My husband and I take care of the rental and all related issues for a condo in a 55+ community in Boca Raton, FL, for my mother, who lives in assisted living. We care about our tenants and pride ourselves in being extremely responsive to any issues good or bad, with our condo. I wish I could say the same about Pride Air Conditioning and Appliance, Inc. in Pompano Beach, FL.
We had signed up for a Service Contract with Pride, over a year ago, at the recommendation, ironically, of one of our tenants, who said he had done business with them, and felt they were reasonably priced. That's where it all ends. You buy their contract for $200+ and then if you don't have any problems you're lucky. But god help you if you need them to come out and repair something and do it with some acumen of positive and reassuring customer service.
Almost a week ago, our tenant contacted us to report a problem with water leaking through the ceiling, from the air conditioner, in the condo. They said there didn't seem to be any cool air coming out of the unit either. It was Thursday afternoon at around 5PM when I got the message. I immediately called Pride to ask them to send someone out to check out the problem and they told me that our Service Contract had expired and we hadn't renewed the contract so they weren't going to do anything. Caught by surprise, I told them I didn't know it had expired cause I didn't receive the renewal contract and would be very happy to renew it, which was the least of the issues, but I needed someone to go over and help our tenants out with the problem with the air conditioner. They preferred to dwell on the renewal contract and told me where they sent the renewal. Again, I said ok, I believe you mailed it. I didn't get it. I can give you a credit card now to renew it, can we please just get on with the service call I need? The woman on the phone told me she couldn't help me. She said I had to renew the contract first and told me that the contracts department was closed. She forwarded me to voicemail for the person who takes care of the contracts to leave a voicemail message, which I did. She never called me back.
The next morning, my husband called the Service Department to follow up and again was told our contract had expired and needed to be renewed. That's all they really cared about. So he said fine, and gave the woman our credit card number to renew the contract and asked her to send a service technician and he gave her the tenant's phone number so he could call the tenant when he was there. He told her that the tenant was not going to be sitting in the condo during the day, because there was no air conditioning and the temperature was in the mid 90's and very humid. It would be very damaging to his health.
The service technician came out and found that one of the problems was that the air handler had come down from the brackets and needed to be lifted back up. He called my husband and immediately gave him a bunch of attitude about the fact that the air conditioner had apparently fallen and demanded to know who put it in. My husband had no idea and it really wasn't relevant. We just wanted it fixed. If it had come down, put it back up. That was my husband's response.. The technician told my husband he needed to come back with another person to help him slide the air handler back in place and would go back to the office and get them to schedule it and noted that it would be the next morning. My husband gave him the approval to do whatever he needed to do to get that air conditioner working and very clearly told him it was imperative that he coordinate the time of the return with the tenant so the tenant could meet him there again, and gave him the tenant's cell phone number. He also told him it was very important to get this air conditioner back to work as fast as humanly possible. We assured the tenant that he would be back the next morning, because that's what the service technician told my husband. The tenant made it very clear to the technician that he couldn't sit and wait around in a condo in 95+ weather with no air conditioning. He said he would wait in another apartment for the technician's call. The service technician said he would make sure the people who do the scheduling know this.
On Saturday mid-afternoon, our tenant called to say he had stayed there all morning waiting for a call or the technician and still had not heard back from the technician who was supposed to have returned, based on our understanding, the next morning, nor had he heard from anyone from Pride Air Conditioning. We assumed that he or someone would have called our tenant to confirm the time of his arrival, however, they dropped the ball and did nothing. Our tenant had been inconvenienced for the entire day and still had no air conditioning in the condo.
So, I called Pride Air Conditioning, and the person who answered the phone was about as helpful as a talking parrot. She put me on hold and then came back on the phone and told me that they couldn't schedule service for us cause our contract had expired. I told her the contract was renewed the day before, and also, that their service person had already come to our condo the day before and was supposed to return that morning with another person and neither he or the service coordinator ever called and he still had not showed up. She put me on hold for another minute and then got back on the phone and told me that something she found said we needed an ELT, whatever that is, and that WE were supposed to call to schedule a time to send someone with an ELT and since we didn't call no one was scheduled. I told her I had no idea what she was talking about and told her what the technician told my husband and our tenant, the day before. She said there was no notation that two people needed to go to lift the air handler back up and no comments from the technician about anything other than they needed an ELT. I insisted that the technician assured my husband he and someone else would be back in the morning, never said WE had to call to schedule this. She insisted that since we didn't call to place another service call she wasn't doing anything. She didn't care that her technician told us he would tell the company to get him a partner to come and help him with the job.
