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Old 09-12-2009, 12:20 AM   #1
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Help, did we get ripped off?


We got the keys to our new house on Friday. From the inspection we knew the air conditioners would need to be serviced, but the house was still nice and cold both upstairs and down.

We called the service guy in (referral from our current landlord) right away just to get it done. He thought it would need a top of on freon (YES, I know this is just a coined term, I've been reading, but I'm not sure what was put into the system).

My husband comes in and tells me the guy just said the first unit took 9lbs (@$40/lb)!!!! I was shocked.

I ran out and told him don't touch the second unit. If they are that low something is wrong and there must be a leak and it needs to be found. He kept saying, no no no, systems just do this blah blah blah. I told him no more we didn't have the $$ for it right now and the house was cold anyway (we live in AZ and our house was staying cool no problem), plus I felt something must be off with the guy and what he was saying.

He said if you had a home warranty it would most likely cover it, we had one but didn't have the info on it. Then he spurted out a name of 2-10 or something. We called our realtor it was the company we had the warranty through. He promised he was contracted through them and would post-date the bill if needed to be sure it was covered! And promised he would come and do the leak checks for me after the insurance was worked out.

Well all together he put in 15 lbs of freon in the two units.

The models of the units are

Lennox 13ACC-048-230-01
Lennox 13ACC-042-230-01

The house was built in 05-06 so they are fairly new and seem to work well, even before the freon was added.

We get ahold of our warranty company and they ok a visit from someone we chose on that Saturday since it was the holiday weekend. He only had to call and get an auth#. He didn't, even though he promised he would several times.

Then we keep having to deal with the warranty company trying to send out obviously more legit companies to help us. But we've already paid this guy, and need him to call and get the aut#'s so we can get reimbursed. He just isn't doing it!

Did he just royally screw us over? Is it possible for the systems to need that much freon and still be able to keep a 3400sq ft two story house cold without running constantly? We've checked with the electric company and the house has never had an outrageous bill, thus either they lived hot in it, or the system was running fairly efficiently.

Can we threaten to turn him into someone since he refused to do a leak check like I requested numerous times ( I would have paid for it as I didn't want to ruin the environment and have the freon we were paying for just escape)?

I don't know what to do.

The bill was $700 for the freon and the trip charge, which would have been completely covered (and still would be) if he would JUST CALL THE STUPID WARRANTY COMPANY!!!!

Thanks for listening and any advice you might have (other than we are stupid, because I'm already drained and a wreck trying to get moved into the new house at 35 weeks pregnant and feel awful at this point over all of it!)
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:26 AM   #2
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Help, did we get ripped off?


9 pounds on one unit(say the 4 ton), would mean it was more then half empty.

He may have only guessed at how much he put in.

He didn't break any law or regulation by not leak checking. You may be out of luck, since he didn't get an authorization the day he was out.

Use another company next time, if he refuses to call and get the auth #.
But, by rights, him not getting the number, is not wrong, since it would be fraud. Auth # is suppose to be gotten before proceeding with the work, or the Warranty company does not pay.

You were scammed in that respect.



PS: Home warranty companies, are not known for paying for proper check outs, and service.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:53 AM   #3
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Know what crossed my mind was that if the former owner was my customer I sure would not screw the pooch and do something to lose the new owners as customers..if you paid for the work done no WC is going to require an authorization for you to get repaid. There is a clause in your WC contract that covers work in case the WC can't be contacted by contractor due to holiday ect.

All you should have to do is submit your bill to them as proof of the money you spent. How much you get back is another thing.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:57 AM   #4
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Help, did we get ripped off?


your ammunition on this one is the units were cooling this seemed to be just a maint check required.top offs would be maybe a pound or two if thatseeing a low suction reading if that..this guy is slamming you on the bill go after him,if you had 2 systems cooling either with an amprobe reading and pressure readings they should match up(might differ if one condenser is shaded,and the other in the direct sun but in range on all readings)what numbered freon is in the system then we can tell you the pressure ranges on a fully charged unit.typical readable temps are 18F on the evap section and 10F rise out on the condenser.the invoice should have temps/pressure and amp readings and the days outside temp as a benchmark that effects all the others.typical maint.check filter/are coils clean /wash out the condenser/check the electrical/check the stat ops.just adding freon with no readings is a quick hit and run scam,and be leary of things going wrong on any thing this guy touched in the future.this entire situation should of been written into the closing as "checked out and 100% functioning "before that pen hit the paper in signing for the place...any doubt from the seller with his responce and the closing would of been stopped till this was checked.freon is like air in your car tire....it is in there or it leaks out doesn't need to be replaced or topped off(leak check required)
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Last edited by biggles; 09-12-2009 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:05 AM   #5
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??????????????????

