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Dispute with HVAC guy - was I in the right?
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 3:12 pm
My BIL is an HVAC guy. Early this winter my heat wasn't working, and a part of the motor had to be replaced. I paid $300 to get it fixed.

But by the next day I realized it wasn't working again. My BIL came back and said there was an additional switch that was broken. When he activated the motor, it worked, but when it turned itself off (as heating will cycle on and off according to the temperature registered by the thermostat) it didn't turn back on because of this switch. That's why it was working when he fixed the motor, but stopped working when it went off again.

He charged me another $60 for the switch.

He didn't charge me a fee for coming down - possibly because he's my BIL. But I paid him for both times, they were two different issues...
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ra_mom




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 3:36 pm
In such a scenario I would expect the HVAC guy to tell me I'll come take a look at it as a courtesy, but if it's a separate issue, I will have to charge for another service call.

With regard to the broken filter scenario, I would call the HVAC guy and ask him for a part number and where to purchase it. I would expect to be charged if I asked if he'd be able to get the part for me.
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causemommysaid




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 9:51 pm
I don't know. I would be pretty annoyed if I paid a repair guy to fix something and it broke 5 days after he supposedly fixed it. The filter thing is completely irrelevant to the service call and repair though it was nice of him to do that free of charge. I don't think you should have to pay another service call but you should pay for any parts and labor that an additional visit would incur.
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amother




Tangerine


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 10:25 pm
This is like taking your car to get repaired. Guy fixes the generator and then the alternator breaks 5 days later. Both times the car isn't running.

Everytime the HVAC guy takes out his truck, it costs him money. He is a really nice guy to pick up and deliver the filter for you. That costs him money. I don't understand why you couldn't do it yourself.

You owe him for the work done and picking up the filter if you want to be fair. Also, anyone who has forced air should change their filters every 2 to 3 months.
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flmommy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 10:32 pm
I think you handled it perfectly.
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maze




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 10:33 pm
I usually ask how long is it guaranteed for before hiring them, almost all say they cover for a certain amount of time after if anything breaks.
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amother




Gray


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 5:52 am
amother wrote:
This is the kind of thing that drives my husband (the HVAC tech from above post) crazy.

And OP's attitude is the reason my husband in a similar field will not deal with residential customers.
Diagnosing an issue sometimes requires multiple site visits. Obviously he got it back up and running. Perhaps this is a new issue with an old system. Common. The guy already threw in a favor. And now for the same $120 service call fee, he is indebted for the whole heating season?
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amother




Cyan


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 7:28 am
amother wrote:
This is like taking your car to get repaired. Guy fixes the generator and then the alternator breaks 5 days later. Both times the car isn't running.

Everytime the HVAC guy takes out his truck, it costs him money. He is a really nice guy to pick up and deliver the filter for you. That costs him money. I don't understand why you couldn't do it yourself.

You owe him for the work done and picking up the filter if you want to be fair. Also, anyone who has forced air should change their filters every 2 to 3 months.


Yup the bolded.
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amother




Tangerine


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 8:00 am
amother wrote:
And OP's attitude is the reason my husband in a similar field will not deal with residential customers.
Diagnosing an issue sometimes requires multiple site visits. Obviously he got it back up and running. Perhaps this is a new issue with an old system. Common. The guy already threw in a favor. And now for the same $120 service call fee, he is indebted for the whole heating season?


I am still stuck at the filter part. This guy should go out of his way to do something for free when OP is capable of going to home depot herself? It's a nervy thing to ask. I can't believe she didn't tip the son. The truck could be going on a different call in this busy season. This is their parnosa.

The fair thing is to see what the new repair is. If it something different than the knob, pay the guy his full fee and include a tip for the son. If it is the ─Ěnob again, OP should give him at least half and a tip for the son.
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amother




Denim


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 8:45 am
Just an idea, you say he was non jew right? Maybe he really didn't have to do anything the first time around so he did the favor and buy you the filter? ( we had a similar thing happen with a different type of service and later we find out that that we the reason of the courtesy) that's why I would call a yid or someone known to be erlich
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 8:56 am
Quote:
just as a hypothetical (since it's resolved)


I actually don't think it's resolved; I think you need to ask a shaila and find out if it's allowed to do this.

I run a small private practice as a therapist, and have unfortunately found the frum community to be a hassle to deal with because of issues like this. I try hard not to let it affect me, but I'm to the point where I prefer to take a non-Jewish client over a Jew. I know that's wrong, and like I said, I try not to actually do this. But many (not all) of the frum people act like you're out to cheat them, and they ask a million questions and think they know more than you (the person who's done this for a long time and knows exactly how to help their child). They expect a lot of extras (like free detailed advice over the phone) and take it for granted, don't even see it as a favor. It's a hassle to deal with them compared to my non-frum clients who accept what you say, do the home carryover activities you recommend, and see better progress from their kids because they're just doing the work and not wasting time on trying to "outsmart" the therapist.
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amother




Blush


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:08 am
amother wrote:
Just an idea, you say he was non jew right? Maybe he really didn't have to do anything the first time around so he did the favor and buy you the filter? ( we had a similar thing happen with a different type of service and later we find out that that we the reason of the courtesy) that's why I would call a yid or someone known to be erlich


What exactly did this non jew do incorrectly in his first visit suggesting she need to call someone known to be erlich?
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causemommysaid




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:16 am
amother wrote:
This is like taking your car to get repaired. Guy fixes the generator and then the alternator breaks 5 days later. Both times the car isn't running.

