If you are searching for emergency heating and AC repair, you are probably stressed and worried about your HVAC system. Usually, when someone is searching for emergency help it is because their unit no longer works, which is a stressful situation in itself. However, it is important to take a minute and verify that the company you choose for repair is the one that should be doing it. There are a lot of companies out there, but not every company is qualified and experienced enough to handle your HVAC system.
Some clients have had to find that out the hard way, something that you should be able to avoid by paying for emergency heating and AC repair. Most people call an HVAC company to get help and relief, but if you turn to the wrong company the entire situation can turn into a never-ending nightmare. To help reinforce how vital it is to call the right company, we have collected a few horror stories from clients that we have had to help after emergency HVAC repair has gone terribly wrong. Take a minute to read their stories and learn from their mistakes.
Adam’s AC unit stopped working in June, which is a hot month in Texas and one in which having a working air conditioner is not negotiable. The first thing he did was call the company that installed his unit a year ago for emergency repair. After the installation he had purchased their service plan so he thought getting someone to come out to his home would be simple. However, despite paying a monthly fee for his service plan he was about to lay out just how bad customer service could really be.
Originally the company said that they would send someone out first thing in the morning, but when no one showed up Adam started calling. He had to head to work and his AC was still not working. It took over five phone calls to get someone to answer the phone. They said that the window for his repair was actually from 1 to 7 pm. Adam said he had to go to work but he would make sure that his wife Kelly was home for the repair. His wife went to visit her parents for the morning to cool off but was home in plenty of time to wait.
Adam felt bad that he had to leave his wife to deal with the mess, but he couldn’t take the entire day off and he had an important meeting he couldn’t miss. He told her that he would try to leave early and hopefully catch the end of the service so that he could talk to the emergency heating and AC repair technician. It turned out that it didn’t matter because the HVAC technician didn’t actually show up at their home until 8:30 pm. Adam had been home for a while and actually sent his wife out to go get dinner because she was definitely feeling the effect of sitting in a hot home for hours on end.
Unfortunately, the technician stated that two parts needed to be fixed before the AC would work again, and he only had one of the two with him. Due to the late time, he wasn’t able to go get another part so he told them that he would return in the morning. While Adam was frustrated since it was the technician that had shown up late in the first part, he could understand that he couldn’t magically source parts and said okay. They made arrangements for the HVAC tech to come in the morning, Adam paid the partial invoice, and then the tech left.
Adam had to go to work again but Kelly was home to see the HVAC technician again when he showed up in the morning. Once again, hours passed and no one showed up. At first, Adam attempted to be helpful, but it was clear that no one was coming by the time it got to noon. He called the company multiple times throughout the afternoon and left messages but not one of them was returned.
He then asked Kelly to start calling hoping that one of them could get someone to actually answer the phone. Around 6 pm at night, they finally gave up and called another company for emergency repair. Adam couldn’t ask Kelly to sit another day in their hot home waiting for a technician that would never show up, and he had no idea when the technician would actually show up.
While the technician had done a fine job while he was at the house, it seemed that they had no control over their own schedules and were sent anywhere the company wanted. Unfortunately, the HVAC company seemed to be a mess, and without a reliable receptionist or a scheduler, there was no telling when his AC would get fixed. He hated to pay someone else to repair his AC, especially since he had a contract with this company, but he could not stand to have an AC system that wasn’t working for one more day.
He went online and read some reviews to make sure he chose a company with great customer service and then called for help. Since he knew what part needed to be repaired he was able to tell the company what needed to be done and to ask if they were able to do it tonight. At this point, he was able to pay the extra emergency heating and AC repair fee if he could just get someone out to his home to finish the repair. Adam got lucky on his first try and the company said they could send someone out around 8 pm if it wasn’t too late.
Adam said absolutely not and booked the visit. The company asked for payment in advance which made Adam nervous, but the technician showed up promptly at 8 and within an hour had the AC unit repaired and running. Adam and Kelly were both relieved that this ordeal was finally behind them.
Ironically enough, the next day around noon the same technician from the first company randomly showed up and said he was ready to complete the job. Kelly politely told him they had already found someone else to fix the problem and he was no longer needed. The technician was annoyed and made sure to show it, but Kelly simply shut the door and locked it. After the last two days, this guy had no room to be angry about anything and she wasn’t letting any more cold air out the door.
Adam was done with that company, and as soon as he got someone to answer the phone he was going to cancel his service package with them as well. He enjoyed the prompt service of the company he had to call to clean up their mess and was going to purchase their service plan to help with future problems. He wanted to do everything he could to avoid ending up in that mess again.
