A/C servicing - fair charge?

Recently we had near 100 degree heat wave in Western Washington. The upstairs was not cooling down very much. So we called Sunset Air to check our central A/c unit. The technician said that the unit was working properly, freon level was fine, the evaporation coils were clean, and the filters were working ok. He did recommend that we purchase a new unit down the road because our unit is getting older. He charged us a total of $171.81, which included $133.50 for one hour technical service, $25 truck charge, and $13.31 sales tax. An invoice from 2003 shows that they charged us $107.50 for 1.25 hours technical service and no truck charge for checking out our central heat/ac and replacing the ignition module (extra parts charge). Is it standard for the technical service charge to have gone up about 40% plus tacking on a $25 gas charge nowadays? Their company is about 6 miles from our home.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The cost of doing business has really gone up in the last few years with insurance skyrocketing and fuel cost. However if they are a resonable company that wants your business in the future ie..putting in that reccomended unit, they might be willing to come off that invoice.
Just explain to them what you think is unreasonable and mayby dangle that carrot in front of them, but dont lose your temper or nothing will get accomplished.
Otherwise I would suggest calling around for prices before setting that appointment.
Pops..
tenplay wrote:

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

The key word here is 'heat wave'. many service firms love it and will price gouge if at all possible. Yes, that's too much of an increase. I'd call the management, point out that you're a repeat customer, and request a price adjustment. Maybe request a quote on an annual preventive maintenance call? Booked during their 'slow' season.
lee h
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
tenplay wrote:

Thanks for your suggestions. This is the email I sent them. Hope it makes a difference:
We have been loyal customers of yours for many years. My wife and I think you overcharged us on our service call on 7/28/06. We asked you to check our central a/c unit. Your technician reported that the unit is getting older but is working fine. The freon level was fine and the filters and coils were clean. The bill came to a whopping $171.81. Like ourselves, our neighbors and friends were shocked. Your labor charge has increased 55.2% since 2003 plus you add a $25 gas charge just for driving over from Lacey. We hope that you will reconsider the charges and refund part of charges to us. If you choose not to honor our request, we will voice our displeasure loudly to whomever will listen. And we will cease to be your loyal customers. Thank you for your kind consideration.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Why didn't you ask ahead of time what their costs were. And as far as that truck charge goes... That truck may have been 55 miles away before your call. At this time of year these techs are not sitting around waiting for your call.
I don't think you deserve money back, but the owner/manager may take a loss on you because it will cost more to gain another customer than to give you $40, not to mention all the bad publicity that you will enthrall upon them...All because you didn't do your due diigence.
tenplay wrote:

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

If you choose not to honor our

Nice letters work. Threats and blackmail just piss off people. Nice letter, but for that one sentence. I'd just blow you off for that and count you as a customer lost.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree. Also, I think that email is rather ineffective in matters like this. A face to face with the boss is much better. Second best is a polite business letter. More likely to get some results.
lee h
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If I got a letter like that from a customer I'd send it back with a check for the full amount and stamp FUCK YOU in big red letters on it. Do you have any clue how much stuff has gone up in the last three years, not to mention overhead?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As much as I'd like not to, I really have to agree with the last person. You should know that it always costs more to have them come out when you hit weather extremes. You should know that inflation is rampant in the last few years (not just gas and heathcare costs, more like everything that's not made in China). The only thing the service tech didn't do is explain to you that in most cases A/C is designed to only cool your house maybe 20 degrees and further that most ductwork systems are inadequate for A/C, espically on really hot days (even in new houses). A smarter move on your part would have been to get a window unit for the upstairs as a suppliment (which is what I do to make up for my inadequate ductwork).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So did he tell you exactly the reason why the central A/C was not cooling the upstairs? Did he say what could be done to get better cooling? The charge does not sound unreasonable and (like TN) the sales taxes are outrageous. Recently, I paid $384 to an A/C service company to get a diagnosis and have a capacitor replaced. I was very happy to be cool again.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My son is a HVAC tech... and has been working 16 hour days the last few weeks.... and you bet the bills his company has been sending out are higher...
A good portion of this is honestly his overtime pay.... The cost of fuel for his work van has doubled in the last year who do you think is going to have to pay for that....
I'm not saying that your bill was unfair ( I just do not know)...
Bob G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Assuming you AC is ok, take a thermometer and measure the inlet and outlet temperatures. AC should be dropping the air temperature about 20 degrees. If it is and the house is too warm, then it is undersized. This way you can check it yourself and save a service charge, yeah this is water under the bridge for you but a good idea anyway. Good to do in the winter for your furnace as well.

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

Maybe, Maybe not. What is the design temperature? If the unit was designed for a typical northern climate that has high temperatures of 85 - 90 degrees, it will not cool properly when the outside is 105 as it has been the past couple of weeks. There is a much greater heat gain that the unit was NOT designed to handle.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree, still it should be dropping about 20 degrees from inlet to outlet, for example from 82 to 62.
wrote in message ...

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

As I recall, it was around 97 outside and 80 inside on the bottom floor and around 88 upstairs. After about 6 hours, the inside temp downstairs had dropped to 77, so not much of an improvement. No change upstairs. Maybe the older system was just overmatched by the unusually hot temps outside. If global warming is for real, we just might have to invest in a more efficient unit down the road (among other big changes).
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.