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Old 04-01-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


On March 1, 08, Stanley Mika, the contractor who owns, "All Type Repairs" (773) 725-9455 in Chicago, IL, came to my house in order to give me an estimate for the purchase and installation of a new Carrier model 58MTB Performance 93 Gas Furnace and a new Carrier model 24ACA3 with PURON Comfort Series SEER 13 Central Air Coditioner. I mean the guy was at my house for at last 4-5 hours. We sat at the table after the initial walkthrough and we had a few drinks and talked about the work he was going to do as well as all kinds of other things. My wife and I are lifelong friends of his cousin, and he even installed a humidifier for us years earlier. I had the product sales brochures, which I obtained elsewhere on my own, and I showed them to Stanley Mika so that he was sure that theses were the products I wanted. He agreed to a price quote of $4,200 for the purchase and installation of the agreed upon products. He made out a contract and we both signed it. The contract stated exactly he would install a "Carrier Performance 93 Furnace and a Carrier SEER 13 Air conditioner." Now, I think he purposely only wrote "SEER 13 Carrier A/C," instead of writing the model numbers, because he probably planned this from the beginning. He also wrote the products' warranties and that there would be a 5 year warranty on the the labor. He then wanted full payment before work even started. However, I said I would only pay half, but he said that he needed at least $3,000. So, I agreed, and gave him a check for $3,000. He said they would begin in a week and that the work would take 2 days. He went on and on about how long he's been in business, and that he is so busy because he has so many customers, and that he's never had any complaints because he hires professionals who do professional work. We said our goodbyes, and he said he would call to tell me the exact date when work would begin.
The work didn't start in a week, like he said at first, but 2 full weeks went by, and he finally said they would begin on March 17, 08. I took off work on that day so I could be home. The contractor sent over 4 guys to do the work. They started at 8AM and worked until 5PM. From what I saw, one or two guys did most of the work while the other 2 just stood around or talked on their cell phones or left to go to their vehicles. While installing the furnace, I asked them to check my air ducts to see if they required cleaning. The were pretty dirty so I called Stanley Mika, and he said he could clean the ducts with a special rotating vacuum cleaner that was attached to a video camera so one could see where to clean better. He said they would do all the ducts in my house for $350, but he never wrote this on a contract. I agreed to the price, and they began that day. I watched them clean the one main duct that ran through the basement, but they never cleaned any of the smaller ducts or the ones upstairs. The cleaning they did took them only about 2 hours, and they returned the vacuum to their vehicle. At the end of the 1st day the new furnace was installed and running, but the air conditioner install hadn't even begun yet.
The next day, March 18, 08, they returned to complete the furnace and air conditioner install completely. On this day they finished whatever they needd to do with the furnace and then finished up with the air conditioner. At about 4 PM they said they were done and they all left, except one guy. This guy said he called his boss, Stanley Mika, and that Stanley was on his way to my house to inspect the work and settle up. While we were waiting I was looking at all the work they had done and I made sure the model numbers were the correct ones that we had agreed upon. The furnace was the correct model, but it turned out that the air conditioner was a different model number. It was a Carrier BASE model # 24ABA3 with R-22 instead of PURON. So, I asked the guy that was waiting with me, if this is the Carrier Air Conditioner with PURON? And he said, "YES, OF COURSE." However, I told him to wait outside while I checked online to see what kind of air conditioner this model really was. It turned out that it was totally different then what we had agreed. By the time Stanley Mika would arrive I had to go to work that day so I left my 33 year old son there to deal with him in my place.
When Stanley arrived he looked at the work and said he approved. Then, my son asked him about the air conditioner being the wrong model number and without PURON like we had previously agreed upon. Stanley replied, "everything is fine like what your father and I talked about." He also said, "I wouldn't be able to turn a profit if I gav agreed to an A/C with PURON instead of R-22 Freon." Then, he refused to talk any further with my son because he said that my son shouldn't get involved with his father's business. Stanley then told my son that he would return tomorrow morning, March 19, 08, at 10AM to talk with me and receive payment. On March 19, 08, I received a telephone call from Stanley Mika stating that he could come by at 12 noon or so. However, I had to be at work that day by 12 noon, so I asked him to come the next day, March 20, before noon to discuss the matter. I started to tell him on the phone that I wasn't happy with the A/C they installed. That, in fact, this wasn't the model we agreed on, and that the humidifier was leaking, and that the city inspector found 6 other things that needed to be fixed before it would pass inspection. Then, Stanley hung up the phone on me after saying that I had an attitude.
We didn't speak again until the end of that week. I called him myself on March 22, 08 because he didn't try contacting me again after he hung up on me. I proceeded to tell him about the problems, and that I wanted them fixed along with replacing the A/C they installed with the one we had first agreed on. I told him that I would pay him the rest of the money I owed him, which was $1,200 plus the $350 for the cleaning for a total of $1,550. I said I would pay him after he completed all the work satisfactorily. However, he proceeded to tell me that he wanted me to pay him all the money first before he would do anything else. I said that wasn't possible seeing as how he already made several mistakes. I didn't believe I could trust him with all the money, at that point, until he finished the work correctly. He said, "NO, and I will be taking you to court in order to get the rest of my money." And that's how we left it. I haven't ben contacted by anyone, him or an attorney. He hasn't made any effort to even contact me since then. Now, I don't know what my options are. Should I get another contractor to complete the work so it could pass inspection and just keep R-22 Freon A/C I ended up with? Or should I get an attorney in order to have him complete the work and give me the correct model A/C?