She again reminded me that the contract wasn't renewed. I think that's all they care about there. I again told her that it was renewed and she should check with her contracts department. She told me that she couldn't do that cause they didn't work on the weekend. God forbid! And I guess the contracts person never noted in the file that we renewed the contract first thing the morning before. She refused to offer any assistance in the follow up on this service call. I told her that we're dealing with elderly people living without air conditioning in 94+ degrees and we needed to do something immediately. Without any concern or compassion for the fact that two elderly people were being forced to endure yet another day without air conditioning, she told me all she could do was forward me to the service coordinator's voicemail. So she sent me to the voicemail belonging to Danielle. So I left a message letting Danielle know, in no uncertain terms, that we were horribly unhappy with the follow thru on this air conditioning problem and that we were promised a return visit from the service technician and we were holding her responsible. I never heard from her on the weekend.of course. No one there caresthat much.
On Monday morning, I received a call from Danielle telling me that she didn't screw up. The reason no one came out was because our service contract hadn't been renewed. Doesn't anyone talk to anyone else in that company?? This is now three days since we gave someone our credit card number to renew the contract! And what did the contracts person my husband gave the credit card information to to renew the d**n contract do with the card number---use it to book a cruise?
Why didn't anyone know we had renewed the contract the week before. How horrible to be constantly reminded that we didn't renew the contract. The first time it was understandable. We didn't know it was time to do that. But over and over and over againenough already! So of course, I had to tell Danielle that it was renewed first thing on Friday morning, with the contracts department. She then told me that the service technician didn't have the authority to tell us that he would come back the next day with another person, cause that's not his job. That's her job. She said we were supposed to have called to schedule his return. Who knew?? Again, the service technician didn't call in and tell her what the problem was? No notes? Who hired these two people?? Neither one knows what the other is doing? And no one cares about the senior citizens living in our condo and suffering in the 95+ degree heat??? What if they were Danielle's grandparents? Would she care then?
I asked her point blank, exactly what I needed to do to get the service technician back out that day, and she said she wasn't scheduling him to come unless she had a credit card on file for the service since according to her, we still didn't have our contract renewed. Now she doesn't trust us? They have our American Express card number, a renewed contract they have no clue what anyone else in their company is doing and she wants me to give her another credit card number??? Frustrated at this point, I told her to just use the same card number we gave the contracts person in the company for the service contract. She said she didn't have that number cause she didn't have any record of our renewing our contract, then, went on to say that since when we called initially, we hadn't officially renewed the service contract, she didn't feel we were eligible to have service at service contract rates. I told her the contract was renewed before the first person came out. As far as I was concerned we had a contract. Whether the repair would be covered completely under the new contract, since technically we renewed it a few days after the other had expired, frankly I didn't care. I just wanted our poor tenants to have air conditioning in the condo and we'd deal with the technicalities of the contract, and how much the bill was as we got a better estimate of the repair costs and decided what we wanted to do.
Danielle apparently forgot she was talking to a human with feelings on the other end of the phone, about people who are elderly and living without air conditioning on a hot humid July day in Florida, who technically could die if they have major health problems Or maybe we got it wrong. We thought we were calling an Air Conditioning company that advertises their only objective is to satisfy the customer. I'm the customer, right? No, Danielle only cared about the rates and the timing of the renewal of our contract. (Was there no grace period? Even my mortgage company gives me 15 days to make the payment. My homeowners insurance, my car insurance, all give me 30 days to make the payment before they assume I'm not continuing the coverage. I hadn't even received Pride's new service contract bill, so I didn't even realize it was due. When we first signed up with them, my mother was still handling her affairs. I just made the call for her. She either had the files somewhere or had misplaced them before we moved her from her condo into assisted livingwe had no clue when it expired.) Give me a break!!
I told Danielle we already gave the technician the approval to complete the work. I had my husband call her with the credit card number and both he and I were very adamant that the card was not to be charged until our tenant called us to report that the air conditioner was repaired and working. She insisted she was going to hold a $500 deposit. We told her she can hold it in her mind, but we don't want the card charged at this point. She promised a service technician would be out on Tuesday, and I told her she had to schedule it with the tenant, not me, since he's the one who has to meet the service technician at the condo. She called the tenant to schedule the service for Tuesday (today). The tenant reminded her that the technician had to call him on his cell phone when he arrived so he could walk over to the condo and let him in.
The tenant called us at 7:30PM this evening to tell us that he had called Pride three times this afternoon to confirm that the guy was coming and remind them that the service technician had to call him on his cell phone to let him know he was there, so he could let him in. The tenant told me they never got a call from the service technician. They waited a 2 minute walk away for the ENTIRE DAY! Eventually, the tenants walked over to the condo and what a surprise they found a note on the door that said sorry we missed you!!!!! The service technician NEVER called our tenant upon arrival so the tenant would let him into the condo, as he and Danielle were told several times---all afternoon today! Understandably our tenants are extremely upset. They have been inconvenienced for days. I have lost all confidence in Pride Air Conditioning and their BS concerns about customer satisfaction.
