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BBB Accredited Business since 12/07/2011

Kaminer Heating & Cooling

Phone: (803) 772-9140Fax: (803) 772-9149

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Customer Complaints Summary

7 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service7
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints7

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (7)BBB Closure Definitions
07/15/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Price gouging and failure to honor coupon
Technician quoted a price for replacement of a blower motor in the total amount of $2,652. Sensing that this price was excessive, I did a quick internet search and found that these parts routinely cost $400 - $800. Called a competitor of Kaminer's and got the motor installed the same day for $857. The part cost $632 and the rest was labor. Kaminer also had a coupon for $69 diagnostic on its website. Technician refused to honor coupon saying that it was for their service club members only. I ended up paying $109. They claim that they will send a reimbursement check for $40, but that their accountant only writes checks once per week so there will be a delay.

Desired Settlement
Refund of full $109 diagnostic charge. Since the estimate to repair the equipment was given in bad faith I'd like the full diagnostic charge refunded.

Business Response
This is not exactly how this happened. First, the cost of the repairs is always going to be different per company. What the client has failed to mention is this cost also included a control board we recommended replacing in which they denied to do. Second, the technician that came out was new and had never seen the coupon and was not aware it was on the website. As soon as the client informed us of the issue it was turn over to the accounting office at that time. The check has been mailed to the client. Kaminer has been servicing the Midlands since 1956 and has always done business the right way. You cannot be around this long if we were not practicing in good faith. Accidents do happen from time to time but I cannot operate like other companies on price. All businesses are priced differently and the client has the choice of who they chose to use. We have refunded the $40 and that is all we feel we are required to do and the client agreed to this on the phone now they are trying to retract our agreement.

11/15/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Had people working at my house without filing a permit first, which is required. Failed to file my rebate until I called to verify that it was filed.
On June 8th 2013 I purchased a 2ton Goodman A/C unit from Kaminer Heating and Cooling. I know that permits needed to be pulled for this work. So I called the city to see if the permits had been pulled and they said no. I asked them what I should do if they are already working on my house. They said they should not be working at your house without a permit. I asked the technicians if they knew of the permit and they said they didnt think they needed one. I called the company and they were unsure until i told them that i had already called the city and they said that they needed to pull a permit. So the company then pulled attempted to pull a permit, but could not do it that same day. They continued to work on the unit illegally and completed the job that day. Upon completion of the job they wanted to be paid, I told them i would happily pay them in full when i was notified that the permit had been pulled and that the city inspector had come to inspect their work. I had my own private inspector come and inspect the work along with the city inspector other then one minor discrepancy they both said that the work was in compliance with codes. So if i was not a savvy consumer this job would have been completed without the city being aware of it and without proper required inspections occuring. I then paid the company in full the $9,994 dollars for the new unit and the new ducting.
Now 4 months later I was still waiting for the rebate from SCEG for installing a new A/C system that they said that they would take care of. I called SCEG in first week of Oct 2013 to see what the status of the rebate was and they said it had not been filed. So i called Kaminer heating and cooling and they said that they thought they had submitted it. So after the reminder they said that they would be sure to submit it now. So today 30 Oct 13 I called SCEG to check on the status of the rebate and they said that Kaminer had partially filed it but that SCEG still needed the Invoice. Fortunately i have a copy of the invoice and i emailed it to SCEG. So now the Job is complete. I continuously dealt with the same representative at Kaminer, ******* but the company did not do the job up to the normal standard. Which is doing work according to codes and regulations and finishing the job all the way to the end which would have been filing the rebate.
The company advertises very well so I see how they can be an easy choice for consumers. But beware when i talked to the city they told me the homeowner is overall responsible for everything that is done to the home.So I would have been held responsible for them working without a permit and could have been fined.

