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Home AC repair.

Shlbyntro

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My home AC went out a few days ago so I called an ac company out to have it looked at. I'm sure I could've figured it out because I work on boat ACs but I'm busy and not too familiar with the home ac systems and just decided to let somebody handle it for me. Guy comes out today and tells me it needs a capacitor. I said OK, seams reasonable how much. $89 diagnostic fee plus $417 for the capacitor. I asked why so much, and he went off on some speal about it being a "turbo capacitor," absolute bs.... i paid the $89 diag and told him to kick rocks and this was a major AC company from my area.

Ac guys: is this kind of highway robbery standard or do I need to blast this company for being crooks?!

Also, this is the "$417 capacitor" they were trying to sell me
Screenshot_20200819-182011_Amazon Shopping.jpg
 
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TimeBandit

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I have fixed our home a/c with a new capacitor, only one local hvac supply will sell for cash, it was about $22.00 as I remember.

the condenser unit (outside of house) fan would come on but the compressor would not. I have heard of people paying $700.00 for this "repair" lol

Think a/c repair is expensive? try the new crooked crop of "plumbers" $79.00 to clear any drain... I mean to fail with the lame snake they bring then drop in a camera and tell you about the $8,000.00 drain issues you are having. One mini van showed up to clean a drain and I am not kidding, only one hand crank 1/4" 25 foot snake and a camera rig in the back. that's it.

I'm too honest (stupid?) to charge this kind of money for my time, but I sleep great!
 
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Shlbyntro

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Shit, I'm one of the most expensive mechanics I know. But I still consider myself to be fair and honest. And don't get me wrong if he would have told me $200-$250 and done it right then and there i would have said ok getrdone. It is literally a 10 minute diag, and 10 minute repair. But fuck, $500?!.......
 

dezertrider

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Every summer this debate comes up. Its not highway robbery at all. Its the cost to send a trained technician with a fully stocked van with all the parts needed to do the job. It also pays for the staff that is required to support a home service company including employee benifits and wages. Believe it or not. Most home service companies have the largest overhead that needs to be covered. For every service call we run I allready spent $250-$350 to get them to your house. Walking away with $500 invoice is a loss for most companies
 

Shlbyntro

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Every summer this debate comes up. Its not highway robbery at all. Its the cost to send a trained technician with a fully stocked van with all the parts needed to do the job. It also pays for the staff that is required to support a home service company including employee benifits and wages. Believe it or not. Most home service companies have the largest overhead that needs to be covered. For every service call we run I allready spent $250-$350 to get them to your house. Walking away with $500 invoice is a loss for most companies
Then why not show it to me on an invoice that has travel and diag time rather than charge me a 3000% markup and make me feel like I'm being raped?

I do mobile lake calls all the time, it accounts for more than 70% of my work. I bill for travel time and a diag fee. If I had already guessed what the problem was and was lucky enough bring the correct part with me, it gets installed and the customer only pays the travel charge and the install time; and the diag fee is waved, they also dont have to pay for another trip for me to come out another time and come out and fix it.
 

Dan Lorenze

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This just happened to me as well. I did a little research online and watched some videos on youtube and purchased the same capacitor (non turbo spec) lol, it fixed my problem. It's pretty amazing how much money I have saved over the years working on my own stuff, plus I like learning. Personally, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing I charged a family $500 to swap out a simple and cheap part just because they didn't know any better.
 

The Prisoner

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As we speak the AC person is here replacing a fan motor...they claim they have to use OEM....$700!!!!!! they are $250 for generic!
HARD TO STOP A TRANE MY ASS!!!!
 

dezertrider

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Then why not show it to me on an invoice that has travel and diag time rather than charge me a 3000% markup and make me feel like I'm being raped?

I do mobile lake calls all the time, it accounts for more than 70% of my work. I bill for travel time and a diag fee. If I had already guessed what the problem was and was lucky enough bring the correct part with me, it gets installed and the customer only pays the travel charge and the install time; and the diag fee is waved, they also dont have to pay for another trip for me to come out another time and come out and fix it.
It’s not 3000% mark up when the cost to show up is $250. Charging a flat rate makes since when you have different skill sets. If I sent my weakest tech that took twice as long you would still complain wouldn’t you?

