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Monday, 15 September 2014
An Unfortunate Story With Lessons Learned
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This is a true story about a homeowner who lives in Nashville and was selling a house she owned in Huntsville.  Before she could find a buyer for the Huntsville house, the air conditioner went out.  So she made an "emergency" visit back to Huntsville to deal with the problem, and contacted an HVAC dealer in that area.  Since the broken system was 25 years old, the HVAC company said she would need a new system.  Not knowing much about HVAC and not getting any further quotes, this homeowner went ahead and paid them the $8,500 they quoted her, and got the work done during her short visit.  When she got back to Nashville two days later and told a friend how much she was charged, they were astonished. 

Now armed with the make and model of the unit that was installed - a rather low-end SEER 13 unit - she was able to get other quotes on that exact unit including installation from three other HVAC companies in the Huntsville area.  All were in the $5,000-$6,000 range, so it seemed she had been over-charged.  This homeowner began educating herself, and found out that beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the government is mandating a SEER 14 or better.  The homeowner was upset because the HVAC company did not explain any options to her, did not itemize the quote or invoice, and just assumed the lowest-end unit would suffice since she was selling the house anyway.   What the HVAC company didn't know was that she was having a hard time selling the house and was planning if it didn't sell in the next 2 months, she would move back and live there herself. This homeowner really felt the HVAC company took advantage of the fact she was in a bind (in town for a short time) and knew she hadn't a clue what a SEER was (check out our blog What's Your SEER?)!  Although she called the HVAC company to complain and ask for a price reduction, her protests fell on deaf ears. 

The moral of the story is two-fold:

(1) Homeowners need to educate themselves and do their research before making a big purchase, even when pressed for time…. or ESPECIALLY when they are pressed for time, because that is when they are most vulnerable for being taken advantage of!   Arming you with the information you need to make smarter choices is why we write this blog!

(2) An HVAC company that doesn't talk with you to find out your goals and personal needs and doesn't explain to you what you're getting and the various options, is not a company you need to be doing business with.   Also, how a company handles a customer complaint says a lot about the heart of the company. 

I'm sure there are lots of you with HVAC "horror stories."  In fact, we often are on the other end of cleaning up other folks' "mess."  But we don't mind… that's what we're here for and we're always happy to help!  

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Posted on 09/15/2014 10:01 PM by Tony Anderson
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