Is my AC service provider being shady?


Old 08-03-18, 01:55 PM
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Angry Is my AC service provider being shady?

Hi Everyone,

I could really use some input from some professionals or at least people that know their stuff. My 12 year old AC system stopped cooling a week ago. I called a service provider and the tech came to my home a day later. He said that I needed a new Contactor, a duel capacitor and he recommended a Hard Start device as well. Anyway, he charges me about 1150 for the parts, labor and a 1 year service contract (priced at 115). I asked him if the compressor looked good because obviously I didn't want to pay nearly 1200 if it wasn't going to last awhile. He assured me that it looked fine and that I could expect 3 to 5 years of usage at the very least. 72 hours later, my AC stops cooling again. This time the guy comes out and tells me the compressor is locked up and needs to be replaced to the tune of $3400, which is obviously a bad choice for a 12 year old system. He sends his sales guy out....get this... He quotes me $7800 for a 5 Ton, single stage, 13 seer AC unit. This guy is totally pushy and acts like he's going to get in trouble for crediting some cash towards the price (700). I call three other shops and they send out people to quote the job. Every single one of them quoted 4800 to 5k for the same specs, same warranty. Every shop I called was bonded and insured. Obviously I'm not going to be purchasing an AC through the original guys but I'm now trying to get some money back for the work they did. Doesn't this seem like a misdiagnosis? Could the guy have wired things incorrectly or have done something to cause the compressor to suddenly go out? I'm not suggesting that he did anything on purpose, but they are giving me the run around for what I felt was a fair resolution. I told him that I'd pay his cost for the parts which I calculated to be around $85, plus the $70 diagnostic and I'd keep the maintenance plan at 115. I feel that is more than generous considering that they didn't diagnose the problem correctly. Any thoughts? Thanks for your time!
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Old 08-03-18, 05:57 PM
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First...looks like you are in UT? Correct?

Ok, from my POV, you were overcharged from jump street...that price is ridiculous. Maybe $200 in parts (and that's my over the counter price at a local HVAC supply...not what a Pro would be paying, or Internet pricing) and the rest is labor and a service contract? So, what did the contract cover...them driving by twice a year and waving at the sucker?

I'm not a Pro, and I know things can fail unexpectedly and seemingly by coincidence after other work is done...but he should have at least recognized possible signs of future failure. High amperage draw, heat, leaks, etc...those should be documented for a labor bill that large. If none of those were present...well, stuff does indeed happen...not necessarily his fault. If not documented that he indeed did such simple tests as checking current...well, you may have a bit of a case.

Problem a have to have proof. Did he repair your A/C...yes. Was it expensive...yes...but you agreed to pay him and were happy until the failure. Can the tech predict the, but he can make an educated guess. Not sure how much his incorrect guess is really worth dollar wise though.

I'd lay odds you won't get a a dime unless you had them do the additional work...and that's throwing good money after bad. If another company finds evidence of incompetent work by the first one, or signs they should have immediately recognized as impending failure...maybe then you would have a case.
Old 08-03-18, 07:41 PM
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We don't have much recourse on these things. Best you can do is give them a negative rating on Yelp or Angie's list.

I had someone with a 5 star rating on Yelp try to screw me, so even that is not dependable.
Old 08-04-18, 06:17 AM
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The HVAC people I work with know better than to hand me a $1'150 repair bill without talking to me before doing the work. Anything over about $500 and they are running the repair by me before doing the work and letting me know about options. So, I think they were not ethical and took advantage of you.

I think you have a snowball's chance of getting your initial service fee back. Any court action will cost you money to begin and if they did the work they said they did then they will win. You can't argue if the service they charged was performed but you can't argue the fee they charge for it.
Old 08-04-18, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. So, he tested the compressor prior to doing the work but I have no idea what these values indicate if anything. FLA: 27.1 and LRA: 144. Is that within normal operating range?
Old 08-04-18, 01:41 PM
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Actually, I think those are normal operating range of my old AC unit, taken from the spec sticker on the side. I remember that he said the amps were a little high, but nothing to worry about. I'm thinking that should have prompted a more thorough look. He was a nice guy, I don't think he did anything on purpose but this company really sucks. If they don't give me some money back I'm going to blast them on social media. It's pretty obvious that he missed something during his diagnosis.
Old 08-05-18, 08:20 AM
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I had a situation last week where my ductless ac unit was freezing up inside and not cooling very well. The tech showed up and measured the refrigerant and it was just about all gone, meaning a leak of course whick makes total sense. But he wanted to charge me $745 plus tax just to locate the leak. I declined and just paid for the service call which was $111.00, no idea where he came up with that cost to find a leak.
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