I bought a new home eight years ago. It is totally electric and, after three years, I decided that it was time for a tune-up on my air conditioner. After going through all my paperwork and finally calling my real-estate agent, I found out that the air conditioner was purchased from an outside source and installed by a sub-contractor for the builder. I wound up calling a local air conditioning company to service my three-year-old unit.
The company I called advertised that they show up on time, and they did. The service call came to about $70 and a starter solenoid, with installation, was $180. With this $250 service call, I received coupons, for my next three services that were worth $30 off. The next service call, three years later, went about the same way, where the technician tried to sell me another starter solenoid, which I refused. He immediately tried to sell me a new thermostat, which I refused. The cost of that service call was $109, less my $30 coupon, totaling $79.
My home is now eight years old. I went to turn on the air conditioner a couple days ago and discovered that it wouldn’t work. I called the company to get it fixed and was told that a technician would be here in one hour. The technician called me, five minutes before he was to arrive, and asked for directions. I gave him the information and told him that I would be out in my driveway and I would flag him down. Right on the dot, for his time of arrival, he went past my house at about 60-miles-per hour. Five minutes later, he called me again and I finally got him into my driveway.
The technician came in and removed the thermostat from the wall, leaving the bare wires sticking out of the wall, removed the panels from the inside and outside air conditioner units and informed me that his electrical tester was broken and he needed to go into town and buy another one. I live in the desert and the temperature, outside, was 110-degrees.
The trip into town should have taken about 1-1/2- hours. After three hours, with the temperature climbing to 96-degrees inside, I called the company and was informed that he had been sent on another service call. By this time, my wife was cranky and my two dogs began to look at me like they were ready to attack. In self-defense, I went to bed.
The next morning, after a hot, sleepless night, I called the company again and a new technician came in and fixed the problem. He sat down to prepare the bill and informed me that there were two technicians involved in the billing. I started to go ballistic and he quickly added that he would forget about that, as if he was doing me a favor. This bill, with the service call and minus the $30 coupon, came to $283. The repair that was made — he taped up a wire that had worn and shorted out.
Sources: Personal experience