We were refused service and dismissed as customers after questioning why we were being charged when our new furnace was still under warranty.
We had the contractor install a new ***************** furnace in our newly constructed home. From the beginning, we have had issues with the home being heated evenly. Parts of the downstairs are freezing, while the upstairs consistently reads higher that what the thermostat is set to. We have been shaking our heads on why this was happening. We have even had someone come check our insulation to insure it is adequate (which is above require minimums). After some time and investigating, we have discovered that the ************************* (part *********) is not working properly. My husband reached out to the installer via phone to let them know that the damper was not closing all the way, causing the heat to be distributed unevenly through out the house. The said the part would be covered under the warranty but we would need to pay an $80.00 service fee and $90.00 labor cost. When we purchased the furnace we also signed up for the automatic routine maintenance plan offered by the contractor. We were under the impression that by signing up for this we were electing for the extended warranty. I went online to read further about our warranty where it read that under the extended warranty, the parts and labor would be covered. I then wrote the contractor via email asking why we were being charged $170 plus, if this was covered under our warranty. I did also express I had concern that since this had been happening from day one, that possibly the furnace was not installed correctly, a defective part was installed or possibly it was not checked adequately after install. I received an email back from the contractor saying we did not have the extended warranty, that our furnace was over 2 years old and that "you can call another heating company and ask them to work with you on your damper warranty." I then replied back asking what warranty we were getting when we elected for the routine maintenance program. The contractor responded that this was simply a service agreement to keep our warranty valid. I responded to confirm that we then only had the base warranty and that there was a miscommunication/misunderstanding and that we were under the impression we were getting the extended warranty. I then confirmed that they were still requesting we contact another contractor to resolve our issue. The contractor responded "correct on both matters". I then asked how we would be refunded for the prepaid service agreement since our services were not being dismissed. She replied she would send a check. I think replied thank you for the refund. That I respected her request to place our business elsewhere but that I did not agree with their decision. I have not heard back. In no way were we out of line for questioning our warranty and why we were being charged. We were in no way rude, we did not curse. I have the emails documented and can show we were simply inquiring why we were being charged and questioning if possibly it was installed incorrectly. I feel being dismissed from services is unprofessional simply because we questioned why our "2 year old furnace" installed Sept. 2012, has never functioned property. We now have to go through the hassle of getting our warranty transferred to another contractor. And our malfunctioning furnace is still not fixed.
I would like my furnace fixed and working how it should. I would like a technician to come out and confirm it is in fact a defective damper and/or was installed appropriately. I would like our contractor to stand behind their quality work and come see why our furnace and heating system has never worked efficiently/effectively. I would like to be treated fairly and with professionalism. We have never once said we would not pay the additional cost above the warranty, we simply questioned why we were being charged that. We will abide by the terms of our warranty. I although do not feel we should be charged a service fee to repair a defective part less than 2 years old. I understand the hourly service charge, but the $80.00 to simply come out and confirm what the issue is does seem unfair. I have contacted other contractor per our contractors request to move our business and none of them have said there would be any service fee, just an hourly rate similar to that of our current contractor. They will even come diagnose the problem with out a surcharge. It does become problematic for us to move our warranty and services to another contractor. Certain guidelines must be followed to keep the validity of the warranty. Since we already have issues less than 2 years in, we are concerned moving our business would could pose negative consequences on our warranty.
Contact Name and Title: ***********
Contact Phone: ************
Contact Email: *************************
The customers furnace and zone system was installed on 12-3-11. The warranty registration with the furnace manufacturer could not be completed until September 2, 2012 because it took that long for us to be able to set the a/c unit for a complete system. Grade was not done so we could not set ac any sooner. The furnace and zone system was being used prior to the September 2, 2012 warranty registration. The customer now has a bonus 9 months of part coverage on the furnace.
The labor warranty on the furnace and zone system dampers is 1 year.
There is no longer any labor warranty left on any of their components.
In addition we never even had an opportunity to finish the project. After no contact for almost a year approximately 2 months ago the homeowner called requesting that he finish the job himself and not pay us the final 10% or $1,136. At that time there was no mention of anything being wrong. I like the homeowner and up to that point had no problems other than the excessive length of the project (originally started 7-6-11). During that time I had material increases of approximately 9% but never even asked to pass that on to the customer. I agreed to let him finish the project on his own and waive the final 10%. Thought all was good glad to finally get the project off my books and went about my busy heating guy life.
The customer calls a week ago saying that a damper has failed and cannot understand why they have to pay labor for a service call and part replacement.
Evidently now the damper hasn't worked at all in 2 years even though this is the first we have ever heard of any issue.
After explaining to the customer that the labor coverage had elapsed and sensing that they had a problem with that and us we recommended they contact another heating contractor since anyone could warranty their parts. We could offer them no further warranty benefits than anyone else.
There is no obligation left on our part.
Then a torrent of emails and a BBB complaint.
We reserve the right to refuse to service any customer once our commitments have been met if we sense that they have no intention of paying or are just being difficult in general for us or our field personnel.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We were not aware that the issues we were having with hot and cold zones in the house was a damper issue until a week ago. We had contractors come out and check insulation and windows, it wasn't until those all checked that they realized the damper wasn't closing. We would have contacted sooner having known this was the issue. We contacted Sun Services immediately discovering their was a damper issue.
I have contacted ********* who makes the damper part who has said it has a 5 year warranty... not a one year. and that I should contact the heating contractor to have it replaced. They did say I would need to pay labor cost but that the part was under warranty.
