Action Plumbing and Heating Complaint - Rip-off Sabatogers - Furnace Diagnostic Appointment

Review by momoo on 2010-02-18
WEST JORDAN, UTAH -- After seeing several mailer ads for a furnace tune-up special for $49 that was guaranteed to double your money in savings on your utility bill, I called Action Plumbing and Heating and scheduled an appointment for February 9, 2010. The morning of the appointment I woke up to a freezing cold house. I called my husband and told him I thought the furnace quit working. He told me it was probably the blower motor and that it was a simple repair and to see how much Action wanted to fix it for and if it wasn't too expensive just have them do it because he wouldn't be home for hours. I called Action and explained what was going on and the receptionist told me she would change my appointment to a diagnostic appointment instead of a tune-up appointment. The technichian came out and fiddled around for a bit with my furnace then told me that yes, it was the blower motor. I asked if it was expensive to fix. He grimaced and shook his head yes and said "yes, very very expensive. Everything on this furnace is very expensive. The blower motor will probably be around $660 and then you probably need to clean your coils which will cost you and additional $245." He then suggested that I buy a new furnace, because with the federal tax credit and rebates and such that for not too much more I could get a brand- new high efficiency furnace. I called my husband and told him what they wanted to fix it. He said "no way- that is complete B. S. he is lying to you-that is a simple motor he is trying to rip you off or just trying to get you to buy a new furnace. I will change it myself so call around for motors." So, trying to be polite, I told him I was not sure if I wanted him to replace the blower motor and that I would call him later if I did. He told me he was going to finish up then he gave me a bill for $59 which I paid with my credit card. Immediately after he left I started calling other heating contractors and started getting costs from them to do the repair. The MOST EXPENSIVE bid I got was for $349-which was for the service call, replace the motor, and tune-up and clean the furnace. The cheapest I got was for $249 with 911 heating and plumbing. I then called a few plumbing supply places and got prices for the motor cash and carry. The prices ranged from $98-$122. I was furious. I called Action Plumbing and requested to speak to the manager because I had been lied to (told that my furnace was a very very expensive furnace to repair-it's not) they were price gouging me on my repair costs with hopes of selling me a new furnace instead. I was told he was out but would call me back when he got in. He never called. When my husband came home what he came home to was a sabatoged furnace!!!! The technichian had disconnected every single wire from the circuit board, thermostat and everywhere else-about 14 in all. My husband was pissed. I called up Action and explained to the receptionist how the technichian had left my furnace and I demanded to speak to the owner. I told her I wanted someone sent back out to my house immediately and wanted my furnace put back exactly the way they found it. Jeff, the manager, got on the phone and asked what was going on. I explained to him how his tech had come to my house to do a diagnostic on my furnace but when I didn't have him do the repair he disconnected all the wires and just left them hanging. And that he had absolutely no reason whatsoever for disconnecting all the wires. I also told him how I had been lied to and how they were trying to rip me off by charging me $885 for a repair that cost as little as $249 elsewhere with the highest being $349. I told him that I felt they were trying to manipulate me into buying a new furnace. He asked me what made me call those other contractors in the first place and I explained to him that I always get second opinions on repairs and, my husband told me to get prices on motors because he was going to change the motor himself. He then told me that if I didn't have a licensed professional change the motor that I would void my homeowners insurance, and, that we couldn't buy a motor from a plumbing supply place because we weren't licensed contractors. I told him that my husband was more than qualified to change the motor because he did maintenance at Kennecott Copper Mine and repaired and replaced motors bigger than their cars everyday. I also told him that I could and did purchase a motor without being a licensed contractor. He said that it wasn't common practice to take off all the wires and that his tech should have never left them disconnected and hanging-he didn't know why he did. He said he was going to call him and find out why he did it and what his side of the story was and then he would call me back. He asked me what I wanted for them to do. I told him all I wanted was for them to send someone back out and put my furnace back exactly as they found it. A few minutes later he called me back and told me that since it was obvious I wasn't going to have them do the repairs that they weren't going to send someone back out. He said they would refund my money and we could all just chalk it up to be a bad experience. He was going to turn my invoice over to the accounting department and they would send me a check right away. I told him I paid with my credit card and I wanted it refunded back onto my credit card but he told me that they don't do it that way and that the check would be in the mail. Then he said, "He shouldn't have disconnected all those wires like he did, but your furnace wasn't running anyway!" I told him that that was like taking a car into the shop to see what was wrong with it and having the mechanic take off all the hoses and disconnect all the wires etc etc. and then just leave it and say "it wasn't running anyway". After not receiving my check right away-I gave them a week- I called to find out why I had not received the check yet. The story now is that it has to go to the corporate office for approval and will take two to three weeks. CORPORATE OFFICE???? It is a local family owned business. Regardless, I wouldn't recommend them to a flea. I took several pictures of how he left our furnace and Iam considering filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or taking further action. To lie to someone and try ripping them off telling someone they need something they don't (new furnace) is one thing, but to sabatoge a furnace and make it so they HAVE to come back out (or so they thought) is another thing. The repair was an easy one- anyone could have done it. But while the average person might have been able to change the motor, unless they had some knowledge of electrical and wiring, they probably would have never been able to figure out which wires went where with the wiring mess they left us and that is probably what he was counting on. I believe he overheard my husband tell me he was going to change it himself and tried to make it so he couldn't do it himself thinking he didn't know anything about anything. As for repairing the furnace- after my husband and co-worker re-wired the furnace and put all the wires back where they belonged-it took my husband about three minutes to remove the old motor and about three minutes to put the new one in. (We bought the motor at JOHNSTONE SUPPLY for $102 which included the acuator.) All I know is that if one of MY employees sabatoged someones furnace as Action did mine I be out fixing the problem immediately regardless of whether or not they were going to have us do the repairs. I would never ever ever ever want someone to get word or see pictures of what Action Plumbing and Heatings Diagnostic appointment consists of. I could never apologize enough. And I sure wouldn't be smart a. sed about it. And I would never dream of playing the checks in the mail game!!!!!!! I probably would have even offered to do the repair for free.
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-02-18
Posted by Alain on 2010-02-18:
The manager may have had a point about the repair work not being done by a licensed contractor voiding your insurance. Your husband knows how to do it, but insurance companies can void a policy should a problem occur with the furnace in the future. A lot of folks do their own work, but don't mention it to the insurance company (just a comment here, not a suggestion.) You should file a complaint with the BBB just to make this a matter of record. Make sure you get your money back (even if it's a check) and do exactly what you've done: warn others not to use this company.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-18:
I don't blame you for being annoyed. It does sound like the tech had an agenda. I agree that someone, probably the owner or manager, should have come back to connect the wires even if they weren't going to do the repair. And it does sound like the manager was less than truthful with you about buying the motor and replacing it yourself.

It's a good thing your husband knew the estimate was too high. It pays to be a little skeptical and get a second opinion on repairs, especially if it sounds unreasonable.

I also agree that not receiving the check added fuel to the fire. It was foolish of them not to send it out immediately. I don't understand why they couldn't credit your card. If they accept credit cards, they should be able to issue a credit.

Good review.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-02-18:
good post and good information.

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