Called co. and talked w/ a lady, AnnMarie about doing a service on my lawn sprinkler system, which has a dead zone. Also mentioned that the rain sensor does not seem to be working. She said the service call was $89 and I asked if it included parts and labor, to which she replied in the affirmative.
She also said that it was a 3 hour call window, so we set it up for 8-11am on a Monday.
I was not going to be home, so I briefed my wife about it and specifically mentioned that it should include parts and labor.
When the service guy (Chris) showed up, he diagnosed the problem and informed my wife that the valve needed replacement. She was not told about the price at that time, only when the invoice was present to her. When she inquired about it, he stated that it was standard, and if we don't agree, he can remove the part, which has already been replaced. Since it was already installed, my wife wrote a check for him.
I called up the company this morning to investigate further on the high charge for a $15/- part. A man who did not identify himself, answered the phone. I went through the scenario with him, and he defended the charge stating the overheads, insurance, cost of doing business.....when I asked him if he can disclose the company's profit & loss statements to justify these claims, he went around the bush and said that it was not up to him. I told him that while I understand certain markups are made to parts, this charge was way too much, and he kept rambling on again about being in business for over 20 years, and all, and that we won't find a better company....etc. I asked to speak with the owner, to which he replied that the owner was not in.
Going nowhere, I asked if he was going to do anything about this exorbitant charge, and he said that he can leave a message for the owner. I asked him to make sure that that's done, and since he's already got my contact info., we hung up.
I feel that this practice of charging $150 for a $15 (at most $50) part is overly exorbitant, and they took advantage of the situation as my wife was left with no real choice.