I have been very busy the last two weeks fighting the epic, Air Conditioning Repair Battle. It involves the installing company that installed the inside unit in a way that it cannot be serviced without being disconnected and moved (huge labor cost). The local company that we had transferred our extended warranty to that is either incompetent or unethical and the new company that has so far saved the day and been the voice of honesty and information.
The installing company: never called back after repeated calls and messages...shocker. They will get a strongly worded letter to make it right and if that doesn't happen they will be seeing us in court.
The local company: never could find problem/leak but told us we were low on freon and we had a freon leak, so opted to change out the coils (because that's usually the problem...blah blah blah). Never bothered to run further tests to correctly diagnose problem, told us that we either needed to move inside unit ($1000 labor charge, not covered by warranty) or cut a 30in x 60in hole in our wall so they could access the coils.
New company: came out and checked out the whole system for a flat $69 service charge. Tested the freon pressure, said is was fine (NO LEAK!!) but after about 15 minutes of searching and testing confirmed that we had a bad compressor. He ordered the part and will be installing it on Friday and the WHOLE THING will be covered under our warranty.
I've been dealing with this for almost 2 weeks now and I'm so glad it's mostly resolved. I have learned a few things:
1) Kill them with kindness. I have been pleasant with every person I've talked to, even when I knew they were wrong and might be taking advantage of me. There is a time for being "not nice" but I find that people shut down and stop listening when that happens.
2) If you feel like something is wrong, it probably is. Trust your instincts.
3) Get a second opinion. If your looking at a big expensive repair and you're not knowledgeable about the subject, ask someone else to take a second look at it. For a small service charge, you'll have peace of mind. If the original company gets offended, red flag, they shouldn't mind if they have nothing to hide.
4). Reward skill and honesty with loyalty. If you find someone that is good at what they do and treats you honestly, stick with them. Also let them know how you feel verbally and follow up with a letter. Let them know that you will tell your friends about them and recommend their service whenever you can.
This is a new skill for me. In the past I usually asked others to help me with stuff like this, but I got all this done on my own. I'm very proud of the outcome and how I handled things. I'm going to take a few days to breathe and cool down (literally, we will have a/c on Friday!) and then I'll go to war with the installing company. Nice to know that it's not urgent and I can do things slowly and correctly.
A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large. - Henry Ford