It generally cost about $100 to make each marketed phone line ring. Breaking out the cost of doing business on an Ivo ice doesn’t make sense. That’s like asking Starbucks to break down the price of my coffee
 

Bobby V

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Every summer this debate comes up. Its not highway robbery at all. Its the cost to send a trained technician with a fully stocked van with all the parts needed to do the job. It also pays for the staff that is required to support a home service company including employee benifits and wages. Believe it or not. Most home service companies have the largest overhead that needs to be covered. For every service call we run I allready spent $250-$350 to get them to your house. Walking away with $500 invoice is a loss for most companies
This why I rather work on commercial then residential. We tell them its a 4 hr minimum before we come out for the repair, they hardly ever complain. If we had a repair truck close and it didn't take that long we may reduce the 4 hr min.
 

Dan Lorenze

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This why I rather work on commercial then residential. We tell them its a 4 hr minimum before we come out for the repair, they hardly ever complain. If we had a repair truck close and it didn't take that long we may reduce the 4 hr min.
So it's easier to over charge a business than an individual, Gotcha!
 

Bobby V

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So it's easier to over charge a business than an individual, Gotcha!
I didn't mention our repair prices. Did I...lol My trade is a lot different then a AC company doing residential repairs.
 

stephenkatsea

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Your cost of conducting business should be a factor of your hourly rate. Trying to cover your operating costs by drastically over charging a customer for parts does not seem prudent. Particularly, when the cost of many parts is readily available.
 

Shlbyntro

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Your cost of conducting business should be a factor of your hourly rate. Trying to cover your operating costs by drastically over charging a customer for parts does not seem prudent. Particularly, when the cost of many parts is readily available.
This.

I have always charged within $10 of listed msrp
on parts and have never had a true complaint aboutmy trip fees. Sure, some people dont like it but at least they understand it.
 

185EZ

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Just had Jason with Sunrize Air come out and fix 3 units at a house. Yep, all 3 went down but nobody there
I told him no hurry but there in 2 days
On time, called 15 minutes before getting there
One capacitor, one pressure switch and one checked out fine
$285
 
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Turnup

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Its 115 outside, what price did you expect from calling the local big name lol! I'd have more respect for these guys if they just said hey the part costs me X and I'm gonna charge you Y to put it in right now or I'm gonna go back to my pool.
 

Shlbyntro

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Its 115 outside, what price did you expect from calling the local big name lol! I'd have more respect for these guys if they just said hey the part costs me X and I'm gonna charge you Y to put it in right now or I'm gonna go back to my pool.
I feel the same. Upfront and honest is always the better route. Dont lie to me and try and hide costs. I do this for my customers and expect the same out of any business I deal with.

I'm not out there charging $1000 for impellers right now, and I'm sure i could if I didn't want to sleep at night
 

Havasu blue label

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They are true rip offs I would expose them to the world . at our rental guy shows up calls me 1150 repair I ask what the issue he says call office joke local hb co blast to public is coming
 

Havasu blue label

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Talking about service guys that take advantage of people when it’s a simple fix . Get your equipment serviced every six months it prevents down time on busy days
 

Havasu blue label

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We change filters and check up 800 hundred for the year 3 units includes coil cleaning
 

Riverbound

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673939AC-E725-4DA2-88D0-03552D5FE957.jpeg


if I show up to your home with a $50,000 service truck with $20-$30,000 worth of tools and generally $15,000 plus in inventory and years of knowledge that I can diagnose your problem. .....you damn well know I’m gonna be charging you.

do you go to McDonald’s and bitch about the price of a hamburger because you know what ground beef cost?
 

riverroyal

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Here weeeee go. Same ac debate happened a few years ago here.
I think I lost the debate, or I gave up.

I remember I gave up at micro leaks...
 

Havasu Shane

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View attachment 912927

if I show up to your home with a $50,000 service truck with $20-$30,000 worth of tools and generally $15,000 plus in inventory and years of knowledge that I can diagnose your problem. .....you damn well know I’m gonna be charging you.

do you go to McDonald’s and bitch about the price of a hamburger because you know what ground beef cost?
Need to get all these over chargers company names posted so that I know whom not to call...thanks in advance.
 

riverroyal

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I think the issue was the mark up. Personally I’d rather see the invoice showing labor and overhead
But that would create more questions from home owners.
I suppose most would not check costs of material. Owning a service biz is brutal.
 

Havasu Shane

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please expand on that statement,Would love to hear your expert opinion.
Oh stop.. change the filter twice a year...go ahead reply...let's hear hi tech sonic ultra violet coil cleaning...with flux capacitor removal and testing and freon cleaning and updated....blah blah blah...and then the tech is there 40 seconds does nothing and gives you a bill. There are some finominal businesses out there...then there is the other 80% who rip everyone off...same in the auto and boat industry.
 