We were under the impression we had the extended warranty. It was a miscommunication/misunderstanding. We questioned why we were being charged labor, we did NOT refuse to pay!!! If someone has an understanding that they have an extended warranty that includes labor, of course they will question why they are being charged. Once you explained we had the base warranty, I asked if you still wanted to dismiss us as customers and you said yes. You did not give us an opportunity to pay labor and have our issue resolved. So apparently, you sensed wrong.
We have contacted ***************** who manufactures our furnace. There is a 5 year base warranty on several components of the furnace. We are now having difficulties getting this warranty transferred to another contractor. I am working with ***************** and another contractor to do this. In the meantime, our house is still extremely cold in certain areas, including our babies bedroom.
Further, we are building the home ourselves. It will be built in stages. There was no time restriction in our contract with Sun Services. We asked to put on the vent covers ourselves because the house was not finished being painted. Sun Services never contacted us to request payment any sooner, nor did they give us a date the required the payment be made by. had then requested the payment sooner, we would have gladly paid the remainder. You agreed to the final 10% being waived for us to install the grids ourselves. had we known you had not done a final safety check and wiring check, we would have requested this be done and paid what you thought we should. On top of the issues with the damper, we are now concerned that safety check has not been done. We are paying another contractor to come do this. As for the 9% increase in materials, if you chose not to disclose this with your clients, that is your loss. We can not be held accountable for materials increases that we are not aware of, nor should we be penalized because you chose to take on these extra expenses not disclosed.
I feel strongly that questioning our warranty because of a misunderstanding is far from being difficult. I have saved the email correspondence. I chose email because I work 50 hours a week and do not have time to sit on the phone. Plus, everything is then documented if issues like this are to arise.
Final Business Response
I too will agree to disagree. Best of luck in the new house.
Final Consumer Response
12:22 PM (23 hours ago)
to **********, me
I am not sure where I am supposed to respond to this? It would not allow me to respond online.
To Answer the questions:
1. The reason we did not just "dump" the contractor is because they were the original contractor, they know how they installed the system, then know the layout. Therefore, it makes sense to have them be the ones to come back out to resolve the issues. Never once did I say I wouldn't pay. Yes, I questioned why we were being charged if we had a warranty. All the contractor had to do was resolve our misunderstanding on how the warranty worked! if they would have told us simply "unfortunately, you don't have the extended warranty, so that is why labor is being charged." We would have paid the 180 dollars and had our furnace fixed.
2. It has not been "horrible" suffering for two years. We moved in Oct 2012. We had a Mild winter, we noticed the hot/cold zones slightly, but space heater in the bedroom helped. This winter temperatures have been horrible, which made the hot/cold zones much more noticeable. The space heater can't compete.
3. 3 months ago when you were at the house, winter had not completely set in. We didn't have the -15 degree temperatures that really showed the heating issues. And again, we weren't aware it was the heating system. We were exploring other areas, such as if the insulation was adequate and if the windows were letting cold in. If you were there 3 months ago, why didn't you notice the damper didn't close? Did you not check everything like you were supposed to? The new contractor came out and said it was very noticeable to a trained HVAC technician.
4. We requested to put the register covers on ourselves because the house had not been painted yet. You said you wanted us off your books. If you preferred to wait another 6-9 months til the house was painted to come out, you could have. We were trying to save you the hassle.
5. In my opinion, you are not wasting your time.... you didn't come out and do anything. Why should you take the time? Because you were the contractor and there is an issue that needed to be fixed.
6. You were aware of our situation when we hired you. We were building a house ourselves. Paying as we go. We were finishing the basement first, then taking our time to complete the upstairs. I apologize if you don't think this is "normal" but it was our intentions from the beginning.... and we told you that. I believe it is common to put a down payment when a project begins, when it is 50% completed pay another portion and then reserve the final 10% for when the project is completed? So, where did we do anything wrong? That is how we paid. Yes, we asked to finish the vent covers ourselves and asked if there would be a deduction for that, you agreed to the 10% and never made us aware that you were unhappy with this. Again, you also never mentioned to us there were price increases? So... how are we to be held accountable for these issues if they were never brought to our attention?
And why on earth would we pay you an additional $3000. For one, the project is 90% completed, so why would I pay your additional labor increases for 2014 and materials increases? That makes no sense.
As for your rather rude insinuation that we have no "logical reasoning ear".... This has become an issue because you did not take the time to truly listen to what we were asking. We wanted to know why we were being charged if we had a warranty. We were under the impression we had an extended warranty that covered labor. If you would have gotten off your high horses and simply explained the misunderstanding of the warranty, this would have never become an issue for you. Instead, you took offense that we questioned you. Apparently, you had frustrations with us that were never brought to our attention and released that pent up anger.
To be honest, I am tired of explaining myself. I will agree to disagree. I feel you are wrong. I feel as a business owner you handled yourself in an unprofessional, rude way. I think that in hindsight I should have explored other options vs. trying to explain myself to a business owner that says he "prides himself in customer service" but yet didn't want to even check and see why a heating system he installed had issues after less than 2 years. We chose you because you were local and we were building a house in *****. Because my dad is a prominent business owner in ***** and preaches you should attempt to keep things local, even if it cost more.
The resolution is: We hired another heating contractor. They came out, fixed the damper. We paid out of pocket for the damper and labor because it posed an issue with the warranty and getting it figured out. They also fixed the humidifier that was improperly working due to how it was connected to the furnace, that kept dripping. They are re-routing the duct work to the back bedroom, to help increase the heat being forced into that room. and sealed the two leaks they found in the duct work. They also helped secure the vent covers in the drop sealing that you did install, that continuously kept falling out. They also did a full safety inspection that had not been completed previously. but thank you Sun Services for your quality work and excellent customer service and standing behind your work. *please note my sarcasm*. It is one thing to call yourself a "good contractor" it is another thing to actual be one.