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.
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.