can tell you that when I have had a close friend, or family member who needed work performed, my employer was all right with me doing the job "on the side." I believe in being up front, and honest with the guy that signs my check. Now, I will tell you this. If that call came in through the switchboard, then that is the COMPANY'S customer, not mine, I don't care who it is. May sound cold, but that's the way it is.

    It is also surprising (maybe not) that further down in your short story, you actually praise Goodman products. (mixed messages!)

    To find a DOA compressor, or leak in a brand new coil shouldn't come as a MAJOR surprise. It happens! TO EVERYBODY, AND WITH EVERY BRAND!

    Oh yeah, how many times you going to re-charge a system before you acknowledge violation of EPA guidelines?

    What you have experienced with this system, many of us I woudl venture to say, have had similar experiences with many other brands. Like I said, it happens. To take it personally is a BAD idea.

    Be sure you have a good attorney on retainer when you venture into the public forum and start slamming a manufacturer or competitor. You don't have to be wrong, to be sued!

    I would hope you take away from this the following:

    think twice before doing side jobs
    be consistent with your approach to jobs
    know when to say NO.

    all the best,

    Everyone has a purpose in life..........even if it's to be a bad example.

    Seek first to understand, before seeking to be understood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Suppy NC
    wow cant add anything to that one
    i prefer lenox and trane but work a lot with good man and find them to be good products for the most part. 7 years and you still use a vacume as a leak check. nitrogen is a wonderful produst and cheap to pressure test it first and you may have less problems with leaks. i have a traine package unit we installed and went to do start up and empty
    found pin hole leak in condenser coil. copper tubes thank god. brazed the hole, pressure tested the unit again, evacuated it and charged it up. trane sent a new coil and it will be replaced as soon as possible. 200 dollar credit
    makes no sense to keep charging a unit when most times leaks can be fixed even if only temporary

  6. #6
    Kudos to John Lloyd for giving some great advice and instruction. There is patience and wisdom aplenty in his post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    South Carolina
    Dude you just plane have bad luck i guess...I never have any problems with the goodman stuff and been putting them in awhile. Chalk it up to bad luck is all I can say.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    CT2, Yes I am.

    John Lloyd, I'll answer your questions. Yes it was a side job. Like I said, I have a core group of around 10 friends/relatives that I do it for, that's it. I can work with someone I know on some level to get them a better deal from my 9 to 5, but they aren't getting cost let alone my time for free/cheap. I also barter/trade services from some in the group since I also have other hobbies. For instance I changed another one out a couple years ago for a friend who is a tilesetter and my house now has a nice floor. He is happy and I am happy. I also have been known to trade labor on weekends in exchange for hanging duct, setting units, etc.. for another friend who started as a tech with me originally and is now on his own as a licensed contractor. I now have a nice hot tub and a Miller welder/generator for a couple weekends of nothing but labor. Good help is extremely hard to find in AZ, getting people to actually work a job start to finish is even harder. I have no qualms about providing a service that I'm good at for something I need/want. My current employer is also of this mindset and he knows that I am not going to steal from him. In fact we both think almost exactly alike as far as the barter system. Here's an example. If I do a changeout/install and I need roofing done, I make one call to his friend who owns a roofing company. We traded a 5 ton Trane changeout in his attic this winter for several roofing jobs this summer. Any time one of his guys screws up a unit while roofing, we are on the job immediately. Foam, asphalt,tile it's all done by a licensed contractor and guaranteed, not just tarred in by some hack installer who will get the call the first monsoon storm.

    2nd question, Carrier condensor was installed on older Janitrol coil that was there previously. I would love to sell/install every customer a new matched system, but we all know customers, especially bottom line commercial managers aren't going to do that unless absolutely needed. I would have loved to put a Carrier a/h in, but they change dimensions on 3.5 ton cabinets and ceiling height dictated that nothing else save maybe a First Co. would fit. That meant even more time/money, so the changeout to a identical newer Goodman a/h was the most cost effective solution. Carrier piston is a drop in to the coil, coil is even tagged for the next guy if there's any question.

    3rd, kind of question, it's pretty rare I will walk away from a problem. I am the type to call others I trust, manufacturers, distributors, whoever I have to to get to the bottom of a problem. If I can't figure it out, I want to know who can and what I can do the next time. I didn't mean to imply that I know everything there is to know because I've been baking in the sun for 7 years, but I have learned incredible amounts of info in the time I have done it. I happened on HVAC work after working for park districts in maintenance ops for years, and realized my bachelors degree wasn't going to pay me what this does!

