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
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.