Is it immoral to soak the repairman for info and only pay for one service call?

Is it immoral to soak the repairman for info and only pay for one service call?
In the thread I posted a while back, but can't find, about the friend who had no heat, this is the part that the repairman installed:
http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-us/products/valves/documents/0037-6159.pdf
Exactly the same 8 pages as came in the box with the part.
She paid 425 or 460 or whatever I said.
It's too late now, but would it have been immoral or cheaper
if she'd let the guy on his first trip tell her what the problem was and then bought the part herself?
I assume there was a part number on the original part, but if not, finding the replacement might be hard, but knowing what I know now, there are replacement parts ranging from $39 inc. shipping to 120. Any of them woudl be a savings, i think, even when paying for the first service call. But regardless of savings, would you consider it immoral? OTOH, would it be immoral for the repairman to come, determine the replacment part number and refuse to tell the customer, so she couldn't buy it without him?
On the second trip it was a simple replacement taking less than 10 minutes.
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Micky wrote:

Cheaper yes, immoral no.
If she paid for the service call to get a diagnosis, then the technician was compensated for his knowledge. At that point she had a choice to let him fix it, using parts supplied by herself or him. The parts would not have been warranted by the installer, but they also wouldn't have been marked up either. Some companies won't install user supplied parts, so she could have called around to find one that does. No harm done to the one that diagnosed it if he was compensated for his expert opinion.
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G. Morgan wrote:

I don't think there is a person out there who never shop around for merchandise or service.
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As that is similar as to what hapened to me this summer. The air conditioiner was not working. Called service and was told it would be $ 90 just for the man to come out and look. OK, not too bad. He was there about 5 minuits and said a bad capacitor and it would be $ 300 and some dollars for that part. I knew that $ 50 would have been a fair price for one allowing for a markup to have the part at hand. Took 5 minuets to goto the truck and get one and install it.. I did get a good education out of it and also had him to clean the coils for $ 100 more while he was here.
I did order a capacitor and relay for about $ 30 total off the internet so I am ready if either go bad again.
Had it not been Saturday, I would have just gave him the $ 90 and went to a local supply house and got my own capacitor.
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On 01/28/2016 12:36 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

LOL, not the first time I've seen huge markups on cheap parts.
Back when I was in the industrial battery repair business, I never minded if the customer wanted to do it themselves.
Most if the time they screwed it up and I got additional billings.
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Paying $90 for the service call *is* paying for knowledge. It's certainly not immoral. It's less than they'd like to charge but I assume it's set where they generate enough business that any loss at $90 is recouped in a repair or replacement.
Shopping at Best Buy to look at cameras in person and then buying one on-line from some other story is far less "moral" in my eyes.
Here's the old engineer's joke about the cost of knowledge:
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired.
Many years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multimillion dollar machines.
They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.
The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated, "This is where your problem is." The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.
The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service.
They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded briefly:
"One chalk mark $1. Knowing where to put it $49,999"
From:
http://www.jokes4us.com/peoplejokes/engineersjokes/retiredengineerjoke.html
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Bobby G.



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On Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 12:59:32 PM UTC-5, Micky wrote:

No more immoral than for the serviceman to charge her $300 or whatever price he felt appropriate for the one emergency service call to diagnose the problem.
Facts left out:
No one there was able to diagnose a simple problem, so who was going to put in the new gas valve and do it safely? Knowing what's involved, I seriously doubt it was just 10 mins from the time the guy got out of his truck. Plus there is travel time. If she paid for the one emergency service call, obtained the part, hired another licensed plumber to put it in and not blow up the house, what would that have cost?
Nice that you can get a $39 price on the internet, but could you get it the same day like the service guy did? What would it cost if you went to the local supply house, assuming they would even sell it retail?
This is like being broke down at the side of the road, getting towed to a dealer, paying $400 for a quick professional repair, then finding that the $250 part they charged you for can be found on Ebay for $50 and speculating on all the what if's.
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