    Now for what I've learned from this. First off I now have a new Goodman package HP in my personal truck right now. The squeeky wheel does get the grease. I checked it for a good static charge before leaving the dock, and it will now be my personal policy to do so to all units I take delivery of before it is set in place. Doesn't matter what brand it is, it's easy and fast and will only save me time and money. The only other completely DOA units I have ever had were a couple 10 ton Voyagers that cracked at the compressors due to their extra long unsupported discharge lines, and a Goettl that had lost a cap tube. 2 out of the hundreds I've set before is a pretty good track record. Like you said, they all have their problems, it's just the Goodman's that are really killing me lately. John couldn't be more right with my local dealers idea if it's off their dock, it's yours. Goodman customer service in Texas on the other hand IMO is better. Very disorganized and aparantly no one else knows what anyone else is doing, but willing to work with you on a problem such as this. My local distributers sentiment was take our expense money, throw in a compressor, charge it and go back a couple times to honor your year warranty. My first question to him was what if I want this customer to be happy for more than 1 year? Didn't really have an answer. I also offered him the idea of maybe paying one of their guys a little more to get certified and throw a simple gauge on the unit before setting it on the truck to see if it has any juice left in it before the even send it out. They already pull the cardboard and check for shipping damage according to him, which I find hard to believe since the guy didn't do it when he set either of mine in the truck. Checking for an abnormal static charge could prevent them a lot of headaches such as this. I think I may as well have been talking to the wall.

    Either way, I am pleased that GMC took care of me and my customer with a new unit. I also hooked it up tonight and ran it, good to go for my crane tomorrow. Hopefully it'll have a nice long life. As far as the one on my house, I would love to have a new trane or possibly a Freus hybrid on there, but I don't use it that much to justify it until it craps out. I don't spec 'em, I just live here, it was here when I moved in. Just turned it on for the first time today, 112 here and the humidity is on the rise otherwise the Aerocool would be on. As far as taking things personally, yeah maybe I do, but that's the way I am. I expect things to work and do what they say, otherwise let's talk about why they didn't and what I can do to get it done or get a refund. I don't care if it's a 47" widescreen tv(another long although humerous story) or something I paid $10 for. I hold myself to a higher standard and expect it from others, that's just my personality. And no, I'm not taking this personally, thanks for the constructive criticism!

    If you've actually read this whole long post, maybe take this one thing with you. Throw a set of gauges on any unit before you set it and make sure it's not going to cost you later. Less than a minute may save you a lot of headache, even if you only ever catch one in your whole career. That and don't be afraid to be a squeeky wheel!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Eastern PA
    Originally posted by hackmaster
    Dude you just plane have bad luck i guess...I never have any problems with the goodman stuff and been putting them in awhile. Chalk it up to bad luck is all I can say.
    It's not bad luck, it's bad business practice and bad work habits.

    First of all dude, Goodman was not even in the manufacturing business in 1979 so "if" there is a Janitrol air handler in there it is a pre-Goodman Janitrol.

    Second, only an idiot would touch putting a new heat pump onto a 26 year old coil that has been involved in no less then two heat pumps already, the last of which had a compressor that was "blown all to bits".

    The fact that you didn't walk away from this job says you don't know what you are doing.

    But go ahead and blame everyone else if it makes you feel better.

    By the way, the OEM filter/drier was trashed on start up so you have had a back up of refrigerant in the condenser from day one. How do I know that? Because I know what I am talking about.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Roboteq, I should have stated that the Lennox condensor was I'm assuming original 1979 with the Janitrol a/h. Just said a generic 20 years, when it very well may have been 26 years. Either way they got their money out of it. I would love to know for sure, but it was a long time ago and the labels are gone, most of the compressor tags too and I wasn't around when it was put in. I will from now on refer to in detail every unit in detail, whether it be a GE/Trane, ICP/Heil/Tempstar, Rheem/Ruud since I don't want to offend.
    As far as walking away, I'm sure our largest commercial customer beside the government would love that and it would net us a whole lot more business! We try to get them to do matched systems, replace units, etc.. but simple economics dictates this doesn't always happen. If it were a perfect world, this would happen, but it doesn't and we deal with it. I'm not the boss, just a simple tech, so I don't make the final call. I can recommend all day, but what actually gets done isn't in my hands.

    As for the oem drier which unit are you referring too, the split or the package?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Originally posted by pmurf1
    Yes it was a side job.
    First off I now have a new Goodman package HP in my personal truck right now.
    It is the same story all over the country. GoodDUMB could care less who they or their distributors sell to.
    They have no respect for the contractors in this industry whatsoever. I simply can not understand why so many people support a manufacturer who spits in your face.

    Then again, when consumers get pitiful jobs installed by the contractors they sell to and their lives are put into danger, it even takes it to another level.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Originally posted by pmurf1
    I'm not the boss, just a simple tech
    So you are able to just strut right into a factory owned GoodDUMB distributor there in AZ and acquire any equipment you want huh?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Sarasota. Fl
    Nobody HATES Goodman more than me.(see my sig)

    But I would have NEVER touched this job without a COMPLETE changeout of equipment.

    It had trouble written all over it.

    PS: Side jobs are great until you have to warranty that stuff during the summer when your already working 60 hours a week.

    It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

    ~Albert Camus

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