Everytime the HVAC guy takes out his truck, it costs him money. He is a really nice guy to pick up and deliver the filter for you. That costs him money. I don't understand why you couldn't do it yourself.

You owe him for the work done and picking up the filter if you want to be fair. Also, anyone who has forced air should change their filters every 2 to 3 months.


Not really. Its generally accepted that a repair guy will fix your appliance so it functions for a significant amount of time. If it doesn't then he didn't do his job the first time around. If it's a new issue that cropped up then you pay for the additional repair but not to come out within a week of servicing it the first time.

Going to a mechanic is different because there's usually no flat fee before you do work. You only pay for the actual labor and parts that he worked on.
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amother




Cyan


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:32 am
amother wrote:
told him he needs to come by, and hvac guy told my husband that he'll just send back our $120 check so he didn't have to deal with us. and all are okay with this outcome.



I cant believe I missed this part. OP, he's sending back the money for the original job??? And you are ok with this?! He did work for you! This is his job!! I am so so upset over this.

My husband once had a job like this, where the customers were being so unreasonable he decided to just return any money and wash his hands of the whole thing. I was upset about it, its our parnassah...but he just couldnt take the headache.

Please realize this is his parnassah! He did absolutely nothing wrong for wanting to charge you again for coming 5 days later. And the fact that he put the filter in for free indicates he's a mentch who is trying to go the extra mile for customer service. My husband wouldve charged a small fee-this is his work time! He doesnt have to do service for free!
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amother




Teal


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:34 am
amother wrote:
This is like taking your car to get repaired. Guy fixes the generator and then the alternator breaks 5 days later. Both times the car isn't running.

Everytime the HVAC guy takes out his truck, it costs him money. He is a really nice guy to pick up and deliver the filter for you. That costs him money. I don't understand why you couldn't do it yourself.

You owe him for the work done and picking up the filter if you want to be fair. Also, anyone who has forced air should change their filters every 2 to 3 months.



It could be considered to be a similar situation, but thats not the only scenario. I could've taken my care to a mechanic to find out why my engine light is on in my dashboard. The mechanic may have done only a preliminary check and found a minor issue which appeared to have temporarily solved the problem. But 5 days later, the engine light is back on. When I go back to the mechanic, he digs deeper and finds the real cause of it all.

I know we don't pay an upfront fee to the mechanic, but the question here is if the mechanic was responsible for doing a complete and full checkup on the engine the first time around or if that superficial checkup that he did the first time around is the norm.
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amother




Tangerine


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:37 am
causemommysaid wrote:
Not really. Its generally accepted that a repair guy will fix your appliance so it functions for a significant amount of time. If it doesn't then he didn't do his job the first time around. If it's a new issue that cropped up then you pay for the additional repair but not to come out within a week of servicing it the first time.

Going to a mechanic is different because there's usually no flat fee before you do work. You only pay for the actual labor and parts that he worked on.


Always get an estimate first before you agree to the job at the mechanic. It's foolish to leave it open ended.

How long does he owe her free trips? He already got the screen for her - something she is perfectly capable of doing. And what if it is a new issue?
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amother




Tangerine


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:39 am
amother wrote:
It could be considered to be a similar situation, but thats not the only scenario. I could've taken my care to a mechanic to find out why my engine light is on in my dashboard. The mechanic may have done only a preliminary check and found a minor issue which appeared to have temporarily solved the problem. But 5 days later, the engine light is back on. When I go back to the mechanic, he digs deeper and finds the real cause of it all.

I know we don't pay an upfront fee to the mechanic, but the question here is if the mechanic was responsible for doing a complete and full checkup on the engine the first time around or if that superficial checkup that he did the first time around is the norm.


He is responsible for a full check up if you paid for that service. Most people won't pay each time.
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amother




Teal


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:39 am
amother wrote:
Always get an estimate first before you agree to the job at the mechanic. It's foolish to leave it open ended.

How long does he owe her free trips? He already got the screen for her - something she is perfectly capable of doing. And what if it is a new issue?


He should make the fee contingent on the cause of the current problem. If it's related to the first issue, he should waive the service fee and just charge the cost of the add'l work. If it's a new unrelated problem, then the full amount should be charged.
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amother




Taupe


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:40 am
amother wrote:
It could be considered to be a similar situation, but thats not the only scenario. I could've taken my care to a mechanic to find out why my engine light is on in my dashboard. The mechanic may have done only a preliminary check and found a minor issue which appeared to have temporarily solved the problem. But 5 days later, the engine light is back on. When I go back to the mechanic, he digs deeper and finds the real cause of it all.

I know we don't pay an upfront fee to the mechanic, but the question here is if the mechanic was responsible for doing a complete and full checkup on the engine the first time around or if that superficial checkup that he did the first time around is the norm.


Paying for a diagnostic is not paying for a check up. Not sure why you think it's included.

If I bring my child to the doctor with symptoms and she diagnoses his first ear infection. Is she negligent for not diagnosing his milk allergy at the same time? Only if I brought up those concerns.
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amother




Teal


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 9:43 am
amother wrote:
Paying for a diagnostic is not paying for a check up. Not sure why you think it's included.

If I bring my child to the doctor with symptoms and she diagnoses his first ear infection. Is she negligent for not diagnosing his milk allergy at the same time? Only if I brought up those concerns.


Please reread my post. I specified that if I take my car in for engine trouble, and the engine trouble reoccurs a few days later.

If I were to use your analogy (though comparing docs and mechanics is a stretch) - it were to be as follows. You took your child in for ear pain, and the doctor prescribed antibiotics for it. The pain disappears for two days, but then reappears a few days later. Did he miss something or not?
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