Complaint Category: Failure to respond to phone calls or written requests for assistance or support
Complaint: On 12/3 a technician incorrectly adjusted a working HVAC unit. Two months and 5 other Service personal latter the system still isn't working properly.
In Nov I accepted an annual inspection offer and on 12/3 a technician inspected my HVAC units making adjustments and replacing a transformer. The same technician returned 3 times to UNDO whatever he had done to one of my units so the system would work as it did prior to his initial visit. After multiple calls other technicians were sent out on subsequent visits of which one told me a thermostat was bad and one injected dye to determine if leaks exist. He never returned to check for leaks.
The company that installed the thermostat was summoned and they determined the thermostat was fine (3 years old) and that valves were sticking because dye had been injected in the unit. I was told that dye should never be used to determine leaks. More costs for me!
Since 1/27 I have called Air Comfort 7 times and I was assured they would fix the problem. HASN'T HAPPENED. On 2/27 I asked for the owner to call me but that hasn't happened. I want is my system to work as it did on 12/1/13 without additional costs to me. Because the HVAC system runs almost constantly my electric bills are out of sight; $300-$400 for the last 3 months. Air Comfort needs to fix the problem or pay for another company to fix it and reimburse me for a portion of the large electric bills.
Initial Business Response
BBB Southern Piedmont
RE: case# xxxxx
On 12/3/13 we performed a tune-up at the home of xxxxx. Per the customers letter we did find a bad transformer which we replaced on 12/10/13. We did not have to make any other changes or adjustments in the system and the system was operating normally upon completion. (See invoice xxxxx dated 12/10/13)
We did not hear from the customer again until 1/7/14. At this time the customer complained that the system was not heating correctly. The customer claimed he should not be charged for the service call because the problem was due to the previous tech. We found no issues with the replaced transformer or any problems that would have resulted from a poorly performed tune-up. The problem described by the customer was not occurring while we were present although we did find that the system was a little low on refrigerant. At this time we reset the breakers and circuit boards and charged the system to factory specs.
Although we knew the problem had nothing to do with the previous technician, as a courtesy, we "no-charged" Mr. xxxxx for the call. We did not charge for the service call $79.00 or the Freon, $125.00. As the system was low on Freon we did recommend a leak search.
A "dye test" is one of the four accepted methods for discovering the location of freon leaks. This is an HVAC industry standard method and was not the cause of Mr. xxxxx problems. Again, as a courtesy we waived the fee of the leak search as well ($250.00) and with the customers permission added dye to the system. Although we could not immediately find any dye present, which would indicate a leak, we let the customer know that it may take several days for the dye to be detected.
On 1/24/14 the customer called again stating that the system was not heating properly. At this point we informed him we needed to come back anyway to check for the presence of dye. On 1/27/14 we sent our service manager xxxxx to check the system. xxxxx found no leaks present but did find what he believed to be a faulty reversing valve. xxxxx also recommended that the TXV valve be checked closely as well. We told the customer what the cost of repairs would be and have not received permission to proceed.
We know that a tune-up and a dye test WILL NOT cause a reversing valve to fail. We will be more than happy to complete repairs if the customer is willing to pay for those repairs. As a courtesy we have already given this customer over $400.00 in free services, for a problem that is consistent with the normal failures of any given system. More importantly, there is no reputable firm that will claim that a dye test will cause a reversing valve to fail. We simply ask that this customer pay for any future services and/or repairs. Mr. xxxxx is welcome to call my office directly if he wishes resolve this issue in good faith.
xxxxx, Pres. Air Comfort
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I'm not an HVAC technician and can only rely on the advice given to me by the experts. The original technician came out 4 times, 3 to undo what he had done because my system was NOT putting out heat and ran constantly to catch up. He no longer works for Air Comfort or we could ask him about it. The next technician told me the thermostat was causing the problem. He no longer works for Air Comfort or we could ask him about it, etc.
On 1/3 a guy came out, looked around and said he would send someone else out to fix the problem. On 1/7 the technician injected dye. After several calls and a service call from another company on 1/27 a technician finally confirmed there are no leaks in the system. From 1/27 until 3/3 I reached out to Air Comfort 7 times and asked Mr. xxxxx to call me with no return calls. So, I reached out to the BBB. I will no longer waist the BBB's time or mine with an ongoing discussion. Thank you BBB for your professional assistance with this matter.
Final Business Response
Air Comfort technicians are trained based on the principles and practices recommended by xxxxx), founded in 1894, is a building technology society with more than 54,000 members worldwide. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. xxxxx is the organization that establishes the standard practices of the HVAC industry. Air Comfort conducts dye tests in accordance with xxxxx standards 97 and 86.
Furthermore, xxxxx a frequent speaker for xxxxx) states," UV-dye injection can help to pinpoint leaks. It leaks out of an exit point with the refrigerant and leaves dye residue that can be detected easily with UV detection lights. The five previous methods all depend on continuous leaking and are not helpful in intermittent leaking incidences. UV dyes can detect a continuous leak, but can also find intermittent- leak-residue evidence that a service technician will be able to see days and even months later. Independent laboratory data reveals that approximately 35% of refrigeration leaks have an intermittent characteristic. "
The Air Comfort Technician who performed the leak search and diagnosed Mr. xxxxx system is a xxxxx certified technician. I am sure that xxxxx and xxxxx would love to hear from Mr. xxxxx"expert." Some of the foremost engineers of our industry disagree with Mr. xxxxx claim that a dye test will cause a "reversing valve failure."
Mr. xxxxx did not deny that we no charged our service call and leak search ($400). First he claims our technician caused problems, and then he claims the dye test is at fault. If he is attempting to defraud our company he should at least do his research and stick to one story. Unfortunately, there are some that simply don't pay their debts and want something for nothing. Let's see if Mr. xxxxx is willing to take on xxxxx. This entire complaint is complete nonsense and is without any merit whatsoever. We kindly ask that the BBB disregard this complaint and remove it from our record. Anyone that conducts just a reasonable amount of research will find that a "dye test" is normal operating procedure. In my first response I offered to work with Mr. xxxx if he would work with us in "good faith." Unfortunately, I am now convinced that this man is not a customer we wish to service. We can supply much more documentation to support our position, please remove this complaint from our record.
"The most precise method for locating Freon leaks is for the technician to install a liquid tracer into the system, and allow it to circulate about two weeks. A small amount of fluorescent dye is added to an air conditioning, refrigeration or industrial fluid system and allowed to circulate. The dye escapes with the system's refrigerant or fluid and remains at all leak sites." ------ xxxxx
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined that despite the company's reasonable effort to address complaint issues, the consumer remained dissatisfied.