Paid for a fix. Fix didn't work. Need help as to what I should do.

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  #1  
Old 06-24-11, 08:32 PM
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Paid for a fix. Fix didn't work. Need help as to what I should do.


If you don't want to read this wall of text. Please scroll down to the bottom for my questions



Hello, First off I want to say that I'm been a long time "lurker" (3-4 Years) but this my first time creating a account here at doityourself, So Hi! .

Okay, Now the reason why I'm writing this post is the get some opinions from other members on here as to what I should/can do. Last summer/fall my A/C stopped cooling and was making a weird noise. I opened the evaporator coil door and seen it was a solid block of ice. I did some research on here and other forums and seen that it was more then likely caused by low freon levels in the unit (leak). I called a HVAC tech last year to come to my house and add 4lbs of freon to the system. He said there was a leak and it was going to cost $225 to find it. He told me the freon could last a few hours through a few months. I went ahead and just told him to add the freon and everything was working perfectly last year. The freon in the system only lasted 3 weeks. I didn't have a leak check done because the climate was starting to get cold and I told myself I would get a freon leak check this year.

So this year (1 month ago) I called another HVAC tech company since the one I used the prior year wasn't active anymore. I called the new HVAC company and told them I had a leak in my A/C system and was wondering the cost of a freon leak check. He told me it was going to cost around $250.00 just to find the leak/service call + freon/material to fix it. I said no problem and he went ahead and started to progress finding the leak. About 30 minutes in he said he couldn't find the leak. He said he didn't know where it was and that he was searching for awhile (30 Minutes = awhile). He went outside and said it might of been the Schrader valves but wasn't sure. He went ahead and replaced them. I was constantly asking him if that was the problem. I kept getting (I don't know, I'm not sure).

Once he replaced the schrader valves and caps he used his vacuum pump and brought it down to 500 microns. He said he couldn't find the leak and that it was more then likely the valves. Myself not being a HVAC handy person I thought that might of been the solution. He went ahead and added 4lbs of freon and said he was done. The total cost of the "fix" was $707.12. I was a bit in shock when I heard the price since I was quoted $250.00 to find the leak & the service call + $25.00 p/lbs of freon ($100.00 Total). Just out of curiosity I asked him why the bill was so high. He told me it took 4 hours of Laborer. I wasn't aware that there was going to be a laborer charge on top of the service/leak check. I thought it was my mistake for not asking before hand and went ahead and paid the Tech.

Everything went downhill from here. About 2 days into the "fix" my A/C started leaking freon again. It started to make a similar noise like it did last year and then it started to blow warm air. I turned off my A/C and call the same Tech again. He said he would come by and take a took at it. He came to my house and started to "tighten" a nut where a copper line connects to the indoor evaporator coil. He said that was more then likely it and that he was going to add freon in the system free of charge. Again, 2 days pass and it started making the same noise and blowing warm air. I call him and he said he could call me back in a few. I waited 5 hours for him to call and nothing so I proceeded to call him. He said he needed to talk to his boss and that he needed to figure out a solution to the fix and that he would call me that day. I waited and no call that day. I called him the next day and he said he was going to need to replace the whole unit. First, he said it was only going to be the evaporator coil and that it was going to cost $800.00 + laborer. Then he called again and said he was going to need to replace the whole unit (Evaporator Coil, Freon Lines, and Outdoor Unit) since he couldn't find the leak. He gave me a quote of $5,000 + labor. I wasn't to happy. I called him the next day and simply told him that I couldn't afford to put in a whole new unit. He said that there wasn't anything he could really do since he couldn't find the leak. I called the main office and was requesting to speak with a manager to see if I could get some of my money back since the fix that I paid for wasn't clearly fix and that I pretty much just wasted $700.00 for the information that I knew prior to him coming (That there is a leak and I can't find it). I kept getting (I'll give you a call back) and I haven't had a call back from anyone unless I call them. Even when I do call the manager isn't never there, or on break, or in a meeting. I feel like they are just ignoring my calls in hope of me rolling over and finding another tech to pay. Here is where I need your help.

1. Why did I pay over $700.00 for him to fix the leak when it clearly didn't work and he didn't locate the leak/nor the problem.

2. If he couldn't find the leak why did he replace the values and suggest that those "might" of been the problem? If he couldn't find the leak I would think, Either A). I shouldn't get charged for what I already know. B) Be charged for the leak check but don't proceed to "fix" my A/C in hopes of it being something you aren't sure of.