Desired Settlement
I just want other consumers to be aware and if you do for some reason choose this company, be sure to check and make sure they pull permits if they are needed for your job and follow up on everything. The company advertises very well so I see how they can be an easy choice for consumers. But beware when i talked to the city they told me the homeowner is overall responsible for everything that is done to the home.So I would have been held responsible for them working without a permit and could have been fined.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** *******
Contact Email: ****@kaminerhac.com
I would simply like to state that at Kaminer we pull permits when the job is being done in case the client decided to back out and we don't pay for something we do not use. This client is in Richland County and you have to jump through hoops to get them to get your permit done. This client called the minute we arrived at the house to see if it was pulled. When he called the office we were already in the process of pulling the permit. As far as the SCE&G rebate the customer is responsible for filing this, not Kaminer. We provide the paperwork and the client is responsible for the rest. It clearly states this on their paperwork and website. We have installed many systems and have not had any issues with this. I would also like to add that we had to constantly try to track down Mr. ****** to collect payment for this job. It was to our understanding there were no issues because he has not contacted our office other than asking for help with the SCE&G paperwork, which ******* gladly provided. Kaminer has been in business for 57 years and you do not achieve this by doing what we are being accused of. I feel this is an unjust complaint from a client we have gone above and beyond to satisfy. We appreciate this client allowing us to service them and we feel again we have done all we could to satisfy them.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The response is an unethical and illegal business practice. If you can not afford to pay the fees for a permit prior to accomplishing a job, which would be the legal,ethical, and correct way to do the job, then the company should ask for a down-payment in order to cover the Permit Fees. As a consumer I should not have to constantly check on a company to make sure first of all that they are doing their job and secondly that they are doing it legally. Their workers are supposedly licensed/certified HVAC technicians. This issue makes me question the ethics of the technicians,because I believe that they can lose their license by breaking the law and working on homes without having a Permit. I am sure that they are taught about Permits when they are going to school for their license/certification.

Today, the 5th of November 2013 I called the city inspections office XXX-XXX-XXXX and spoke with ****** to get some clarification on the Permit Process and she told me that the Permit needs to be pulled before work is started. She then looked up my home to look at the permit and told me that Kaminer failed the inspection and that it is still showing up as a fail in their system and that Kaminer needs to schedule a re-inspection. Also, she sent me a copy of the permit request date which was June XX XXXX and it was issued on the 11th of June 2013. The job was completed on the 8th of June 2013 and I have the receipt showing that the job was completed on the 8th of June 2013. So now I wonder if this is a common unethical business practice by Kaminer then how many jobs have been completed over 57 years illegally. Also, I agree that the rebate should be the customers responsibility but the company has a portion that they need to fill out. Kaminer did not fill out their portion and when I brought it to their attention they said that they would take care of it. I was only after I called twice to check on it that it was only partially taken care of. I still had to call SCE&G to check on it and they said that they were missing the invoice in order to process it. Fortunately, I provided SCE&G with the invoice and the matter was taken care of.

Final Business Response
This client is not giving proper information. The job was not failed at any point. It was passed. They did make a recommendation about some sheet metal and we did go out and do it even though the job passed. There is no need for further inspection since it never failed. I would like to see in writing where the client has proof of this failure. Again, we told this client numerous times he needed to send in the invoice (3 to be exact) and he failed to do so so we are the ones who sent it in for hime even though it is not our responsibility. We at Kaminer have gone above and beyond to satisfy this client and it is appearing that this is impossible to achieve. I have no clue what else we can do for this client. We followed all procedures and took care of everything in a timely manner. I do not appreciate the client accusing us of financial issues. We have been here since 1956 and this is not achieved if you have money issues. Also, this is irrelevant to the situation. I believe the client needs to find another HVAC provider seeing how we do not appear to be the right fit for him.

