So, a few weeks ago, Yolanda's A/C took a shit! It just stopped working. She was hot. Since I didn't know an A/C contractor, I suggested that she Google & call, to get prices. Most of the ones she called had a trip charge (a charge just to go to your house). She did find one however, who was willing to waive that charge. Click on image to enlarge
When the techs arrived, right off the bat they mentioned a trip charge. Yolanda had to tell them that it had been waived. Talk about a lack of communications. Anyway, they then mentioned a $95.00 diagnostic charge. That charge would be waived if they did the repairs.
They started looking around. One of the two men was actually checking out the A/C while the other just talk to Yolanda about all the possibilities of the problem. Thank God, I was there to oversee, what they were doing. Eventually, he found a blown capacitor in the condenser unit.
So, the cost to replace the capacitor was $311.00. OMG, it seems that he just pulled the price out of the air! The choices were; tell that bozo to take a hike and pay $95.00 for diagnostics or pay the $311.00 for the capacitor and have cold air again. Needless to say, after 2 days without air, sweating her brains out, she opted for the cold air.
An important sidenote is that; while I was watching, he bypassed the capacitor, and the fan in the condenser moved a little but was not coming on. He then told me that there must be another problem, as he was not getting the 24 volts that he should be getting at the condenser unit. He also told me that I needed a new fan motor. Oh Crap, I thought! That would probably cost HUNDREDS of dollars to replace. BUT... I was NOT buying it. I told him to keep checking around, because I couldn't see a reason why, he was not getting the voltage reading that he should have gotten. Click on image to enlarge
So, It took him a few seconds to realize that there was a reset button, that needed to be reset. Holy Crap! I could have had to buy an expensive fan motor, just because a reset button needed to be pushed in. As soon as he pushed the reset button in, the fan started right up and the expected 24 volts was there. Again, THANK GOD I was there. Poor Yolanda who knows nothing about air conditioners, could have been sold $700 to $800 —or more— of parts that she did not need. You Welcome!
Finally, he changed the part; the AC was fixed. They wanted to cheek around to be sure it was fixed, but I think that they were looking for anything else that they could sell her. I needed to go, but warned Yolanda to keep a close eye on the characters, as I didn't trust them, and told her not to let them do anything else to the AC. "Pay them & send them on their way", I told her.
Unfortunately, Yolanda got screwed by these Rip-offs. It would have cost her $95.00 to avoid getting screwed; buying a $311.00 capacitor that costs about $10.00. On the other hand, she still would have gotten screwed to an extent as it took less than 10 minutes to find the blown capacitor... Regardless how you look at it, it was definitely a lose, lose situation for her.
The point here is that most small contractors are desperate for money, and will most likely take advantage of anyone, but more so with women. So, in a similar situation, definitely have a male friend/husband with you to be sure that you won't be taken advantage of. Page Views