Riverbound

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Here weeeee go. Same ac debate happened a few years ago here.
I think I lost the debate, or I gave up.

I remember I gave up at micro leaks...
I completely agree that people should not maintain their systems. It makes job security for someone like me. 😂😂

If you think having a maintenance done and a couple hundred bucks in repairs every year is bad wait until someone like me steps in your door and we are not talking hundreds of dollars anymore it’s thousands or tens of thousands.

just had a guy write me a $16,000 check because he YouTube how to change the control board and when he hooked it back up he ran line voltage through the low-voltage side. 😂😂😂
 

hallett21

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I can’t bid anything under 4hours. I’ll make an exception for repeat customers who give us large jobs.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

riverroyal

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I completely agree that people should not maintain their systems. It makes job security for someone like me. 😂😂

If you think having a maintenance done and a couple hundred bucks in repairs every year is bad wait until someone like me steps in your door and we are not talking hundreds of dollars anymore it’s thousands or tens of thousands.

just had a guy write me a $16,000 check because he YouTube how to change the control board and when he hooked it back up he ran line voltage through the low-voltage side. 😂😂😂
I never said maintenance was a bad idea. I also never said your business practices are nothing more than honest.
But I doesn’t sound like your stepping in my door anyways. Ha.
Unless it’s to drink beer
 

riverroyal

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I have a 16 year old 10 seer construction grade cheap unit. Be running solid for all that time. I’ve changed the capacitor myself about 10 years ago

When it dies, which it will, I’m screwed. The stuff is not cheap anymore. I know it.
I will buy the equipment at my cost and pay the labor. Probably be high and that’s fine
 

Riverbound

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Oh stop.. change the filter twice a year...go ahead reply...let's hear hi tech sonic ultra violet coil cleaning...with flux capacitor removal and testing and freon cleaning and updated....blah blah blah...and then the tech is there 40 seconds does nothing and gives you a bill. There are some finominal businesses out there...then there is the other 80% who rip everyone off...same in the auto and boat industry.
Actually it’s much more simple that that and homeowners can do most hem selves. If they learned how.
You are correct filter changes is the number one thing that needs to be done.

Second would be basic coil cleaning.

Checking amp draws, refrigerant level, adjusting gas valves, etc is a little more complex. But with enough you tube you could probably figure it out. Those basic checks would keep a unit running a long time. If everything is kept in spec.
 

riverroyal

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Actually it’s much more simple that that and homeowners can do most hem selves. If they learned how.
You are correct filter changes is the number one thing that needs to be done.

Second would be basic coil cleaning.

Checking amp draws, refrigerant level, adjusting gas valves, etc is a little more complex. But with enough you tube you could probably figure it out. Those basic checks would keep a unit running a long time. If everything is kept in spec.
Coil cleaning at the furnace, use a spray cleaner?
That is something I know I’m overdue on. I’ve done the condenser
 

Havasu blue label

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I don’t bid jobs because my truck is worth 50 thousand our my inventory on truck is worth 5 thousand in my trade we pretty much carry that is used on the field restock as needed
 

DRYHEAT

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View attachment 912927

if I show up to your home with a $50,000 service truck with $20-$30,000 worth of tools and generally $15,000 plus in inventory and years of knowledge that I can diagnose your problem. .....you damn well know I’m gonna be charging you.

do you go to McDonald’s and bitch about the price of a hamburger because you know what ground beef cost?
That’s why a hamburger should be $22.😊
 

lbhsbz

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I see this from both sides...

In a small town, where drive time isn't more than 10 minutes or so from any given point...that's excessive I think. Guy probably needed less than an hour to drive there, diagnose it, fix it if he had the cap in stock, and drive home in an hour or so if he knew what he was doing. I'd say $200 or so is fair for something like that with a $30 part.

On the other end...I was helping a buddy last week who does security systems (cameras, entry card systems, etc) at a very large facility because they had about 7 or 8 cameras down. He had no spare cameras with him, no spare POE extenders, no proper crossover adapters to test anywhere but at the switch. He didn't have (or ask me to bring) the correct size ladders. Starting at 10AM and finishing up around 1:30 each day, about 4 or so hours out of which were spent driving around looking for the correct adapter, borrowing the wrong size ladders from local buddies, etc. Now, instead of simply replacing 2 cameras we found dead, they were taken down to get sent to the manufacturer to be repaired and put back at some point. What a complete waste of time. He's undoubtedly billing for his time and my time and at this rate, will require at least another 5 man hours to get everything working again. With a bit of thought and a little investment in spare parts and the appropriate equipment...the entire job could have been streamlined and completed in 3 hours by one person, at half the cost to the customer and twice the profit.
 

