Should I pay for time spent getting a tool?

Hi all:
I'm a homeowner with a quesiton about a recent service visit. If this is the wrong forum, I apologize in advance.
I recently installed a 1-ton Sanyo mini-split unit in a new bonus room addition. I called a local HVAC service company to hook up the lineset, vacuum the lines and check the refrigerant (R-410A). I have done business with this company for over 10 years and have generally been pleased with their work. When I called, I described exactly what needed to be done, and gave them the manufacturer information for the unit. When the technician arrived, he admitted he had never installed a mini-split before, but also said they were going to start selling them. Prior to vacuuming, the technician determined that he did not have the correct adapter to hook his vacuum pump to the unit. He left to go buy the correct fitting. He was gone for about an hour (may have been less if he waited to ring the doorbell when he returned). When all was said and done, the visit took a total of 3 hours, including the time he was gone to get the fitting. When he wrote 3 hours on the ticket, I indicated that I shouldn't pay for the hour he was gone. He verbally agreed that I shouldn't have to, but said he had to account for his time. I wrote a note on the ticket to that effect (that he was gone for 1 hour out of 3), and initialled it. The technician initialled it, too.
Got the bill yesterday. Sure enough - 3 hours labor at $65/hour. I called the service company and eventually got to the service manager, who said the following:
1: GPS records indicate he was gone for 24 minutes. Okay - I can't prove otherwise.
2: The adapter he bought probably won't ever be needed again, since they don't install Sanyo units. I argued about this one, but he said anything they sell wouldn't need an adapter and that mine must be different somehow. I told him to send me the adapter so that I would have it for the next visit.
3: They didn't charge me for the use of the vacuum pump like other places do. Huh?
4: If I had called and asked for an install quote, the price would have been much higher than $195.
So basically, he refused to reduce the labor charge. He implied that because I did the mounting and electrical work myself, that I should expect to pay for their technician's time to track down an adapter. I think he was pissed because he didn't get to do the entire install (for which they and other places wanted $3000 - $3500 to do). I don't understand this attitude because he got all of the job that was available, and I could have taken my business anywhere.
Am I being overly picky about this? It just doesn't seem right to pay for the guy's labor for getting an adapter when he came unprepared to do the job. How would you have handled this situation as an installer? Ultimately, assuming the guy was truthful about the GPS records, we're only off by $32.50, so I don't plan to fight it any more. I'm just wondering if I should shop around for another service outfit next time.
Regards, John.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No, you're not a homeowner. You're a contractor according to what you wrote below.

WHAT BUSINESS??? You are the installer and called your service division for a start up. Oh. You don't have a service division? Then you'll have to sub it out.

You should shop around for a new brain. Someone sold you a used brain and it's not working correctly.
-zero
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
the_tool_man wrote:

    His name wasn't Bubba, was it?? Then again it could have been one many "Pros" who post on this newsgroup. I use the term "Pros" loosely.
    
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

over his furnace one Sat night for $100 because he was too stupid to change his own dirty filter. Sounds like you is just one dumb putz, Kenny. Bubba
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bubba wrote:

Kenny is ticked off because he keeps buying thermostats from you and still hasn't got one to make that separated Hot shoe igniter to work. Why don't you go repair his damned furnace for free, so we won't have to hear him whine all the time? ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ken wrote:

Nobody here works for those kind of Peons wages. This isn't Neanderthal country like you are used to residing in. Ken is still pissed that no one will service his equipment in that railroad shack he lives in.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yep. Wrong forum. I thought it was alt.hvac, not alt.i.hate.all.diy.installers.because.i.think.if.they.dont.call.a.pro.for.every.little.thing.they.are.taking.food.off.my.table.
Grow up.
<plonk>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
the_tool_man wrote:

John, I would have not installed your unit that was purchased elsewhere. If I somehow had weakened in that resolve, I would have charged you full standard install fee plus the markup on the equipment that you had purchased. The reason for this is that if something craps out on your warranty, the manufactures distributor is going to waste a lot of my time querying me about how I might have screwed up the install. For which I as an astute professional, am proud of my craftsmanship, just might punch the dude out and need bail money. I suggest that you apologize to your service company for even thinking ill of them. They have obviously remained loyal to you in spite of your purchasing elsewhere. Anytime I need special equipment on a job, you are going tyo pay for my time chasing it down. That Service guy gets paid by the hour and the person that signs his paycheck has to make that up somehow. Keep in mind that you took out a Van full of specialized equipment and a trained service guy for 3 hours that could have been earning elsewhere. Average Van carries up to $70,000 in equipment and right now inventory. Everybody has a right to make a living from their endeavors. By the way $65 per hour for all of that is very cheap even in rural America. This is an expensive business to operate. Don Ocean South Dakota
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know why you wanted to use a vacuum pump, but I would have let you hold my tool for free.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In case someone else wades through the immature, ranting drivel from this NG enough to get this far, and actually wants to know how things ended up...
I just got off the phone with the service manager this morning. Apparently, the tech was mistaken about this company installing the Sanyo units. According to the service manager, they have not installed units like this one before, and may or may not install them in the future. Based on this new information, I will pay for the extra time spent getting the adapter, since it was not reasonable to expect them to know they needed it. Since there is no gaurantee that the same tech will return if I should need a service call, I asked to buy the adapter from them and keep it for whomever services it next time. He agreed, and will send it with a new invoice to cover the cost of the adapter.
We discussed my decision to buy the Sanyo online and do the mechanical and electrical myself. My point was that I knew how to do those things, and could save a considerable amount of money ($1300) doing so. He said he wouldn't want all his customers to do that (understandable), but he didn't fault me for wanting to save the money. He repeated what the tech had told me, that the install was well done, and that since they did all of the plumbing and subsequent install steps, there should be no issues.
All's well that ends well. To those who tried to help here and via email, thank you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 10:43:32 -0800 (PST), the_tool_man

If you had bought it from a reputable supplier they would have sent the 5/16 to 1/4 adapter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
the_tool_man wrote:

Hear! hear! There is a modicum of Fairness and Justice in this world after all. Would all Homeowner lurkers and nonlurlers please take note. Once again the evil HVACers prevail.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I wouldn't use them again. I fired a computer consultant one time because he charged me for the time the bozo had to call Novell tech support. They wanted me to pay for the tech support and the consultants time he was on hold and talking with the tech support. I paid it but it was the last time we did business. I found another company and the first thing I told them was: "I will not pay for your staff's education."
Some people just don't get it.
BTW: I totally understand why you dropped it. It's not usually worth the aggravation.
od
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
olddog posted for all of us...

Who does then?
--
Tekkie Don\'t bother to thank me, I do this as a public service.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The guy who gets the tool got it.
http://www.mysporttrac.com/~library/10452/code%20pictures.pdf
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.