3. What do you recommend I do? I honestly feel like I got ripped off. If I would have known this prior I wouldn't of had anything fix and just would of paided him for the service call and the leak check cost.
 
  #2  
Old 06-24-11, 09:29 PM
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If the $250 was a firm quote to find and repair the leak, that is all you should have been charged, but I wouldn't think a reputable business would give a quote like that. Was there any mention of a T&M check and fix with a rough estimate being about $250? It sounds to me like you had a relatively inexperienced tech who only knew to throw a few parts at the problem hoping that would solve the problem. That may have been an expensive lesson, but remember, the BBB is your friend. If the company continues to ignore your calls, file a complaint with your local BBB. If I were to go ahead and replace the system, that company wouldn't even be bidding on the work for me.
 
  #3  
Old 06-24-11, 09:37 PM
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1. You paid him. That was the mistake. How did you pay? Call the CC company or stop payment on the check. Call the BBB and file a complaint. Some companys have a satisfaction guarantee and have a # to call to resolve it.

What does the reciept say?

2. He replaced the valves so it looked like he did something. If I heard "might" I would of not paid him anything. I would of wanted to talk to the manager.

3. If you call someone else then this company could say that company screwed it up. The tech could say the unit was fine when he left. Again what he told you and what is written on the reciept are two different things.

Call the company and tell them you are going to the BBB and possibly small claims court if you dont get resolution.


I think I heard this post before......


Mike NJ
 
  #4  
Old 06-24-11, 10:34 PM
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@ lawrosa and CasualJoe. Thanks a bunch for the quick respond. The money I paid isn't the issue if the problem was resolved. But it wasn't, I feel like all he did was mess around for (4) hours and added freon. The tech I had last year was a wonderful tech who told me before hand that he cannot assure me how long the freon would last, I knew this prior to him adding the freon and I was okay with it. This new tech told me the problem was "fix" and it clearly wasn't. That is the issue I have with them. I'm almost trying to call the company every other day to get this issue handled correctly and I'm just getting the same lines everytime (He isn't here right now, Would you like to leave a message, He's in a meeting...etc). I'm been trying to be as patient as possible but with the heat and ignoring calls...I've had enough with this company. If I get ignored again on Monday I will be taking your advice and contact the BBB and file a report. This isn't right. Oh, and yeah, I do have the invoice and it reads:

-NO A/C Possible Leak

-Performed leak check, problem most likely Schrader valves

-Replaced w/ New

-Pulled vac down to 530 Microns charged with 4lbs/freon R22

-Super Heat 30 Degree F



@lawrosa. Do you happen to have the link to that post you are talking about? I wouldn't mind looking at it to see if it was resolved. Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 06-24-11, 10:38 PM
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Oh, and just to double check. When a HVAC tech does a vacuum pull. Is that normally included in the Leak Check? Also, How long does it take to replace those valves?

I also charged in labor p/hour for the time it took him to vacuum it all the way down to 530 Microns. Does that sound right?
 
  #6  
Old 06-25-11, 08:51 AM
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Looking at your first post again I see this

I called the new HVAC company and told them I had a leak in my A/C system and was wondering the cost of a freon leak check. He told me it was going to cost around $250.00 just to find the leak/service call + freon/material to fix it.
I am seeing this was not a firm quote on finding and fixing the leak, they charged you a T&M service call and repair. Even the ballpark price they threw out for the service call and finding the leak did not include the repair, that would be extra. I don't have a problem with that other than the tech obviously guessed and threw parts and labor at the fix and you weren't given rates they charge before coming to your residence. You should also have been told this might fix the problem and it might not before proceeding.

About 2 days into the "fix" my A/C started leaking freon again. It started to make a similar noise like it did last year and then it started to blow warm air.
You obviously have a pretty good leak. I am surprised the tech couldn't find it. I am at a loss as why you can't get a manager to call you back. Have you given them ultimatums that would make them not want to call you back?
 
  #7  
Old 06-25-11, 10:36 AM
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Tell them if they don't resolve the issue, you will take it to the small court. forget about the BBB, some firm don't care that much about BBB.
 
  #8  
Old 06-27-11, 06:55 AM
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Find a new Company.

If they can't find a leak, no amount of complaining will sharpen the technician's skills. These things require experience.

Ask friends, family or co-workers for names of good hvac companies.
 
 

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