Service One repairman did not even try to fix our A/C unit. Instead he tried to sell us a new $4,800 system. Another company fixed unit for only $212.
It seems that Service One acted unethically when they did not perform a minor repair and instead tried to sell us a new $4,800 A/C unit (which was for a low-end unit vs. the high-end unit we currently own). When Service One's repairman arrived, he stated (and wrote on our receipt) that the compressor needed to be replaced, along with many other repairs to the A/C system at a repair cost over $3,000. The next day we called another A/C company (Air Flow) who took 15 minutes to replace a minor part and charged only $212.
After the other company (Air Flow) fixed our A/C unit, we requested a refund from Service One for the incorrect $79 diagnostic fee.
Here is the June 30, 2014 email sent to Service One:
As we discussed on the phone last Friday (June 27), I respectfully request a refund of the $79 diagnostic fee that I paid to Service One A/C for the June 24 appointment to examine my 3-ton A/C unit.
On the work order, your Service One technician wrote several items, including: "compressor is locked" and "recommend replacing equipment." I could not be at the service call in person, so I asked my wife to use a speaker phone to keep me informed. She told your technician that I was on the phone. As I listened and asked questions on the speaker phone, he told my wife and me that the relay (Kickstart) had to be replaced for $1,000, plus the compressor had to be replaced for $2,000 (for a total repair cost of over $3,000 for our 3-ton A/C unit).
Also on the work order, your technician included a long list of replacement parts that he estimated would be needed to repair our 3-ton A/C unit. Presumably, this long list of replacement parts is what he was referring to when he provided the $3,000-plus repair estimate.
Your Service One repairman recommended replacing our "old" A/C unit rather than repair it. Based on a conversation we had with your Service One salesman, ****, on June 25, a new 3-ton A/C unit would cost between $4,000 and $4,800.
On June 25, a technician from Air Flow A/C company examined the same 3-ton A/C system. The Air Flow technician never once said that the compressor was locked, nor did he recommend replacing the entire A/C system. Instead, the Air Flow technician repaired my system for ONLY $212 (including tax) compared to your company's recommendations that we (1) spend over $3,000 repairing our system or (2) buy a new 3-ton air conditioner system for more than $4,000.
A comparison of recommendations by your Service One technician and the Air Flow technician follow:
Cost to REPAIR our 3-ton A/C unit:
per Service One: Over $3,000
per Air Flow: $212 total
Cost to REPLACE our 3-ton A/C unit:
per Service One: $4,000 to $4,800
Air Flow never suggested replacing the A/C system.
The contrast between Service One's expensive recommendations and the actual low-cost repair by Air Flow is shocking.
As it turned out, your technician could have simply replaced the capacitor and, thereby, fully repair our 3-ton air conditioner. The process of replacing a capacitor has a total cost of around $200 (including the diagnostic fee and taxes)! That $200 amount is not even in the ballpark of your estimates of $3,000, $4,000, or $4,800.
A review of the comparison presented above could easily leave one with the impression that your company does not really have your customers' best interests in mind.
Thus, I would like a refund of the diagnostic analysis fee that I paid to your firm. Will you please immediately refund $79 to me on the credit card with which I paid your firm?
As we discussed, I have attached a copy of the work order from Air Flow.
Will you please acknowledge receipt of this email? Thanks.
Dr. ******* ******** END OF EMAIL
SUMMARY: Based on our experience, we find it difficult to trust Service One for A/C repairs. They were asked to repair our A/C unit and instead took the opportunity to try to sell us a new system that we did not need and that would have cost us an extreme amount of money.
It has now been almost 3 weeks since Service One and I exchanged emails. I have not heard from Service One regarding my refund request.
I would like payment from Service One in the amount of $291.
This amount is composed of $79 for Service One's incorrect diagnosis, plus $212 for the cost and inconvenience of having to take time off work to meet with a second A/C repair company (who actually fixed our A/C unit).
A review of this complaint could easily leave one with the impression that Service One A/C Company does not really have the customers' best interests in mind.
Contact Name and Title: ******* ** ***** ***
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *****@serviceoneac.com
Dear Dr. ********,
My apologies for your dis-satsifaction with the service call that ******* performed for you on the 24th of June. I also apologize for the lack of email response from *** on the last of your email chain that went back and forth. I understand your frustration and hate that we are at this crossroad, but want to resolve this matter to your satisfaction.
I would like to explain better the nature of the problem that occured with your system and findings that evening. When our technician came out he did notice that the compressor was locked up. This is typically a result of mechanical failure within the sealed compressor. He did what he could to try to free the compressor at the time he was there, but to no avail. At that point... we assume that the compressor is locked up and needs to be replaced. He could not have given you an actual compressor replacement cost at that moment as it was after 5:00 pm when he was there and we would have no way of knowing that cost. We have seen some compressors push the $3,000 range when replaced along with capacitor, contactor, and wiring harness. It is our experience that when we give ball park pricing for repairs, we try not to underestimate for obvious reasons.
Our technician felt as though he did everything he could to try to free the compressor, and that is why he diagnosed it as such. Mechanical failure of compressor. With a system at your systems age with the cost of repairs being as high as he thought, he suggested that you look into replacing the system, and gave you a ball park range of pricing. He had it set up for us to call you back the next day and arrange a project manager to come back out and talk with you more specifically about that pricing of new systems vs. a compressor.
We think that it is possible that in the time between ******* being at your home, and the time the next technician arrived from the other company, that your system electrically cooled down enough that a new capacitor could kick it over and allow it to start. ******* tried this the evening before, and our attempt failed. Usually with a mechanical failure, we do not see this, but it is possible, and in your case we assume that is what happened. I have talked to a couple of senior technician friends of mine from other companies about your scenario since recieving this, and they agree that must have been the case.
******* is a upstanding tech and would never lie, cheat, or do anything to take advantage of any homeowner. He has a reputation in Orlando as one of the best, and many service mananagers would love to have him on their team. He get's offers each year from some of the biggest, most reputable companies in town. Frankly, there is plenty of legitimate work & issues with systems that problems don't need to be created to generate work.
I can understand your frustration with this,and once again, I am very sorry for this frustration, but am glad that you did get your system repaired at a much lower cost than having to make a major repair or replacement. I also apologize that *** didn't respond to the last of your email chain. *** asked for proof of the repair as justification for what you said. Frankly, we run into more dis-honest customers, than one would think, and like you, we have to protect ourself. He meant to reply to your last email upon you giving him the copy of the invoice and refund your $79.00... unfortunately it just slipped through the crack in the busiest time of year that we experience.
Your $79 invoice has been refunded in our system, as we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we will happily refund this. Your check should have went out yesterday or today and should be to you by the beginning of the week next week.
Please feel free to contact me personally on my cell phone if you would like to discuss this matter further, or if you have further questions, I welcome the opportunity to help you further! My cell number: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
******* ** ***** ***
ServiceOne Air Conditioning & Plumbing, LLC
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Thank you for refunding my money.
Although the second word in your treatise is "apologies," the longer you wrote, the less your letter looked like an apology and the more your letter looked like an excuse for poor business actions.
To assist you when this situation occurs again in the future, a real apology is brief, to the point, and does not ever try to justify or explain the problem. Perhaps you could have simply stated, "Service One is sorry for this situation and we will do everything in our power to make you a satisfied customer." Now, that would have been a refreshing letter to receive from you. Alas, that is not what happened.
Instead, rather than offering a sincere apology, you wrote over 700 words attempting to explain why you did not actually need to apologize.
The refund is appreciated. Your approach to this troubling situation is quite appalling.
Final Consumer Response