Wednesday, November 07, 2007

THIS REALLY BURNS ME

Disclaimer: The opinions you are about to read are of the author's, and shouldn't be misinterpreted as a slander against all contracting jobs. It's just the author's expressed opinion that they are a bunch of rip-off artists.

That being said!

We have had an on-going problem with one of our furnaces. We have two - the main one heats the basement and main floor levels. The other one is in charge of heating the upstairs where all the bedrooms are at. The upstairs one hasn't really been pulling it's weight. In fact - it doesn't work period. It would start up, the fan would run and then it would shut down. So no hot air at night. If you didn't live in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, this may not pose a problem for you. If you do, however, it is. Jarrett first decided it was the flame sensor and that it needed to be cleaned (logical). He cleans it up, puts it back in and still - the same problem.

He goes out and buys a new flame sensor (which the part's guy told him is compatible with our furnace). Jarrett installs it, and alas this doesn't work either. After much of my constant bitching, he calls a furnace repair place. They send someone out who declares it's the wrong type of sensor, but unfortunately repair guy doesn't have one. He'll be back in two days with the part he needs.

Two days later, repair guy comes back. He fiddles with things, installs a new sensor and tells me that the ignitor is also shot (our furnace is five years old). Now if I knew anything about furnaces, I might of been suspicious. But let's be honest, all I know about furnaces is that they keep us from freezing. I'm not supporting "stupid house wife" persona here, but I'm not pretending to know more than I do. So I get the bill, which includes the two new parts, maintenance on both furnaces, labor and also this wireless thermostat Jarrett wanted. Bill comes to just under 1000 clams. I sign it and off the guy goes (you know it doesn't end here).

So Jarrett calls, I tell him how much and he pratcially gives birth. First off, the guy was only here for 1 hour and 15 minutes, which Jarrett says is impossible. He couldn't have fixed the problem and cleaned and serviced both furnaces in that time. Plus the wireless thermostat was $50.00 more than he was quoted. And he's asking why we needed a new ignitor. Dude I don't know!!!!! So he comes home after work, and goes to the furnace room with his trusty flashlight and declares "He didn't even clean the furnace!" All he did was wipe the inside off with a rag. The fan is still covered in crud. He didn't install the ignitor properly, because he only used one of two screws, and the one side was lifted up from the surface. And to top it off, the furnace still wasn't working!!!!!!!

OK you know, I figured that guy had it working. Yes I realize that I should've made sure but who comes into your house for over an hour and does absolutely nothing? Jarrett calls the company and pitches the hugest fit. The ignitor was only really $50.00, but they charged us $250.00 (the guy said it was standard mark-up - holy shit we are in the wrong business then!). Jarrett told him there was no way he did maintenance on the furnace (which apparently the technician ADMITTED!). So they offer to send out yet another person to come look at the problem. We were hesitant to let them even in our house again... but we figured let's just get it figured out.

So the new guy comes and tells us (after doing a simple test) that the original flame sensor works fine, and the original ignitor works fine as well. Those are the problems, it's the gas valve. SIGH!!! The gas valve is $600.00 (I'm sure it's only really $20.00 but anyways). He installs the gas valve and PRESTO furnace is working. They tell us to keep the spare parts (no charge), and refunds us the money for the non-maintenance. In the end it balances out.

End of story.... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Jarrett decided he'll install the wireless thermostat himself. He spend nearly 2 hours getting it all done, and it doesn't work. Seriously. He's majorly flipping, takes it off, puts the old one back on, which works fine. So they sold us a part (again) for $300.00 that is useless. Call them back AGAIN and tell them they are fracking idiots!!! Come get your piece of shit parts, we are going to VISA to dispute all charges now, and reporting them to the BBB. This is just insane. The funniest part? They asked if we still wanted them to do maintenance on the furnaces!!!!

ARE THEY ON CRACK? First off, they are total rip-off artists! Over charged us, didn't do the work, and apparently don't even know what they are doing. I probably could've done just a good a job "repairing" it as them!!! I mean granted, I have heat now and I'm not curled up in the freezing fetal position in my bed. LOL actually I was wearing my bathrobe to bed (yeah that's sexually inviting to the hubby). Actually when you are that cold, the last thing you want to do is let any part of you get naked even if your husband says you can keep your three layers of shirts on. Yah pass buddy. But I have decided where I live in particular, tradespeople have really lost their way. They have come to a City where the cost of living has skyrocketed, and so they A) charge an arm and a leg, and B) don't give a shit about the quality of their work. All they care about is getting the most money for the least effort. Jackasses.

Anyways, hopefully the furnace is truly fixed for good. If not, you'll be treated to another sob story about it I'm sure. Think warm, fuzzy thoughts!

11 comments:

Slick said...

Well, I'm glad you at least have some heat now!

Hey uh...if you need any plumbing done? Call me...I'm not a plumber but hey, I'm available.

Lainey-Paney said...

oh, what a nightmare.

sorry.

DariDonovan said...

Glad you got some heat but man, what a situation to be in.

MamaLee said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

I have a real problem with people/companies who provide services and try to skim all the edges. I hope you get some better service!

Laura said...

DOH, devious bastards! If you spill who the company is I'll be sure to pass it along to DH's family who all live in the Calgary area and they own a big distributorship that deals with most service stations in Alberta...I'm sure they would love to pass the name along to make sure they never do business again...hehe. Hope you stay warm!

Chrissy said...

Isn't that just the way when something goes wrong with a mechanical thing! Arghhhh!

Thank goodness my hubs in somewhat talented in this department and knows people who are too - we get ripped off in the car department, for sure!

Sending you warm fuzzies!

Tuesday Girl said...

We had the same problem when our ignighter blew last winter.
They ripped us off for the cost and when I told them I jsut had a new one installed 2 years before they just shrugged.
We will never use them again!

Jenny said...

Contractors are sucky a lot of times, and heating seems to be one of the worst!! We got ripped off a couple times on service calls - our heater died religiously (ha ha) on Sundays, when they charge the most to come fix it. After two or three calls at about $200 each, one of the older technicians showed my husband how to fix the problem for under $5 in 15 minutes with his own tools.

Glad you finally got the heater working anyway!

Em said...

Holy cow, that is ridiculous! And yet, sadly, so true. Our gas fireplace insert is not working correctly....and I envision numerous phone calls, visits, and then a bill that is larger than my mortgage.

Mom on Coffee said...

I swear oil companies know that come winter, they have you by the balls, and you're gonna pay, BIG TIME. We had a similar situation a few years ago. Ended up in court, because we refused to pay their crazy charges, in the end, we made out. But, moral to the story on our end, get the shit taken care of in June.

Pendullum said...

Some furnace people can be such con artists...
These guys called us and told us it was time for our annual cleaning...
No problem, thought it was our usual people who always work on our furnace...
Well, they weren't...
tried to tell me I needed a new furnace, carbon monoxide poisoning the entire gammut... Told me it would be $5,000-$10,000 to fix my furnace 'problem'...
I was so upset...And after I picked my jaw off the floor and after I stopped shaking with rage,
I looked at the quote and looked at the letterhead, and realized it was not my usual people...

I decided to bite the bullet and call my usual furnace guys who I trust..
$80.00 later they cleaned the furnace which could not be cleaned and guaranteed me my furnace was fine... That was four years ago... and knock on wood, or furnace we are going strong...
I just can not believe how many crooks are out there...
But if you find a good reliable company stick with them...