Adam had blindly assumed that he would just stick with the company that installed his AC, but that turned out to be a disaster because he hadn’t done much research about the company. When he bought the house he just went along with the recommendation of the previous homeowner, but he had learned his lesson about that. Next time he would do his own research and ensure that the service he received was the type that was actually worth paying for.
Replacement or Repair, Sometimes a Second Opinion is Best
Steve purchased a custom home in a nice suburban development about five years ago. Since everything was new he didn’t have to deal with many homeowner’s tasks outside of the occasional service call. However, one day he realized that his AC unit was not properly cooling his home. It seemed like there were hot and cool spots and the night was very hard to get through because the bedrooms seemed to be much hotter than the other rooms in the home.
After a terrible night with the kids and his wife also complaining, Steve found the number of the company that originally installed the AC unit and called for emergency heating and AC repair. Despite the fact that Steve was willing to pay more for an emergency AC repair, they said that it would take ten days before they had anyone available to come out. They explained that because they still had some AC, while others had none, they were not as high a priority and they had to be fair to all of their clients. While Steve didn’t like this, it did make sense to him so agreed to wait ten days. He assumed that any other emergency repair company might say the same thing because in Texas AC was a big deal.
It was so uncomfortable however that sleeping in their bedrooms was just not going to work, so they created a makeshift area in the living room and everyone got their own piece of furniture to sleep on if they couldn’t deal with their bedrooms. The kids thought it was an adventure, but Steve and his wife had aching backs by the end of the ten days and were ready for the repair to be completed.
Finally, the date rolled around and the technician showed up right on time. He listened for a minute to what they said was wrong, but then cut them off and said that really what would be the most helpful would be an actual inspection. According to the emergency heating and AC repair technician, he needed to really look at the machinery to see what was going on. Steve didn’t appreciate effectively being told his opinion and observations didn’t matter, but he wanted the AC fixed so he just told the guy to go ahead and do what he needed to do.
It only took about ten minutes when the technician came back and told Steve that there are leaks in the coils and there was a good chance that the condenser would also have to be replaced. Steve was a bit taken aback, he stated that the unit was only five years old how could there already be leaks? Especially when they bought the unit from this company, to begin with, shouldn’t the yearly service visits have caught if there were problems brewing with the HVAC system? The technician didn’t have a great answer for him, he just said that sometimes these things happened and then launched into a sales pitch stating that a new unit was only 13 and the repairs for the old unit would be 9k so maybe he should just think about installing a new unit to get the most for his money.
The kicker was that the guy promised they could have a new unit installed tomorrow if he took that route, but if he wanted the repairs he would have to wait a couple of weeks for the parts to come in. Steve was pretty sure that this was an extensive sales pitch at this point, and he was not enjoying it. He still found it hard to believe that a unit that was routinely maintained had just died this quickly on him. He told the technician that he was going to need a minute to think about it and that he would call the company later today after he talked it over with his wife. The guy gave him one last pitch about a special discount if he decided now, and Steve prodded him out the door.
While Steve didn’t know a lot about air conditioning units, he did know an upsell when he heard it and he was suspicious of what the technician was suggesting. So he decided to go online and find another emergency heating and AC repair technician to see if they could check out his AC unit within a reasonable amount of time. This time around he checked reviews and looked to see if the company had a good reputation. Interestingly enough, while he was looking he noticed the reviews for the company he had just had out to his home – and they were less than favorable. After his experience, Steve could easily see why.
He found a locally-based company and called them. He explained what he had been through with the other HVAC company and they said he wasn’t the first to call them afterward. They also offered to come out the next day, which really floored Steve after waiting ten days for the other company to come out and do practically nothing.
The second emergency heating and AC repair technician from the new company came out in the afternoon the next day and listened to what Steve and his wife had to say about their AC. He said that you could tell a lot from what a customer had to say about the way their AC was performing and that it could help guide you to the source of the problem. He then went to actually look at the unit where he did discover a small leak in the coils. However, he had a drastically different approach.
He told Steve that the leak could easily be fixed with some leak stop for now and they would just add a bit more coolant to replace what was lost. The total cost was around $400 compared to the high replacement cost that the first HVAC technician wanted. He did warn them that sometimes other leaks can pop up so they would need to keep an eye out and call at the first time of trouble, but for now, there was no reason to panic and replace the unit. It was only five years old and if they continued to take care of it should have no future problems.
Steve could not believe the difference. He had blindly chosen the company that installed his AC because he thought they would be the most knowledgeable about his house and the unit. However, it turned out that you cannot replace experience and customer service. Had he gone online to do some research in the first place he probably could have saved his family over two weeks of struggling with the heat. It was a lesson he would remember if there were any future issues with his AC unit.
If you want to avoid the runaround often associated with emergency heating and AC repair, contact One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas to schedule a visit.
See our previous blog on this topic here.
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