Friday, March 9, 2012

Ethical Repair Work

Using an ethical contractor like GMC protects you from unnecessary repairs. If you do have to call for service, some unethical businesses will charge you for items not needed, as in this investigation:

CBS Atlanta Investigates contacted four companies for a general check-up on a heater that worked perfectly. One company did great, but the others recommended repairs ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars for what our experts said were completely unnecessary repairs.

CBS Atlanta News installed hidden cameras in a home where the heater was located to document each sales pitch. Then we had our heater inspected by an expert, Staton Conditioned Air, who has a complaint-free history with the Better Business Bureau.

"Nothing obvious needs to be replaced," said the expert from Staton Conditioned Air, giving the heater a clean bill of health.

"The power will come to it, to come on, it will not come on, but the gas will still seep out," a Bardi technician told Saltzman during the hidden camera investigation...Whenever it gets like that, the gas will keep coming. And if the gas builds up, you know what's going to happen. So we don't want that," the Bardi technician said. Bardi Heating and Air upsold the heater repair costs by $264 for a hot surface igniter, which experts from Staton Conditioned Air said weren't needed.
The next call was to Chuck Maddox at Maddox Comfort Systems. Maddox misdiagnosed the dual-fuel heater and said it wasn't working properly. He recommended replacing the control board and a new thermostat. "I'm gonna say $300 for the thermostat," Maddox said. The control board cost an additional $350.
The most expensive upsell was made by Mechanics Heating and Air Conditioning in Marietta..."When these start to go bad they just explode and stop working," the Mechanics technician said about the heater's air conditioner capacitor. "I recommend the booster, it is extra protection," he said. The technician also suggested a refrigerant top-off, to fix what he claimed was a leak.Mechanics also recommended cleaning the heater's air conditioning coils and cleaning the flame sensor. The flame sensor cleaning is a service that takes about two minutes, which another company did for free, but Mechanics charged $79 for it. Mechanics' biggest sales pitch was a duct cleaning for $875, padding the bill for more than $1,400.

Source: CBS

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