I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
May 15, 2013
Okay, Internet friends. It is time for you to weigh in on a dilemma.
Two years ago, we replaced our downstairs HVAC unit. Last year, Dennis signed us up for a preventative maintenance plan. A technician would come out twice over the next year, clean out both our units (the upstairs unit was replaced a year ago), and hopefully make everything last a little longer.
Recently, the company changed ownership, but we were assured that the new owners would honor our warranty and maintenance plan. Bored yet? Sorry. To get to the point, on Friday they sent out one of their technicians for the second of our two maintenance visits.
When he arrived, Dennis had not yet left for work, so he showed the guy where the units were located. I was immediately put off by the fact that the technician walked past me in the kitchen twice and didn’t look at me or acknowledge me in any way. Who does that?!
Dennis had to leave while the guy was still here, which was unfortunate– We’ve both noticed a surprising number of service technicians and repairmen who’ve tried to jack up the prices and services supposedly “needed” when I’m the only one here, assuming that I’m a gullible stay-at-home-mom who will sign a check for anything. The fact that this guy had already decided I wasn’t even worth acknowledging was definitely not a good sign. I made up my mind at that point not to buy anything– Our air conditioners and heaters had been working great, and I wasn’t going to fix anything that wasn’t broken.
Sure enough, within a few minutes of Dennis leaving, the guy was back inside, telling me that a part needed to be replaced, for $250. “It’s not broken yet, but it will go out eventually,” he said. “You don’t want to be stuck waiting for us with a broken air conditioner when it’s 95 degrees outside.”
“I think we’re going to wait on that,” I told him.
“Do you need to talk to your husband about it?” he asked. “I’ll wait.”
“No,” I said. “I think we’re going to wait until the part actually needs to be replaced.”
He pursed his lips. “Well, okay,” he said. “I’ll just go outside and finish cleaning up and be on my way.”
From that point onward, he was even more brusque than he had been before. I worried as I heard him clanging around outside that he would do something to make the part break faster and make me “sorry” I hadn’t taken his advice. I also suspected that the “preventative maintenance” visits were just a way for the company to find something– anything– wrong, and make more money. Either way, I suspected, we were screwed.
We didn’t need to use our heater or air conditioner for a few days after that, but on Sunday night, the temperatures dipped and we turned on the downstairs heater.
It doesn’t work.
Dennis called the company and very politely told them what had happened, and asked that they make it right. They said they could send the same guy back over on Monday, but obviously we wanted a different technician. They said another technician wouldn’t be available until today, but so far we’ve heard nothing. And now, the temperature is reaching 85 degrees each day and we have no downstairs A/C.
So what do we do? What would you do? We’d like to call another company to come out and fix it, but all of our warranties are with the original one. We’ve talked about having someone else come out and document whether our system was tampered with by the last guy. Would you do that, or would you wait to see if this new company makes it right?
Image via Sylvar/Flickr