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Old 04-02-2008, 06:44 AM   #2
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


Don't not get an attorney involved. You both end up losers if you do. Never NEVER put down more than 25% of a job, and never NEVER be in a position where the contractor could make out better by walking.

Contractors typically hold back 1-2 weeks pay from their employees, and pay their suppliers monthly, so no contractor that is reputable NEEDS a down payment or 1/3 or 1/2 or 2/3rds of a job's price up front.

DO NOT give this man another dime until the product you wanted is installed, working, inspected, and 100% complete to your satisfaction.

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Old 04-02-2008, 08:08 AM   #3
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


I agree! In Arizona, there is a recovery fund that all contractors have to pay into for this type of thing. If a homeowner has this kind of problem with a contractor, they contact the Registrar of Contractors and they will investigate at no cost to the homeowner and make the contractor suck it up and fix it right as he had contracted to do. I don't know if there is anything like that in your state, but it is something you could look into.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:22 PM   #4
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
Don't not get an attorney involved. You both end up losers if you do. Never NEVER put down more than 25% of a job, and never NEVER be in a position where the contractor could make out better by walking.

Contractors typically hold back 1-2 weeks pay from their employees, and pay their suppliers monthly, so no contractor that is reputable NEEDS a down payment or 1/3 or 1/2 or 2/3rds of a job's price up front.

DO NOT give this man another dime until the product you wanted is installed, working, inspected, and 100% complete to your satisfaction.
<Grammar Police through bull horn>
Put the beer down and step away from the cooler and no one will get hurt. Surfing and drinking can cause you to look like you, and no one wants that! Step away from the keyboard, sir!

Once again, someone is telling us what the definition of reputable is and isn't. Reputable = doesn't pay his guys or his suppliers until after he gets paid, and disreputable = doesn't need a down payment. Gotcha. <fills out his "contracting 101 Big Chief notebook">

Um, I have a question... What is an Operating Capital Reserve account and what is it for?

To the OP ... sorry for the thread hijack.

And contrary to what you've been told by this fella, do get an attorney involved. Having the contract reviewed and knowing where you stand is important. You can possibly file all kinds of paperwork, not limited to bonding around any lien he might place on your property and/or small claims court for costs incurred to correct the deficiencies. They can also tell you what you can reasonably expect and not expect given the specific language in the contract.

An attorney can also check into any licensing organizations and the rules under which this contractor works to see what avenues you can pursue. In some jurisdictions, the licensing board will get involved in disputes, especially when there are code violations.

Lastly and most importantly, an attorney can advise you on how to protect your rights as a consumer under the laws of the jurisdiction in which this transaction took place. I can't say the same for our lawn electrician buddy.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:01 PM   #5
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


As you stated,,, He wrote "SEER 13 Carrier A/C," on the contract and you signed it.
My guess is the outcome of this will be he needs to fix what is wrong in the inspector's eyes.
Because you didn't insist on model numbers on the contract.....Unless you have good witnesses to what was discussed then you will not get your Puron system.
"good witnesses" is a legal term here.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:32 AM   #6
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Double A View Post
<Grammar Police through bull horn>
Put the beer down and step away from the cooler and no one will get hurt. Surfing and drinking can cause you to look like you, and no one wants that! Step away from the keyboard, sir!

Once again, someone is telling us what the definition of reputable is and isn't. Reputable = doesn't pay his guys or his suppliers until after he gets paid, and disreputable = doesn't need a down payment. Gotcha. <fills out his "contracting 101 Big Chief notebook">

Um, I have a question... What is an Operating Capital Reserve account and what is it for?
No, disreputable = needs 2/3rd down to start the job = you're hiring a hack or a ripoff artist or a contractor who has lowballed you and will bang you for "extras" when it's too late for the customer to do anything about it because the hack already has most of the money up front.

Quote:
To the OP ... sorry for the thread hijack.

And contrary to what you've been told by this fella, do get an attorney involved. Having the contract reviewed and knowing where you stand is important. You can possibly file all kinds of paperwork, not limited to bonding around any lien he might place on your property and/or small claims court for costs incurred to correct the deficiencies. They can also tell you what you can reasonably expect and not expect given the specific language in the contract.

An attorney can also check into any licensing organizations and the rules under which this contractor works to see what avenues you can pursue. In some jurisdictions, the licensing board will get involved in disputes, especially when there are code violations.

Lastly and most importantly, an attorney can advise you on how to protect your rights as a consumer under the laws of the jurisdiction in which this transaction took place. I can't say the same for our lawn electrician buddy.
Yea, that's really practical for a $4550.00 job. What planet are you living on?
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:58 AM   #7
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


"...our lawn electrician buddy"

That's too funny.
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:24 AM   #8
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


what is on the contract is what counts. if the model # are not listed then the homeowner screwed up. as long as the house is cooling then its a done deal.
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Old 04-05-2008, 07:15 AM   #9
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HVAC contractor ripoff!


Quote:
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what is on the contract is what counts. if the model # are not listed then the homeowner screwed up. as long as the house is cooling then its a done deal.
Quoted for truth. It know it sucks but if you didn't specify Puron or model numbers you have no legal ground to stand on here. He does need to fix the dehumidifier and make the thing pass inspection though.

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