Complaint: On Sat July 12th my A/C was working good as normal and on Sunday, July 13th, it would not start when I turned it on. I checked the circuit breakers, all connections and voltage at the unit. All was ok so I attempted to call Service Star as they had installed the unit and it was still within the 5 year warranty. It was Sunday so I couldn't get them and they had no message machine. I called them again on Monday at 8AM and scheduled a service for that PM. As soon as the technician, ****** arrived I explained the situation and he checked the filter. I could tell he was disappointed when he found it was clean. Before he checked any farther he advised me the warranty was not applicable as I had never had the unit serviced. I told him I had no problems so had never had the need for service. He then tried to sell me a service contract for about $150 a year and said this would give me 10% of the 636 leak check and $383 recharge. All this selling before he even checked the unit and determined what the problem was. When he checked the fan unit it was discover it had come unplugged from the wall. When I plugged it in, the cooler started working as normal. I checked the thermostat and the temp was 84 degrees. He told me I still needed to pay the $59 service so he may as well check the units charge. Unfortunately I agreed to this and went in to check the temperature again. It was at 82 degrees and appeared to be cooling normally. He then checked the charge and said it was low and I needed a leak check and recharge up to two pounds. We then had a lengthy discussion about the products he was trying to sell me as he had before looking at the unit. Finally he said he would check for leaks, ad a leak sealant and recharge for $500, with no warranty. I told him this was a ridiculous price and since it was working on Saturday there was no reason why it shouldn't work now that it was plugged back in. He left and I kept it running and for the next hour it never got below 82 degrees. I called the office for him to re
Desired Settlement: Their actions are despicable and I want them, Service Star, out of my life with no charge to me. He did come back out and said under no circumstances could he have leaked out the Freon. I never accused him of this so I feel he had a guilty conscience. Two days later I had it recharged and a leak test done and it is working fine to this date. The cost to do so was very reasonable and the person who did it said the technician had probable let the Freon out as he had seen this several times before
First I would like to state that it is mandatory for the Preventative Maintenance to be done on every unit that is installed by Service Star in order to keep the warranties valid, I also spoke to Mr. **** and explained to him that on his contract with Service Star, it states that warranties will be kept in place as long as the Manufacturers Suggested Maintenance was done on the unit. Lack of maintenance will cause units to leak, and become problems. Also, I would like to point out that he said in his first sentence that " My AC was working good as normal" and then in the same statement said it wouldn't turn on. If it's not turning on, it's not working as "normal". Also, there is no way to know if the unit needs refrigerant unless he checked the charge, his statement of selling him a repair before looking at the unit is an untruth, he stated in his complaint, that he DID have to have the leak search and recharge done by another company, so Service Stars technician was correct in his diagnosis.
Mr. **** called our office to schedule a Service Call for his air conditioner, we scheduled him an appointment for our technician to come out and informed him of the $59.00 Diagnostic Fee that is associated with this service, which is not covered under warranty. We also explained that if in fact it was a Warrantied item that there would not be a $59.00 Diagnostic Charge, but that we wouldn't know that until we came out to review the issue. He agreed and we sent a technician to his home.
He called that afternoon to let me know of his issue that the unit wouldn't cool since our technician went out to his home that morning. I apologized for his inconvenience, and sent the technician back to his home the same afternoon. After returning to the home, he found that there wasn't an additional issue, other than the issue that he explained to Mr. **** the first time he arrived. The unit was low on refrigerant, which states that there is a leak, and the leak needs to be found otherwise the same issue would keep happening, Mr. **** then expressed that he didn't want to pay for the leak search nor did he want to pay for the Freon, that it should be covered under a warranty. I explained to Mr. **** that since the unit was installed in 2009, already 5+ yrs old, and he had never had any maintenance on the unit that the leak check and Freon would not be covered under warranty because a leak is indicative of lack of maintenance. I offered Mr, **** a reduced rate of $500.00 to cover the search and the repair since he was a Service Star customer, from the original price of $1,019.00, ($636.00 for the leak search, and $383.00 for the Freon) and he still thought that it was too much.
I told him I had already lowered the cost of the repair over 50% and that would be the lowest that I would go for the repair, and that I thought that was reasonable since any of the other customers would have to pay full price in this situation. Mr. **** wanted Service Star to cover the cost of the repair, and the cost of sending our technician to his home a total of 3 times in the peak of the summer when the heat was over 100 degrees. I explained to him that the HVAC unit was a machine with motors and movable parts just like the vehicle he drives and it has to be maintained or it would break down. I then asked him, if he bought a car 5 years ago and never changed the oil, would he then take the vehicle back to the dealer and expect to have it repaired for free at the cost of the dealer? No. that's not how you take care of a very expensive piece of equipment that you rely on every day to keep your home comfortable. So it wasn't fair that he was wanting us to cover his repair, the labor fuel etc to send our technician to his home 3 times in less than 48 hours, because he didn't feel he had to pay. Service Star's warranty on this unit is a total of 2 years per his contract. The only warranty he has at this time was a Manufacture Warranty, and the Manufacture will not cover a leak search, Freon, or labor. They warranty the parts of the equipment, and nothing else which is standard for all HVAC Manufactures, unless it is a defective part.