Havasu blue label

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Yes I could probably change filters and clean coils but this ac guys does my office and home . In 1990 this guy was starting a ac business in Pasadena San Marino area I recommend him to everyone today he dominates those cities
 

Shlbyntro

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View attachment 912927

if I show up to your home with a $50,000 service truck with $20-$30,000 worth of tools and generally $15,000 plus in inventory and years of knowledge that I can diagnose your problem. .....you damn well know I’m gonna be charging you.

do you go to McDonald’s and bitch about the price of a hamburger because you know what ground beef cost?
OK, then charge me the fucking labor for "your experience" I do the same fucking thing working on boats. Dont charge me $417 for a $15 part and expect me to be ok with it.

If you are upfront and tell me it's a 1hr service call plus 1hr minimum diag I would understand. But don't you dare try and justify a 3,000% markup on a part. Thats just straight up fucking slimy.



I get into arguments on this board with other boat industry persons about the proper way to fix things fairly often. We have our differences sometimes.

This one, I don't get..... its OK and justified to rip somebody off for a part to cover your overhead?? Howbout being upfront and honest about your overhead from the beginning and charge accordingly....
 

Dan Lorenze

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There's a time and place to make money off of people. Replacing a capacitor isn't one of them. That's when you come clean with them and take care of them. Then when they need a complete system put in you're the first guy they call because they trust you, then they tell their neighbors etc... That's how it works, at least for me. I have a pool guy that's so solid I would pay him whatever he wants because he's earned my trust. $500 for a 20 min quick fix and you're dead to me.
 
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DRYHEAT

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The problem is most all service businesses are chasing the same dollar and cutting each other‘s throat to get it, if it really cost you $200-$300 to send a truck out do you charge that for a service call my guess would be probably not.
This is a timely thread as I am having to consider replacing my 26-year-old seldom serviced Bryant air conditioner. The old girl is getting tired.😊
 

Riverbound

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OK, then charge me the fucking labor for "your experience" I do the same fucking thing working on boats. Dont charge me $417 for a $15 part and expect me to be ok with it.

If you are upfront and tell me it's a 1hr service call plus 1hr minimum diag I would understand. But don't you dare try and justify a 3,000% markup on a part. Thats just straight up fucking slimy.



I get into arguments on this board with other boat industry persons about the proper way to fix things fairly often. We have our differences sometimes.

This one, I don't get..... its OK and justified to rip somebody off for a part to cover your overhead?? Howbout being upfront and honest about your overhead from the beginning and charge accordingly....
So let me ask you this..... Was it the capacitor replacement for $419 or was it just the capacitor part for $419? If it was just the part then I agree. If the total repairs was $419 which includes the pets and labor then he’s doing exactly what you’re asking. 🤷🏻‍♂️

do you ask McDonald’s how much the cheeseburger is if you assemble it yourself? Or bring your own cheese?

I can only speak for what I know, but the Company I work for charges flat rate on all repairs, whichis the total cost for parts,labor for the specified repair.
 

Bobby V

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View attachment 912927

if I show up to your home with a $50,000 service truck with $20-$30,000 worth of tools and generally $15,000 plus in inventory and years of knowledge that I can diagnose your problem. .....you damn well know I’m gonna be charging you.

do you go to McDonald’s and bitch about the price of a hamburger because you know what ground beef cost?
Why don’t you just charge them a high enough hourly wage Up front to cover your costs. Instead of marking up the material so high. We charge a $XXX, XX a hour and usually mark up the material XX%.
 

Riverbound

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There's a time and place to make a lot of money off of people. Replacing a capacitor isn't one of them. That's when you come clean with them and take care of them. Then when they need a complete system put in you're the first guy they call because they trust you, then they tell their neighbors etc... That's how it works, at least for me. I have a pool guy that's so solid I would pay him whatever he wants because he's earned my trust. $500 for a 20 min quick fix and you're dead to me.
I agree with this. I believe the tech in question did the customer a seious disservice as it rarely is just a cap that fails. He jumped to the quick and easy repair and didn’t do his “potential” customer right by taking a short cut. I can almost guarantee that if he checked the fan motor or compressor one of them will be over amping and will take out the new cap too in short time. So the real repair is the motor replacement or correcting the hard starting compressor. The OP should be more upset he paid for a “diagnostic” and got short changed by the tech not doing a thourpugh diagnosis of what the real problem was. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 
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