HVAC Scammers

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Had you hired him and he presented an itemized bill, it might look like:
Parts: $200.00 Labor: $100.00 Diagnosis (based on ten years experience): $1200.00
Instead, you took advantage of his expertise, experience, and training for free. Shame.
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HeyBub wrote:

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My mistake. The motor wasn't bad. Reading comprehension, eh?
I do agree with Bub's point, the customer took the repair man's training for free. I've also had that happen, where I go out and tell someone the unit needs "A, B, C" and they say not to bother. Had once or twice I told the customer how to do his own repairs, and ended up with $0.00 for my trouble. I also have been called names because I refused more details than "it takes about an hour and costs $85".
Basic home owner. Call the pro, gets a little knowledge, and then screws over the pro, sends the pro away with not even a house call charge, and then swaps out his own parts. Glad I'm not the guy who got screwed over this time.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

probably wouldn't have resorted to drastic measures.
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Yep, that did occur to me. Grand and a half for a circuit board and blower sounds a bit high.
Ah, the advantages. With that markup, you don't need as many service calls per day. More time at the shop, or at the donut house.
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posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

could relate a poor experience. It's just hard to tell any more whether it's a hack or crook.
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I'll rewrite your post for accuracy.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Stormin, Somehow I screwed over the HVAC repairman and took his money. His diagnosis of the problem was wrong. He failed to notice the status LED light on the board was not on. After researching boards, this is a prime indicator that there is either no power or the board is bad. I was the one who looked at the board and saw it smoking. I was the one who hooked up a voltmeter to the transformer to see that there was voltage going to the board. He did not even do that. In fact, he did not bring any tools into the house, but used my socket wrench to take off the eight screws holding on the covers.
He also said that (and I quote), "I hotwired the motor and it is definately bad. It does not work." What hot wiring is, I do not know. I just figure that I will have to swap the motor in the near future after he messed with it.
He was the one who came to my house for a "free estimate." I did not force him or coerce him. It is part of the business model that he chose to follow.
Finally, he started at $500 dollars to repair the motor, quickly jumped to $1500 to repair the control board and motor. I was prepared for the $500 dollars and would have quickly paid in my lack of understanding how much stuff should cost.
He was also sure that our 2200 square foot house was underserved by the 3.5 ton unit. Because of this, he could not warrant his work. He was also pretty sure it would blow out again relatively soon. (That is another direct quote.) Apparently being underserved causes control boards to blow prematurely.
He then launched into a half hour pitch on why I needed a 4.0 ton system. When his recommended system started at $22k, I was in such shock that I did not instantly ask him to leave. His barebones system was $15k. When I told him he was way out of my price range, he told me, "I can come down as low as $10.5k, but I am not making anything on the system. I just realize what a lousy deal you had. Also, I want to help you out since you are in such dire straights." I am not sure why 84 degrees is dire straights, but I did manage to tell him to leave at that point. I also found the system on line and can have it delivered for less than $3k. Also, the lines and electricity are already in place. I would just need an HVAC and plumber make the final connections and charge the system. Apparently, $7.5K is required for this type of work and he would not make a dime while "helping me out." Realistically, I had to ask why I was even considering upgrading when I was happy with everything before.
The best was that ten minutes later, he called and left a message on the answering machine that he had good news for me. He was able to get a cheaper, used system...etc. By the way, he has not called back since.
Hence, this is why I was motivated to not use his services. He brought nothing to the table and was only interested in convincing me to replace my system. The more I read, the more I see how close I was to making a mistake.
There may be good, honest HVAC repairmen out there. After reading some of the posts, some people seem downright decent. However, I did not meet one. -Mike
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On 4 Jul 2006 21:45:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

This is a neat scam. He gets you to pay him for an overpriced upgrade and he is left with a good used unit to sell to someone else. If he is smart he will get you to pay for dumping your old unit too.
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Well, heck, the old system has freon in it, and can't just be hauled to the landfill. Or, so the fellow will likely say.
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Well, with more information, it sounds like the fellow was tryign to make a bunch of money that day. I wonder how a fellow with no tools can diagnose anything? If nothing else, at least a VOM.
Your original post sounded like a "finger in your eye" to HVAC guys in general. If you'd stuck to what you wrote below, I'd have agreed with you that the fellow sounded like he didn't do the work.
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Stormin Mormon posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

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I will not get into that gents pricing (or other problems with diagnosing the problem), but I will say that his price is for doing it correctly, not half way. I've seen quite a few people that think they can do it themselves and end up nearly killing themselves and/or their family.
That 3K for the new system, was that installed? Was it Goodman equipment?

There are a few of us out there. I'm in this business to make a living, not to make a killing. I have to sleep at night.
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Hello, > I decided that it will be easier to become an HVAC repairman than to > rob banks. Since most banks only contain several hundred thousand > dollars in the till, I can take more in by telling people what is wrong > with their system and then charge them $1500 for fifteen minutes of > work. That works out to a cool $250k for the 40 hour week. > > Now I digress...My wife calls at work and says the A/C made a gasping > noise and died. I drive home from work, check the system and yes, > there is no A/C blowing through the house. I go to the basement, and > hear the freon circulating, the outside unit still spins, etc. > Therefore, I think it is the blower motor (quick google search). I > call the repairman, he comes out and "yes, it is the blower motor and > the control board." I now notice the lack of status light and a burnt > mark in the middle of the Goodman board. He lets me know that he can > repair the whole thing for $1500. I get my game face on, google some > more and discover the board can be here in two days (he needed > three...wonder if he orders from the same web site). $125 dollars and > 15 minutes later, the board is swapped out and the A/C is blowing like > a champ. Funny, but the motor was not bad. > I am tempted to call him and tell him what a loser he is...but, he has > my address. > > Anyway, if it is not the freon or gas connector, you can repair it > yourself and make $250k a week (at least for fifteen minutes).
I think it would be a very good idea for you to go to school. You will find that there is a lot of bull**it to learn. Plus you have to be certified by the EPA to work on those "LEGALLY". You have to have special equipment to recover the refrigerant. In the end, you spend more money to be a legal HVAC repairman than most people know. The part your getting may be an after market part. In either case, if it fails you are screwed. Why, because you are not a certified repair tech with the proper certifications.
Becoming a repair tech. is not an "easy" thing to do. I personally would not have called him if I could tell what the problem was. Seems like the idiot told you what was wrong, and you inturn fixed it yourself. If that is the case, I would put you on my black list and never visit your home again.
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