Carrier Air Conditioner - Big Repair Bill After Less Than 5 years

We had a new Carrier air conditioner installed less than 5 years ago. This year it stopped working. One of their service people looked at it and said that the compressor needed replacing. The part was covered under the parts warranty but they said the labor charge would be US$1000 and the new compressor would only have a 1 year warranty and they cost US$1200. I think the guy charged about US$300 to see what the problem was. This seems a bit steep after 5 years. Are air conditioners not supposed to last for about 15 years? It strikes me as a rip-off to sell an air-conditioning unit that needs abut $2K in maintenance every year after less than 5 years.
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On Mon 09 Jun 2008 01:09:35p, told us...

I think this guy is a ripoff artist. I'd get a 2nd opinion.
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Wayne Boatwright
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What Wayne said. And, call Carrier. Most companies do NOT want customers badmouthing them all over the internet. I'd bet they'll back you up somehow. It still might not end up being free, but an honest repair at the right price wouldn't be such a bad thing. If that happens, you'll also have a name to call for other HVAC service in the future.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

    To replace a compressor...just the labor! Ripoff.

    Insane for just a service call. Are you in Hollywood or Greenwich, CT?
Ditto what Wayne said.
Joe had a good suggestion to call Carrier.
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You have three issues. One is the labor charges. $300 to check it out is high. I just asked our serviceman what his charges are on a Sunday (he worked yesterday due to the heatwave) and he get $112 an hour. His normal rate is about $65. I'd find a different installer or ask Carrier to recommend one.
Number two. As for the unit failing, yes, they are designed to go much longer, but stuff happens. AC units are no different than any other mechanical and electrical device. Some beak much sooner than anticipated. Ever see a 1 week old car on a tow truck?
OK now issue number 3. Where do you get the idea that you'll have to spend $2000 a year, every year? You have no basis for that.
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Sorry. I made a mistake about the $300 to check the unit. I misheard my wife. It was actually $100. However, I made no mistake about the $1000 they said they would charge to install the compressor or the $1200 I would need to pay to replace the compressor which only comes with a 1 year warranty. If it gives out after a year, that would be $1200 for a new compressor plus $1000 labor to have it installed.
Thanks, MM
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On Tue 10 Jun 2008 04:43:20a, told us...

It would be very unusual for an a/c compressor to last only one year. My parents had a York unit for more than 40 years and the compressor never failed, albeit, they did have to have refrigerant added on a few occasions.
Still, as I wrote upthread, I think you should get another opinion and quote. The prices this guy quoted just don't seem to ring true. Also, many compressors have a 5 year warranty.
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Wayne Boatwright
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The compressor is under warranty so you will not have to pay for it unless they charge you a shipping cost because the replacement compressor is not in stock. After the compressor has been replaced then they need to see why the compressor went bad so the new compressor will not go down. The prices may seem high but like me tell you that the whole sale prices have almost doubled or even tripled in the last couple of years. You think gas has goen up so much well a couple of months ago I check on the whole sale price on a jug of R-22 and it was close to $200 when the same jug a couple of years ago cost around $40.
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Moe Jones
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Aren't Carriers warranted for a minimum of 5 years for parts, at least for the sealed portion? I would write down the model and serial numbers and phone Carrier about this.
If it takes about as much labor to change a compressor as to change an outdoor expansion valve, then $1,000 seems sky-high because the TXV in our packaged Heil was replaced and the system recharged in just a few hours. OTOH $1,200 for a compressor may not be ridiculous because that TXV was $477, the condenser fan motor (previous replacement was less than three years old) another $477, and a double capacitor was $180! It's possible that those prices were high because all the parts were OEM or covered under the factory extended warranty, and W.W. Grainger or Johnstone Supply may sell them much cheaper.
We haven't had good luck with air conditioners. The original one developed pinholes in the evaporator in its tenth year of life, and the current unit, now over eight years old, has needed repair about every two years. Those repairs have totalled about 90-100% of the unit's original cost but have been covered by an extended factory warranty. A/C is one of the few products for which I'd always buy an extended warranty.
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wrote:

In fact the company that was originally going to install the compressor was going to charge >$1200. I called Carrier and found another company that will do it for $650.
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On Jun 9, 3:09pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Call carrier to complain and get a recomended guy for a second opinion. Mine is 20 yrs old, but even a nearby lightning stike can ruin it as can other circumstances.
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