You confused me and I do this for a living. Are you saying all that data is on the bill or that that is what the HO should look for?
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:07 AM   #6
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Nope. Read it again. Very Convoluted post.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for your replies.

He was referred to us by our current landlord (we rented for the first year we moved down here), then we bought a different home, so the HVAC guy had not worked on the house we purchased prior.

The house was As-Is, it was a foreclosure, but in great condition. The inspector wasn't too worried about the units, and said they would most likely need a tune-up and probably a couple hundred dollars (he isn't not an HVAC person so couldn't completely diagnose the issue, but the house cooled no problem in 110 degree weather so we weren't too worrried either).

If we needed the gas in the units that is fine. But my thing is that he never said there was a problem or it would need that much. He began by telling us he could find nothing wrong with the units, but kept fiddling with them and saying it was probably because it was only in the 90's and cloudy that day and it was 110 the day of our home inspection.

Then when one unit sucked up 9lbs I told him to STOP! There must be a leak or something wrong, and how could it keep the house at whatever temp we wanted it at if they were so low. He refused to check for a leak. PROMISED it was covered under the home warranty (we closed too quickly for the warranty paperwork to be at closing our realtor said?).

We got permission from the warranty company on that Saturday (after I stopped him from filling the other one up while he still was there) to go with whomever we wanted because they couldn't get someone out until Tuesday. He only had to call and after we got that info I let him finish because he promsied he'd call right away. He said he called over and over, and said he is contracted with the company too, but never did anything?

He has been in business since 1993 according to his info all over the web. I didn't mean any recourse in the fact that he filled the units, but recourse in the fact that I kept asking about a possible leak and that I wanted that checked before we filled up the units, and he said NO! ???

We aren't at the house at the moment so I can't get any #'s off of the units but I will check later today.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:53 AM   #8
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It was up to you. To stick with not letting him gas up the units without checking for a leak.

And if he was sure the warranty company would cover the gas n gor.
I would have said fine, I'll pay the deductable, and they can send you the rest of the money.

He would have stopped then.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:48 PM   #9
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I think there is a little more emotion in the OP than in called for. I hear more "I was hurt by this the mean old tech's actions" than I do objective fact.

The op has been advised what can be done but I think there is a lot missing from the whole story. I think there was more concerning the tech that is being revealed.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:00 PM   #10
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form the OP QUOTE;From the inspection we knew the air conditioners would need to be serviced, but the house was still nice and cold both upstairs and down. END QUOTE

Why and what kind of service/repair was needed? If your post is to be taken seriously than one would have to question why you called a tech in the first place if the home was cool and If not then why would you stop the tech from making an necessary repairs to make the hvac function well.

I can say in all candor that no tech I know would just up and rudely NO!! if you asked him to do a leak check. There is more to this than you are letting on.

Reminds me of reading Better Business Bureau complaints: The company is made out to be satan while the customer was the virginal white lamb whose chastity was robbed.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:26 PM   #11
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QUOTE Then when one unit sucked up 9lbs I told him to STOP! END QUOTE.


What made you tell him to stop? Are you qualified to know when a unit takes too much?

Like the man said, four ton can take that.
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:41 PM   #12
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I'm not a HVAC guy, but wouldn't it be very easy for a qualified tech to tell it the system was overcharged?
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:13 PM   #13
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Interesting that no one has mentioned the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.

$40/lb R22

That contractor probably paid about $7/lb. That is a 600% markup.

He has a lot of incentive to add refrigerant.
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by log_doc_rob View Post
I'm not a HVAC guy, but wouldn't it be very easy for a qualified tech to tell it the system was overcharged?
Key word, qualified.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Home Air Direct View Post
Interesting that no one has mentioned the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.

$40/lb R22

That contractor probably paid about $7/lb. That is a 600% markup.

He has a lot of incentive to add refrigerant.

That may be true.. But a hot dog probably only cost the hot dog stand owner 25-30 cents & he sells it for 2.50-3.00.. My point ... A company has to turn a profit to stay in business... Do you sell your units or parts for a couple $ over cost ?? Of course not,, You couldn't stay in business.
some companies here chage 125.00 for the 1st lb & 60.00 for each additional lb
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