I was cruising in paradise, literally. Then I came home. Within half an hour, I wanted to turn the car around and head back to the ship.
While we were gone, specifically on the first day we left, the air conditioner in our rent house stopped working. I had given my tenant the contact info for our handy and fast-thinking friend, Dee, with her permission. Dee called an repair man for a quote. When it came back INSANE, she bought AND installed a few window units to tide over the house until we got back. She’s a smart, kick-ass woman who I am grateful to know.
As much as I appreciate Dee, I have boiling anger for the douche bag that came out to “help”. My friend called around and found a company that could come out and give a same-day quote – Abacus. The technician arrived, looked around for a while, sat in his truck for a while, and gave Dee the receipt for his $49.95 service charge and the quote for an $1100 new motor or a $11,000 new system since he saw that the “coil was rusting out”. Dee politely asked him to leave and moved onto the window unit idea.
The Air Conditioner is Repaired
After we got back, we called out our well-loved air conditioner man, Jack. I should have left his info, but I did not prepare for crap to happen. Anyway, Jack drove to our rental home yesterday and fixed the air conditioner in less than an hour. The cost? A grand total of $115. The problem? A $10 capacitor in the attic. The rest of his fee covered his $75 service charge (he drives to us from over an hour away) and $30 for labor.
And what did Jack say when I asked if we needed to replace the whole unit soon? Nope…it should have years left in it. And how much would it have been to replace the entire thing with a solid Seer 16 and new furnace? $8000 max.
I thanked Jack profusely for his help like usual. Then I let the anger take over just a little…
Righting a Little of the Wrong
I called Abacus. I asked to be transferred to a supervisor of the technicians. I asked why we were quoted for something that didn’t need repairing (the motor)? I also asked why we were told we would need a whole new system soon when a guy in the business for 50+ years confirmed that it was fine?
The supervisor looked up our deal and saw in the notes that the technician said he tried replacing the capacitor and it didn’t work.. That was hog wash. He never took any parts upstairs according to Dee. But I couldn’t ask her at the time, so I asked why a new capacitor worked just fine now but not a week ago? He apologized for his technician’s misdiagnosis or outright stupidity.
I demanded and received the $49.95 refund.
I’m still smarting from the $390 hit for two window units, but I’ll re-sell them on Nextdoor.com or Craigslist. I thought about keeping them, but my mom pointed out that some things just don’t store well for later use. And they would take up a significant amount of space.
I’m looking at whatever loss there is as a very small price to have paid for the time to get this problem resolved correctly. And it is a small penalty for not listing out my home repair contacts to my defacto property manager before I left the country with no real way to check in. I’m making that list now.
Overall, it could have been so much worse. If Dee didn’t have a great head on her shoulders during crises, we could have possibly come home to a $11,000 air conditioner bill. We are sincerely grateful for honest repair professionals and smart, dependable, and amazing friends. We’re going to enjoy treating her to that steakhouse dinner we promised. 😀
Have you ever had to handle liars and cheats?