Long: crooked workmen

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Long: crooked workmen

Post by Bkeepr » Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:01 pm

Had a guy out Wednesday from a company that we've dealt with for years-- they do plumbing and HVAC and have always given great service. Local, family owned, but large enough to have many crews on the road doing work. They installed our 2 heat pump system in the house 8 years ago, and it was a professional job like all previous work has been.

So we called them out for a service of the heat pumps. I asked for the same guy who came out during this past winter and did a good job, although he came across as a bit self-serving. Told me how he'd saved some old lady a bunch of money on work for her because he discovered most could be covered under warranty, and she was so pleased she always asks for him by name.

Anyway, he comes out (with an apprentice this time, showing him the ropes) and starts doing the check and cleaning of the inside units, while putting the apprentice on washing out the outside units. After awhile, he calls to me from the attic where one of the units is mounted and said he has bad news. There's a crack in the coil that's causing all of the excess condensation to run out the wrong way and go into the drip pan beneath the system, rather than out the drain pipe as it should. The coil is a one piece unit, he says, and the part is under warranty but not the labor. It is a huge job (which he describes in detail), and would be $1,234.00 to do, but at least the parts are free.

Long story short, I play the dummy and ask him to explain and show me the crack (it's inside in the back, can't see it) also where the water should be flowing. He got a bit surly when he figured out I was $crewing with him. As I suspected, it was a plugged line from the internal drain pan, which he cleaned out and then high-tailed it out of there. If I had been a little old lady or man without much mechanical experience, I might have fallen for it and be twelve hundred poorer for my ignorance.

At this point, I'm not sure what I will do. I may call the company and report it. Of course, I don't know if it wasn't company sanctioned ploy to drum up business and keep folks busy. And, if it is not and he gets canned, this guy knows where I live and what valuables and stuff are in my house...as well as the fact that I *am* a little old man who may not be able to protect his family and himself anymore.

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Re: Long: crooked workmen

Post by PHPaul » Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:41 pm

Dirtbags like that are everywhere, Tom.

That's one reason I try to go with independent one-man shops whenever I can. They can be a real bear to schedule because they're invariably backed up with work, but they KNOW their livelihood depends on word-of-mouth and pulling one fast one can tank their business.

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