Pride's website advertises 24/7 service, so I figured they screwed things up this afternoon after our poor tenant sat and waited for them all day, so I called Pride at just about 7:30PM, this evening. I had to sit on hold in their automated system for at least 5 minutes before anyone answered the call. I told the man who answered that we needed their service technician to come and fix this air conditioner tonight. I told them we were promised a service call today and our tenant sat at another condo within a minute or two's walk from the condo, waiting ALL DAY for their man to call and let him know he was there. I told him that either Danielle had not told the service technician that he needed to call the tenant on his cell phone when he arrived to get him to come to the condo, or he ignored that request and as a result these poor tenants would spend another night without air conditioning. I said it was totally unacceptable and since they advertise 24/7 service I wanted them to send someone back, right now. The man on the phone acted like he could care less and told me he was just an answering service (Answer Call) and would relay the message. He wouldn't even commit to calling me back with a status. He said he will just relay the message and if someone wants to call us back, they willnice attitude.
I waited 20 minutes and received no call back, so I called them backwaited another 3-4 minutes before I got a live person. (really speedy answering service- I hope they don't take emergency calls for EMT's, a person could die waiting for them to acknowledge your call) This time I got Felicia, who said she was with Answer Call. I explained that I had called 20 minutes earlier, had what has now become an urgent situation, had never heard from anyone, and that I needed her to either give me the name of the person she is communicating with at Pride or get them to call me back immediately. She refused to tell me who was scheduling the evening calls and that she would give them the messagejust like the guy I spoke with before her. Wouldn't promise anything.
10 minutes later, I received a call from someone who sounded like Felicia (although she claims it wasn't her) and that person told me that the best they could do is tomorrow between 1 and 6. I told that person, no. We're not waiting another day and having these suffering people sit around waiting for a technician. I told her that I wanted someone to call me tonight. She said she'd relay the message. No one ever called.
I never heard from anyone so I called the answering service again. Got Felicia again. Told her that I wanted someone from that company to call ME now. I suggested she tell them that if I don't hear from the person doing the scheduling tonight that I will file a complaint with Barry Pearl, the owner of the company and file a report on the RipOff Report. She had no clue what I was talking about but said she'd send them an email. An email???? I told her I'd wait another 15 minutes. She said she sent them an email telling them that some irate customer wanted a service technician tonight and that's all she could do. If they want to call me back, they will.
After 15 minutes I called a competitor air conditioning company, spoke directly with the owner, a very pleasant and very very accommodating man, who, when told about the need for 2 people to lift the air handler up in the brackets, assured me he'd have a service technician out there within 45 minutes time to do everything he can to at least get the air conditioning running in the condo. And then said he'd send two guys over in the AM to put the unit back in place. He was warm, caring and compassionate. I gave him the summary of what Pride's technician had told us was the major problem and asked him if he wanted a credit card number before going out. He said no. He had my phone number in his caller ID and would get back to me after the work was done and we'd settle up. His first concern was to get these people some air conditioning. BRAVO! I'll leave great reviews for this company on another website where it belongs. I called my tenant an hour later and they confirmed that the service technician had been there for a while and was working to get the air conditioning going enough to cool the condo down so they could sleep tonight.
I called Felicia at Answer Call back and told her to email her contact that we found someone else who gave a d**n and would take care of our tenants air conditioning problem within 45 minutes.
Here's what's on the homepage for Pride Air Conditioning:
Our motto We take Pride in Our Service sums the quality of service you will get from us. Since our inception, we have grown to be a multi-service company, catering to your growing needs.
Our growth has not decreased the level of service we provide to our customers, as only through you we can grow. We remain committed to providing fast, friendly and professional service for all our contract customers. Our team of fully trained professionals has only one objective,"satisfy the customer". At Pride, we define customer satisfaction as QUALITY SERVICE WHEN YOU NEED IT!
The truth is that Barry Pearl, the owner, hired people who have no idea what customer service is all about. They say right on their website that they have only one objective---satisfy the customer. I think Mr. Pearl, needs to send his entire staff for some training in dealing with real people in real life situations and teach them how to respond with care and compassion and understanding, instead of counting the dollars and watching the clock for quittin' time at the end of each business day. SHAME, SHAME ON THIS ENTIRE COMPANY. The entire group of them is disorganized. They treated our problem without dignity and without regard for the fact that they are dealing with real people, and in this heat, what could be life threatening situations without air conditioning. How would all of them have felt if our tenant was infirmed and couldn't leave the condo and died as a result of their total lack of organization and follow through?
As a result of their negligence, and lack of customer service acumen, my tenants have had to suffer in a condo with no air conditioning during some of the hottest days of the year, for almost a week. I am so upset for these people and feel so bad that I had put our trust and confidence in the care of Pride's employees, who have about as much compassion for the people they service, as a rusty brillo pad. Their staff totally fked up this entire service issue at our condo, their business reputation, for sure they have lost us as a customerwe're cancelling our contract and disputing any charges to our credit card and, frankly, as far as I'm concerned, and I will tell everyone I know how disorganized and unprofessional this company is, anywhere and everywhere I can post the story of our experience at a time we really needed them to be there for us.
Most unhappy customer!