I called A Appliance Repair to see what it would cost to have a technician look at my AC. The women on the phone stated that it would cost $63 to diagnose the problem. When the technician arrived it took him almost 2 hours to figure out the problem (a faulty wire leading to the outside unit). He said it was a two person job to replace the wire and that he had to wait until his boss could meet him. He said the repair would cost $300+ because it was 3 hours in labor ($88 an hour) and $60 for the wire. I reluctantly agreed because I really just wanted a working AC again and every other company I called was booked solid. However I still felt a bit taken advantage because 2 of those hours were spent diagnosing the problem which I was told would cost $63 not $176. They only spent about an hour of actual repair work but I was charged for 3 hours.
That evening the tech. returned with his boss to fix the wire. My sister/roommate and I were a little concerned by the bits of conversation we over heard because they seemed a bit confused about what they were doing but eventually our AC was back on and working the way it should. It was less then 48 hours later when the real problems started. We lost all power to our house. Because electrical work had just been completed by this company we called them up for assistance.
It was 8 or 9 at night when my roommate called A Appliance Repair (I was out of town at the time). She explained the situation to the technician who answered the phone (we later discovered this was the owner again). He responded with indifference and rudeness, he said he didn't care and that it wasn't the company's fault and refused to come out. My sister grew frustrated and eventually passed the phone off to my husband. The owner told him that the issue what out of his hands and that we needed to call an actual electrician instead. He said he could refer us to someone he knew but when my husband asked for the electricians number the owner changed his mind and said he would just go ahead and come out himself. It was assumed that the owners decision to come out was because it was the right thing to do customer service wise. When he arrived my sister asked if A Appliance Repair had both an HVAC and electrical license and was told that the company was only licensed to perform HVAC work and then went down stairs to look at the circuit panel. He played around with it a little bit before stating that our main panel had blown and that we needed to call an electrician. He then charged my husband a $100!For what? His company isn't even licensed to perform electrical work, his diagnosis was wrong and last I checked referrals do not cost money. If I had been there this money would not have been paid and our request for a refund on the $100 were denied.
The next morning we consulted two separate electricians, both of whom agreed that the problem was likely caused by missteps in the electrical work performed by A Appliance Repair. They said that the AC technicians had no business messing with our electrical system without a license to do so because any number of things they did (or didn't do) could have caused the circuit to overload. We asked if there was anything else thatcould have created the outage and the only thing that either could think of was lightning. However there were no storms and no lighting at all so that was ruled out. Replacing the main panel did not resolve the issue and dominion power had to be called. Another day went by without power before dominion power came out with 2 or 3 trucks to repair the neutral that was blown as a result of the overload. The dominion employee that diagnosed the problem also said the problem could have been caused by faulty electrical work overloading the circuit.
After finally having our power restored the cable and internet remained unusable, all the halogen lights that were on when we lost power were blown, our alarm clocks had to be thrown away along with the food in our freezer and one of the computers was fried. It took another week before Comcast made it out to resolve the cable issue which was due to a blown connector, also a consequence of the electrical outage.
I offered A Appliance the opportunity to make right by this situation. Once the power was restored the AC did work so I only asked for a partial refund. I suggested they refund the $100 charge from when the owner volunteered to come out the night of the outage and for some of the money charged for initial services since it was not on par with our initial verbal agreement. The bill for labor should have been $63 for diagnosing the problem and $88 for an hour of labor plus $60 for parts, that's $211 not $327. I asked that they simply return the difference. I did not ask for a full refund or request additional money to offset the cost of lost personal property and electrician bills caused by their mistake. Never the less, the owner rejected my request completely, took no responsibility and remained combative through out this whole ordeal.