I believe that the unit wasn't cooling prior to my technician arriving on site, and this was a "Baited Call". I believe that Mr. **** unplugged the unit intentionally and then blamed Service Star for "Breaking his Unit" so he could get the repair covered at no cost to him. There is no way that the unit would just come unplugged (It is a very large Plug that is hard to take out), unless someone intentionally Unplugged It. The technician offered Mr. **** a Tune Up on his unit while he was there since the repair was so easy, he didn't want the customer to have to pay him just for plugging the unit back in. Mr. **** accepted and did sign the work order at the end of the service. The technician noted on his work order the following:
-Found furnace unplugged & unit low on refrigerant.
Quoted: leak search @ 636.00 -R-22 383.00 for 2 lbs
Furnace was unplugged upon arrival. Low on refrigerant, 45 degree super-heat. Homeowners want to leave things as is and hold off on repairs.
While I understand that customers don't always agree with business practices, there is a common ground that typically can be reached that is very reasonable considering the circumstances. We have been in business for over 40 years and take care of our customers as much as possible. However, the manor in which Mr. **** spoke to me and my office staff, as well as threatening us to post this to the BBB and all over the internet is not the correct way to approach this situation. I offered Mr. **** 50% off the cost of the repair, and also did not charge him for the additional 2 times we had to arrive at his home for the same issue. I think that we went above and beyond to please Mr. **** and the only way to have made him happy would have been to cover the cost of his repair, and the service call that he requested.
I believe that the homeowners negligence to the equipment, and baiting our company is despicable. We will no longer service, or repair the unit for Mr. ****, nor have any desire to further a business relationship with him because of his actions. He DID accuse the technician of taking Freon out of his unit so that he could charge him for the repair, this was one of his first statements to me on his 2nd call to our office, and his denial of his actions are cowardlly. I also find it hard to believe that another company came out to find and repair his leak less than $500.00, unless of course they filled it with F reon and stated that it was fixed. The other technician who stated that my technician let the freon out on purpose has a bad sense of business, and had no right to state that as he was not there at the time of service and Service Star would not allow our technicians to speak badly about other companies work, it is against company policy, and VERY unprofessional.
Service Star Inc,
To whom it may concern,
In regards to response from Service Star, case***********, I initially felt it did not deserve a response from me as it appeared to be a rambling smoke screen and an attempt to discredit my complaint. However, because of the inaccuracies, half truths, lies and misleading information, I have decided to respond and will do so one paragraph at a time.
Paragraph #1: At no time during the sales process, the installation or any time later was I informed a service contract was required to keep the warranty in force. Service Star misquoted the chain of events in my need to call them. On Saturday
the unit worked and cooled as it always had. When I turned it on Sunday
it would not operate and that is when I attempted to call them for service. I called them because they had installed the unit less than five years ago and I felt they would give a break on cost if it were not covered by warranty. Obviously I was wrong on this matter.
Paragraph #2: Monday morning I contacted them and set an appointment latter that day. The diagnostic fee and warranty were not discussed at that time, nor disclosed to me. I knew there would be a charge for the services and was will to pay for the repairs if it fixed the problem.
Paragraph #3 & 4: When the Tech returned and found the unit running and not cooling he stated that there was no way he could have caused a loss of Freon. Until then I had not accused him or the company of doing so. After he left I called another certified and licensed Technician out to complete the job and make my unit cool again. Three days later he recharged my unit and checked it for leaks and found none. It has been cooling and running correctly since then. I asked him how the Freon leaked out and he said he had seen it happen accidentally when the gauges were hooked up to check the pressure.
Paragraph #5: It was despicable and unconscionable of Service Star to accuse me of a "baited call" when the unit had accidentally come unplugged from the wall because they had incorrectly routed the wire when they installed the unit.
Paragraph #5: The licensed and certified technician that fixed my unit, did so for under a hundred dollars. Service Stars quoted charges appear to be excessive and abusive to do the same job.
Summation: My A/C unit would not turn on because it had accidentally come unplugged from the outlet and after I plugged it back in, under the Service Star technicians supervision, it worked and cooled as normal. Only after the technician attached his gauges to the unit and attempted to check the line pressure did it quit cooling. The second companies technician recharged the unit and found no leaks when he check for them and the unit is working correctly to this date.
If I can save one person from having Service Star put them through what they have done to me, I feel my efforts in this complaint process were justified.
BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable effort to address the complaint. However the consumer remains dissatisfied.