DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a HVAC contractor come out and replaced the furnace ignitor and flu pressure sensor on a 10 year old Bryant furnace. They changed me $433 to replace the ignitor (a $17 part) and $280 to replace the sensor (a $35 part), for a total of $803 with service charge included. They were there a total of 30 minutes. Think I was ripped off?
 

·
Hvac Pro
Joined
·
23,688 Posts
No. Lots of companies use flat rate pricing same as auto mechanics. That price includes picking up parts and covers the cost of doing business ( gasoline, insurance etc etc). NOT going to get into a war about how you "feel" as that war has been fought hundreds of times on the HVAC forum. It is what it is. Same as the auto repair Industry and others.


http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/how-much-will-cost-asking-price-estimates-here-127914/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,096 Posts
I've been a small business owner most of my working life and, you were ripped off. If he had repaired 10 items, those flat rates would have included 10 trips to and from your house, not just the one. Sure there are costs to doing business, but claiming a flat rate is no excuse for what you were charged.

If you call and complain I would guess they will compromise at a few hundred dollars off. If not, ask them what a judge in small claims court is going to think about their billing practices.

Yuri, I understand what you are saying, but I see far too many little old ladies being charged as posted here and they just pay the bill because they just don't know what would have been reasonable. At least here in Maine the seniors can turn those bills over the an elderly advocate and have them reviewed. Companies like that would not only have to refund much of that bill, but would not be recommended in the future.

Bud
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,506 Posts
No. Lots of companies use flat rate pricing same as auto mechanics. That price includes picking up parts and covers the cost of doing business ( gasoline, insurance etc etc). NOT going to get into a war about how you "feel" as that war has been fought hundreds of times on the HVAC forum. It is what it is. Same as the auto repair Industry and others.
Oh please. We can sure tell you're a hvac contractor ;)
$803 for what he did is absolutely ridiculous even while including overhead.
Subtract the price for the parts and you're looking at an hourly wage of $1502. Most high priced Doctors don't make that.
And the fact that you're saying 'no' shows just exactly how outrageous contractor pricing has gotten.

I wouldn't pay that price in a million years. I'd tell him to take the parts out and go home.

Yes... he got ripped off.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
42,512 Posts
If he was ripped off. Its because he allowed himself to be. Most people don't take their auto to a shop and say fix it, and I'll pay you whatever when your done. They want to know how much up front. And generally ask.

The OP should call the company and talk to them. They may or may not give him a price break. If they don't, then the OP knows not to use them again. And to always ask for the price up front, before the repair is made.

Most people on this board wouldn't/don't like my prices. But my customers always know the full cost before the repair. They say yes or no, and I proceed based on their answer. Which is the way flat rate is suppose to be done.


PS: I would have been less on the HSI and flame sensor. Somewhere between 500 and 600 total depending on exact parts. But would have also checked the full operation and combustion efficiency of the furnace.
 
  • Like
Reactions: yuri

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Was this by chance an after hours or emergency repair? I used to work for an HVAC contractor. And while not in the service department, I know those 2:00 AM no heat calls on a Saturday night were quite expensive for the customer. Before we judge whether the OP was over charged, the time of the service call is important.

Just sayin....
 

·
Hvac Pro
Joined
·
23,688 Posts
I was just explaing HOW the industry works. LIke Beenthere said my company would have been between $500-600. However some parts of the US have very expensive rates and others are less. I have a chart and show the customer the flat rate pricing where his parts fit in and they can say no. Had to get a plumber to do work for the neighbor and dude charges $109/hr and rounds off to the next 1/2hr. Could not do it myself for other reasons but yeah I could say she got ripped off if I could have done it a LOT cheaper. She needed the work done and payed the going rate.
 

·
Hvac Pro
Joined
·
23,688 Posts
In Winnipeg we charge around $100/hr.

In Toronto, Ontario next Province over it can be $150-200. Same Canada but rates vary a LOT. Same house in TO is 3X what I paid and in Vancouver 4-5X. Go figure.:wink2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,710 Posts
Yes, that does sound like a lot even for us in Ontario, but it's hard to say without all the facts. Some OEM parts are priced to rip everyone off to begin with, then we have to pass it down to the customer. The part was also available at the time, not a day delivery through courier and a return trip.

If that was a rooftop unit here, we probably charge about that much too though. So every fact does make a difference.

We also make sure the customer knows what's the price, or at least the expectation of after hours prices before i even start driving.

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Unless you're in Manhattan, too much for that job. You may have agreed to the repair, but to your knowledge you hired a professional, not a thief. If you haven't paid yet, I'd take them to task and offer them half at best. Then let them come after you. I suspect if you kick up enough dust in the public arena, they'll loose much more than they took from you.

I paid $500 for charging our R22 AC unit. Yes, R22 is not cheap, but like you, the guy was here for a half hour. I knew I was paying between $100-$200 more than I should, but I didn't want the hassle. While I would never call that one again, his opportunistic short term profit cost the industry about fifteen grand.

A contractor installed replacement HVAC system costs 10-12 grand. Between my neighbor, me, unregulated non-ozone depleting R410a refrigerant and a case of beer, his system went in for $3,400. Over Thanksgiving our 2nd home got a new $3,200 heat pump system, and a brand new $4k system is sitting in the garage next to my brand new $100 brazing torch. Everything bought online with free shipping. All the help I needed was at the end of my fingers on this keyboard from places just like this.

Just last month our 20 year old gas furnace wouldn't run. I plugged my model and symptom into google and out gurgled "clean the sensor with steel wool". I'd be baby sitting a contractor, good or bad, longer than that repair.

I cooked two sensors while brazing the lines on the above heat pump. The local parts distributor won't sell to me. No problem, plug them into google and for about the same as gas to the store they're on the way to my front door.

Your guy, the one who charged me and others like them, are making life difficult for honest contractors. diychatroom and other communities are making it easier for us. I'd rather hire the pros, but when I repeatedly spend more of my time dealing with them than it takes me to do the job, I take the path of least resistance.

BTW, don't get me started on extended warranties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,221 Posts
hvac work is costly but it sounds like you were gouged.

$100 per hour, $100 for the service call and diagnostic plus 100-200% markup on parts would be more typical i think.

This is a diy forum - if you know basic electrical, have a multi-meter you can do a lot of repairs yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,221 Posts
A contractor installed replacement HVAC system costs 10-12 grand. Between my neighbor, me, unregulated non-ozone depleting R410a refrigerant and a case of beer, his system went in for $3,400. Over Thanksgiving our 2nd home got a new $3,200 heat pump system, and a brand new $4k system is sitting in the garage next to my brand new $100 brazing torch. Everything bought online with free shipping. All the help I needed was at the end of my fingers on this keyboard from places just like this.
The tools to do it are pricey, also have to know the theory, be able to physically do it.

You did it cheap, maybe not properly sized, maybe not properly charged/commissioned. a lot of diy'res don't know enough theory to do things right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Was this by chance an after hours or emergency repair? I used to work for an HVAC contractor. And while not in the service department, I know those 2:00 AM no heat calls on a Saturday night were quite expensive for the customer. Before we judge whether the OP was over charged, the time of the service call is important.

Just sayin....
It was 3:30pm on a Tuesday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,710 Posts
The tools to do it are pricey, also have to know the theory, be able to physically do it.

You did it cheap, maybe not properly sized, maybe not properly charged/commissioned. a lot of diy'res don't know enough theory to do things right.
While true, that's why site looks this exist. If they don't ask questions, then your statement is even more true, but if they want to learn, the internet will provide.

Cheers!
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top