07/12/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Tie-back cut and wire left hanging causing wire to short at copper wire resulting in leak of puron refrigerant.
Outside condenser Unit stopped working night of 6/23/13. Called Kaminer, repairman checked unit Tuesday, 6/25/13. Upon diagnosis repairman found tie-back that holding wire away from copper tubing had been cut previously and left a high voltage wire laying against copper tubing resulting in wire shorting out, burning a small hole in tubing and all the puron gas (8 pounds)leaking out. Repairman said tieback was broken, however, tieback was not brittle and we were unable to break it. Whether their repairman cut the tieback during earlier repairs or it was from some previous service, every ac repairman knows to check for electical wire hanging against copper tubing. It is in plain sight and should have been easily noticed. Kaminer's estimate to repair small whole in tubing and refill Puron gas, $636.00.
Kaminer was the last company to work on this unit and charged $883.00 for repairs which included; (1) $132 to replace a dual capacitor, which was still working and is most always determined defective visually and part generally costing $25-$30 with the required labor being 1 screw and three wires, (2) $252 to pull the blower unit out,clean the fan blades and labor to remove being probably 2 screws and 2 wires, spraying cleaner on and washing off, (3) $252 to replace a contactor relay switch (that was still working) and generally cost $25-$30 and labor requiring disconnecting and reconnecting 6 wires and 2 screws, (4) $252 to clean the evaporator coil (5)$20 for 2 filters for a total of $908 minus $20 for 2 coupons (what a break). I am not dissatisfied that the parts may have needed to be replaced if they were not within desirable electrical operating ranges but $100 labor to replace (1) a capacitor, $222 labor to replace (3) a contactor relay switch as I have descibed above is unscrupulous and immoral. Labor on pulling the blower and washing, along with the evaporator washing is ridiculous also.
I didn't know much anything about ac and it has costs me. I did not realize how badly overpriced this was until 6 months later Kaminer checked my 85 year old mother's unit next door and had them replace her heat exchanger. It was good at the time that they did check it. It had some small holes in it and they said it was allowing carbon monoxide to enter the system. During this visit they also replaced a contactor relay switch for $252 and a capacitor for $132, so this type of overpricing of parts and/or labor is typical for Kaminer. The serviceman also said that the blower motor was making noise starting up and it was a sign that it may fail soon. The quote for replacing the fan motor was somewhere around $980. I could not bear anymore so I determined to see how long the blower motor would last and try to find a cheaper way to get it done. The motor did quit a couple of months later. I talked to a friend that knew ac and he told me where I could get a replacement motor. I also watched videos on YOUTUBE. All you have to do is take out 2 screws, disconnect 2 wires and take the motor fan assembley to an electrical shop. They took the motor out and replaced it for a total of $210 saving me $770 in labor for less than 40 minutes to remove and reinstall and 1 hour to drive across town to the electrical parts shop.
Today we notified Kaminer that we would not renew our annual contract due this month and also cancelled a Kaminer service visit on my mother's unit scheduled next week. She has another 6 months on her yearly service contract so we may lose $84 but I'm sure it will save us money by not using Kaminer.
Anytime that Kaminer visits your house for any reason it costs you $69. And don't forget it before you call. We had a bi-annual contract maintenance visit scheduled in seven days. We were told there was a $69 charge for today's diagnosis and there would be another $69 charge when someone came back to repair before they would do maintenance.
Kaminer refused to take responsibility for damages from wire short on tubing.



Desired Settlement
Kaminer's slogan is, "Quality Service at a Quality Price backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed."
On the part of the technicians, I will not say that they did a bad job except for missing the wire laying against the copper tubing which they said would cost us $636 to repair. The first visit I was told that the system would perform better by replacing the capacitor and contactor. As for Quality Price, them must have been real high quality relay switches and capacitors for those prices that required doctors care. In fact when I saw the bill for our first service/repair, I asked, who do y'all think you are, doctors?" I also told him this is not in the Wildwood community.
As for 100% Satisfaction that is unreachable because of the overpricing and the embarrassment of being had. Just think of the thousands of people that have been taken advantage of because they did not know they could do a few of these repairs themselves; $130 for replacing a $30 part in minutes, $252 for replacing another common $30 part in minutes(of couse you have to go to the store and purchase the parts). Kaminer was going to charge $770 labor to do less than an hour worth of work and a ride in the van because they believe that they can get away with it because people generally do not know anything about HVAC. (Of course, they can tell you whatever price they want for the blower fan motor as they did me (it was a special higher priced motor they had to order for my system). Is this what capitalism is about? No. This is the greed that we have been hearing about lately.
As a settlement, it would appease my dissatisfaction somewhat if Kaminer would acknowledge that it most likely could have been the fault of their technician for not securing the wire that caused the hole in the tubing and loss of 8 pounds of gas, a repair worth $636 (by their estimate) and pleasantly accepted responsibility since they were the last people to work on the unit. We had another company repair our unit a day later and we are very pleased and more than happy with their service, fairness and pleasant manner. The unit is pumped full of gas and now cooling again.
This is how capitalism works. If Kaminer would like to send us a check for $636 to pay for the damage they are responsible for, we would be somewhat thankful. If Kaminer is interested in knowing how out of line their price was on this repair for better QUALITY PRICING in the future, they can send the check and I will tell them. I promise that you will be shocked that you are so far off. Or, if not, Kaminer can just keep doing business this way for a little while longer. Just chalk it up to a learning experience (I have) and send the check. At least I will be able to tell everyone I know that Kaminer took care of what they should have.

Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: **** *******
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ****@kaminerhac.com
I have read the complaint from the client and now I would like to respond.
When we came to the home on 6-25-13 we did find a wire inside the unit on a copper line that had created a hole allowing the Freon to leak out. I would like to reiterate that the wire was inside the unit, not in a visible spot where our technician would see it during service. This is a manufactures issue. This is not an uncommon thing where wires or copper rub together creating a leak. We did not manufacture the equipment but we do service it. We try to find any future issues that we can before they happen but the unit is a mechanical device and things do break on mechanical devices. When we addressed with the homeowner what needed to be done she told my service man that she refused to pay and it was our fault. We did not even install the equipment. They did not even pay the $69 Service fee to come out that was discussed over the phone.
The client complaining about our pricing this is something the client agreed to. When we discuss the work we will perform and take any issues we find to the home owner, give them pricing and they decide if they want to do the repairs. The homeowner agreed to these repairs to prevent future issue. It is irrelevant what the parts cost because we performed a service. We came to the home which is an expense to the company. I mean we are a business and we have to make a profit to survive. It all comes down to the customer approving the repairs.
The client's mother's home is irrelevant here also. The mom has not contacted us about any issues and this is a clear case of the client putting words in their mother's mouth. Again, it is another situation where the client agreed to the work before we did it.
Her friend that replaced the motor is not a licensed contractor nor do they have overhead such as worker's comp., gas, employee pay, insurance, etc... So of course they could have done it for less but if the unit fails the warranty is now voided. Not to mention other issues that could arise.
The client did contact our office about cancelling her agreement but she still refused to pay the $69 so I told the staff member to just let it go. Mrs. **** then claimed she never signed up for the agreement in which time I personally pulled her file and showed it to the staff member. The agreement clearly states that we must receive a cancellation in writing so the client did email the request to us for her house but we have not received anything on her mother's home. If her mother cancels and we owe her money we will gladly return what we owe to her.
We do charge a $69 Service fee to come to a home for a problem as does every licensed HVAC company in the Midlands. We never told the client there would be an addition charge of $69 when we do the repair because we charged it on the original call.
I would like to end by saying that Kaminer has been serving the Midlands since 1956 and you do not stay in business this long by treating people wrong. I get numerous compliments daily about our staff and as in every business there are some people that you just cannot please. In this case I feel this is the issue. Being accused of being a capitalist is very unprofessional and not what we would call trying to resolve this issue.
Asking us to pay $636 for repairs to a unit that we did not manufacture is a bit much. I have already waved the$69 the client refused to pay and cancelled their agreement. Can the client prove we did the damage? What did they pay to fix it? How much was the repair and where is that invoice? Without this I am not willing to do any more than we already have.

10/15/2012Problems with Product / Service
09/03/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Kaminer came out on 7/5/2013 and checked unit which was frozen and indicated needed R22 Freon which was low . I was charged $660.00 for 5lbs and told
I had a severe leak and should replace my unit.After hearing the cost of a new one I ask if I could get someone to check and identify the leak and was told that we had already been told to repair the leak would be a coil replacement at a cost of $2700.00. I went back and looked up my service work from Kaminer and on the February visit needed no Freon and then looked back at the end of Summer service from Kaminer in August and could see where no freon had to be added so it is very hard for me to know if this is a severe leak or not as it appears I have not had any loaded in a long time. My bigger concern though is the amount I was charged for R22 Freon ..$132.00 per lb !?!? I have since done my homework and found out $75.00 is the average charge for this R22 freon and even found it as low as $40.00.I have had a good experience up until this with Kaminer and would like to erase the feeling I have that you tried to use a scare tactic and extremely high repair cost $729.00 total to get me to buy a new unit from you and I truly welcome your response to assure my Family that was not your intent and also hear why this cost of freon was so extreme as compared to others.

Desired Settlement
I think I was over charged at least $350.00.

Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: **** *******/VP
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ****@kaminerhac.com
I have read your complaint and would like to resolve this issue. First I would like to say that my line of communication is always open and this could have been handled without going through the BBB.
As far as the issue at hand I understand that you had no previous Freon leaking issues but this can happen at any time and it is outside of our control. It is like a tire on your car leaking. One minute it is fine then the next minute it has a leak. At Kaminer we always recommend to replace a system when it gets to this point otherwise you will continue to have these issues. That would become costly down the road and it would leave you uncomfortable as well.
Let's talk about Freon pricing. Not sure where you got the other prices but just like anything else every company prices differently than we do. R-22 freon is being phased out and due to that the cost is going up. This is another reason to consider replacement. What I can do for you is keep the first pound at $132 and do the additional 4 pounds at the Misc. charge of $70 per pound. This would bring the total refund to $248.00.
On a side note we did quote you on replacement and were giving you the total repair cost back on the new unit and you were credit denied and never even did the repair. I do not feel you were totally honest with ***** about the situation. Again, why go here and not call me personally. Raises red flags with me about the whole situation. The $248 is all I am willing to offer but if we go back to the home for the same issues there will be an additional $69 charge plus the charge for Freon as there is no guarantee on Freon.

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I have additional information I would like for you to review.I have received advice in regards to the legal , binding contract we purchased with Kaminer. The sole reason I purchased the Service agreement was the 15% discount off repairs you guarantee on your website As a consumer I would expect this to mean 15% off the lowest club membership cost offered to any and all contract holders. I dont think the Federal Trade commission allows a Company to sell contracts and have variable pricing when a legal contract is in place and I am sure you dont since you took my money each Month and I paid my money each Month in good faith .The main repair I am speaking of is my system froze and the repair needed was 5 Lbs of R22 Freon which you quoted me my Kaminer Club Membership cost of $155.00 per lb for non contract member less my 15% savings and then my KMC contract price was $132.00 per lb .If all of your members cost is no lower than $132.00 per lb of Freon,you are probably just higher priced than the Industry average of $75.00 per lb I was told By the way the freon repair did work as of today 8/30 my system is purring like a new one and I will not need the recomended $636.00 *** price on the Micro Air Scrubber coil fix or the $636.00 Micro Power Guard Filter KMC contract quoted at an additional $636.00. Also I will not be purchasing the 2.5 ton air quoted at $6,227.00 less my repair of $660.00 , less SCE&G discount of $200.00 , less Eff bonus of $537.00 for the net written cost of $4,830.00 .I only notate all these cost as I want to be sure I received the best quoted repair cost as a consumer who was paying you money each Month to be a part of the Kaminer Maintenence Club and receive your advertized 15% off all repairs.I feel I must address also your claim of anyone at Kaminer offering to help me at all , I feel that everyone there had a self serving mission which sent me in to "sticker shock" and then your mission seemed only to be to sell me a new unit and even with the credit of $669.00 applied and not returned as you said ,you would have achieved close to a $5000.00 sale !!!Now the last thing I must clear up is I have no relative who just started a Heat /Air business in Chapin.I do however have a relative on my Wife's side of the Family that has been in the business for many , many years and absolutely is one of the quotes I received on R22 Freon Industry cost. I am really , really hoping that we can resolve this as my anger towards what I believe was you taking advantage of my Family will not go away and I will go the extra mile either through the BBB , FTC , or SC Consumer Rights division to be sure that our money we paid you each year through the contract was in fact what we thought we were paying for.My Elderly Mother In Law also resides in our home and she also had a legal contract with Kaminer for her home next door, so you were getting over $500.00 per year from my household alone !!! That has to be a good profit center for your Company just selling contracts by offering 15% off repairs.


Maintenance Club - Kaminer Heating and Cooling

* You can protect your investment for as low as $14 per month
* 24/7 live person answering phone and No extra fee charge for nights and weekend calls
* Convenient Post Card Reminder Service
* Discounts: 15% on repairs
* Front of Line Pass on repairs
* $69 Service Fee for Members - $50 Savings
* Two scheduled Preventive Maintenance visits per year
* 1" Pleated Filters Available for$10 each






Business' Final Response
We at Kaminer have given a reasonable rebate based on what the client had asked due to the Freon cost shopping he had done. Know that one of the companies he used was a relative who recently started their own company in Chapin. At no point did the technician tell the client they would get their $669 back. The Client was told they would receive a credit if and only if they replaced the system with our company. I feel the client is now trying to take advantage of our company and making an unreasonable request. I feel that we did our part by making a reasonable offer and the customer made a choice to decline our offer. I would also ask that the client please not call my person phone. Not only has our company gone above and beyond to satisfy this client my wife has had many conversations with this client to try to do what we could to help them. I am now leaving this in the hands of the BBB as I feel we have done all we can do. Thank you.

09/02/2014Problems with Product / Service
05/17/2012Problems with Product / Service

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