HVAC company not billing me for service second call

Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
902
Location
ME
About 6 weeks ago, I tried to upgrade the protector relay on my oil fired furnace with a newfangled electronic unit that I bought from Home Depot. I've been playing amatuer furnace repair tech for over 30 years, but the wiring got me befuddled so I broke down and called a random company. Amazingly, they arrived the same day.

They got it going but they also fired the parts cannon at it because it was tripping out. I had no problem with that as they saved the old parts (CAD cell, nozzle) and the total bill was only $125 and there were 2 men on the job.

At about 4 AM, it tripped out. I got it going, no big deal, no drama. I called them at 9 AM but hung up when they didn't answer; 5 minutes later, they called. I told them what happened. He said he'd call his father (retired Master). He called back and said the old man suggested it needed a new burner head AND said We won't charge you. I cut him off and said I had absolutely no problem with paying for the service call, and not to worry about it. I was nice enough to leave my home unlocked so they could come when it was convenient for them (no one home).

They came, fixed it and furnace has been running wonderfully.

This where it gets weird. They left no bill for me. I texted them, saying furnace is running excellently and that they did an awesome job. I asked Where is the bill, or let me know by text and I'll put it in the next day's mail.

They responded pretty much just saying they are glad everything worked out. No mention of a bill. Still no bill all these weeks later. The part is about $25 and the job for an old hack like me would take about 15 minutes.

They are only a couple of years into the biz and judging by the battered Express van they have are not rolling in money so they should and I feel badly that they don't want to bill me. On the other hand, I don't feel an obligation to chase them.

Do any of you small business owners ever not bill for work performed? I'm trying to grasp what's going on and the only thing I can think of is they felt guilty about not getting right the first time but it bothers me that I got a "free" service (especially the part that they had to procure).
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
860
Location
SW Missouri
Just depends on the situation. In this particular situation I probably would have billed you for the service call and the part just due to the fact that it was running when they left. You can't really troubleshoot a part that is working. You could always track them down and "tip" them for their service. I feel that it would be appropriate in this situation to do so.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
1,702
Location
Ontario, Canada
These may be people with a good moral compass!
If they felt that this ought to have been picked up on the 1st visit and wasn't then they feel they should not charge for labour.
Good people to do business with IMO.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2002
Messages
5,358
Location
Lakeville, MN
I had a similar type of response with an A/C contractor. They came and fixed what they believed was the issue, and when it turned out it was masking the second issue that they came back for, there was no bill for service visit #2, despite me saying I had no issue with paying.

And who do I call when I need HVAC work? There's only one number to call, and its been the same technician every time. Fair, responsive, honest... Can't ask for more...
 

Nayov

Thread starter
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
902
Location
ME
Who are you going to call next time?
Realistically, probably no one ever, because I've been doing all the work on it for over 30 years but It definitely would be them if needed and I would for sure mention the unbilled work and insist on paying it. I'm sure they've deduce as much judging by all the parts I've accumulated piled around the furnace.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,134
Location
Upstate NY
About 6 weeks ago, I tried to upgrade the protector relay on my oil fired furnace with a newfangled electronic unit that I bought from Home Depot. I've been playing amatuer furnace repair tech for over 30 years, but the wiring got me befuddled so I broke down and called a random company. Amazingly, they arrived the same day.

They got it going but they also fired the parts cannon at it because it was tripping out. I had no problem with that as they saved the old parts (CAD cell, nozzle) and the total bill was only $125 and there were 2 men on the job.

At about 4 AM, it tripped out. I got it going, no big deal, no drama. I called them at 9 AM but hung up when they didn't answer; 5 minutes later, they called. I told them what happened. He said he'd call his father (retired Master). He called back and said the old man suggested it needed a new burner head AND said We won't charge you. I cut him off and said I had absolutely no problem with paying for the service call, and not to worry about it. I was nice enough to leave my home unlocked so they could come when it was convenient for them (no one home).

They came, fixed it and furnace has been running wonderfully.

This where it gets weird. They left no bill for me. I texted them, saying furnace is running excellently and that they did an awesome job. I asked Where is the bill, or let me know by text and I'll put it in the next day's mail.

They responded pretty much just saying they are glad everything worked out. No mention of a bill. Still no bill all these weeks later. The part is about $25 and the job for an old hack like me would take about 15 minutes.

They are only a couple of years into the biz and judging by the battered Express van they have are not rolling in money so they should and I feel badly that they don't want to bill me. On the other hand, I don't feel an obligation to chase them.

Do any of you small business owners ever not bill for work performed? I'm trying to grasp what's going on and the only thing I can think of is they felt guilty about not getting right the first time but it bothers me that I got a "free" service (especially the part that they had to procure).
Not me, but I was there when the issue happened.. My friends oil furnaces control box, the brain of the system.. He lives in east bumble Fxxx in northern Vermont. I bypassed the unit and powered the furnace because it was about 5*. When he called the HVAC company he had mention he got it to work by bypassing the controls and they said told him if he can wait till next morning(Sun), they'd wave the $200 emergency fee for him. The tech called him at 8am, and asked if we still had heat, and we did. He told us there's people without heat (Now -10 outside), and he'd have to bump us. See if we were available all day which we were. Told us to call him if the furnace stopped working and thanked us for understanding. Called us three separate times and let us know when he estimated to be there, and wanted to make sure we will still ok. Super nice guy. Note: this is the same company the put a new burner and controls when they purchased the house 5 years ago.
Tech showed up, took one look at my bypass job and said that it was really good! Control box was shot, smoked the board. New box was $600 and in his van. New circuit board was going to be two to three weeks and could be up to $400 in parts and labor. Said he could hook up a used box from his van in the meantime while he was going to wait for the board to be repaired. He hooked up the used box and took his stuff, said they'd call monday with the bill. Door bell rang about 10 mins later and the tech had a box in his hand.
Said he was going to give us the new box for what they'd charge for the repair. Offered him a beer and he obliged. Swapped out the boxes, finished the beer and said he's been up since 3 am and could not wait to get home, there was a new tech on call and he had took monday morning off.
Business called for the bill monday morning and said the tech had asked had waived the service call fee because he just tightened something. I was so friggin pissed because he always get free stuff whenever I'm visiting. Last time we went to a local Home Depot to to get a 1/4" and 3/8" Dewalt impact drivers. Went to cashier and she only rang up the 1/4" driver. Total is $1xx. She forgot to ring up the other one. Told her such and she said no she did. Tried one more time and she insisted. He obliged. He is such lucky bastard, kid chits gold.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
2,340
Location
Maryland
Write them a great Google review. But don't mention the free second service call. All the cheapsters wanting something for nothing will call them.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,134
Location
Upstate NY
And word of mouth is a good salesman. At work we bs all the time, and tell eachother about the best the guys they use for services. Someone put together an excel file with the information and contacts for services. Getting a bunch of recommendations from anal retentive engineer techs is probably the absolute best advertising you could ever have. Considering your a technician and your family and friends tend to ask you for the name of good people for this and that...
 
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