ED Magedson – Founder
Syntechs6400 Park of Commerce Boulevard Boca Raton, Florida USA
Syntechs, aka HDRepair.com, aka Synergy Technical Solutions Fails to pay for Tv service work Boca Raton Florida
I had not been looking to work for another TPA when I was contacted by Syntechs, aka HDRepair.com, aka Synergy Technical Solutions located out of Boca Raton Florida. I’ve been in the electronic repair industry for 35 years and 12 of those in my present location in Long Beach, Washington. TPA’s in general are considered leaches in this industry taking from both sides of the market to accumulate their bottom line while doing nothing more than assigning technicians they find to do the actual trench work. Most of their customers are OEMs like Vizio, or Samsung and third party warranty providers like Costco or CPS (Consumer Protection Services). While many of the OEM and third party warranty providers are quite legitimate and serve a purpose, TPA’s are designed primarily to find technicians like myself to do the work and and then present issues over getting paid. That’s where the rub comes in and why their known as leaches. A typical TPA quotes their OEM customer as much as 1½ times the cost of any given repair then hands off the actual repair to an assigned technician in that area. Many techs simply quote parts and labor at a fair market value based on whatever pricing protocol they might have at their established shop. In my case, we established a $60.00 dollar per hour rate charged in increments of 1/2 hour after the first hour plus mileage if the call is beyond certain limits. Parts, if required, are usually marked up from their actual cost by 20% to cover shipping and handling. Technicians may also have to deal with boxing and shipping back a core part and in some cases charge additional other fees to recover those costs. However, for the purposes of this story Syntechs supplies all the parts.
Moving back on track here, one key element like I said earlier in working for a TPA is payment. Some generally pay within 30 days while some of the really better, and I use that term loosely, pay within two weeks. They of course have to invoice their customer and from their profits pay the technician for the actual work. On one of the few first emails I got from Syntechs I was told by Philip that, “...We pay out a net 15 days after the call has been closed/invoiced.” Later I found by researching the net that this was not true or to put it another way a big bend in the truth. In fact, Syntechs has one of the slowest pay outs I’ve ever encountered, 90+ days, if they pay at all. Many of the complaints I reviewed and technicians I talked with subsequently had some real horror stories of not having been paid at all. While still others stated that they thought Syntechs had merely gotten way behind the payment curve at one point in time and have still not recovered. Whatever the case may be, it is simply unforgiveable to hire a technician at an agreed price and knowingly never pay them. But they operate like the John Grisham novel “Rainmaker", easier to deny all claims then pay just the ones who make life so difficult it becomes necessary.
Syntechs bends the truth in their excuses like providing an air bill, a return shipping label, to remit the unused or core part. To be fair they are up front in stating that if an air bill is required the technician needs to request one when they are closing out the dispatch. But, like many, on both the dispatches I was sent out on both times an air bill was required and both times it was like pulling teeth to get one. On my second dispatch for the underlying client Samsung Tv I was dispatched to replace the DLP chip which involves in this case removing the light engine. The part provided by Samsung required the return of the core part, or the old chip, upon completion. But on my request at closing the dispatch and several subsequent email requests that followed no air bill was ever sent. On my last email attempt to get them to send me one I was told, “For the airbill to return the part for ticket # 810864 we have requested it from Samsung twice and we are waiting on them to provide us with it. Once we have it from them, we will forward the return label for you. It is not us not following procedure in a timely manner, we just have to wait on them as they are in the critical path to get airbills sent out to technicians.” They do a lot of deferring blame, including blaming the technician for any credible story they can come up with.So, I did the next most logical thing, I contacted Samsung direct and within 15 minutes, give or take a minute, they sent me a return label directly to my email address. But even with this most “critical” issue resolved I still did not get paid and received weekly inquiries by email wanting to know why I had not returned the unused part from the first dispatch. Despite my obvious answers to this, and my continued requests, Syntechs simply ignored me and would not send me an airbill. I have to admit that I got quite rude after a few emails and told them I was not paying for the return of this part that Syntechs was suppose to provide. Besides I felt I was already out a significant amount of money that they already owed me and the risk of not being reimbursed was too great given their track record. It was also one of the first times that I had let on that I was actually doing some research on them and reviewing their past inabilities to pay.
I know this is a rather long story so I’ll cut to the chase. After many emails, phone calls and threats it looked simply hopeless. Until I consulted with Jim, my attorney. He explained to me that bringing any action against Syntechs was simply not cost effective. I was only out $230.00 dollars and because they had no physical presence in this State any action against them would be difficult because it would have to be brought in their home State of Florida. Even with the airline miles I have built up the time off work made that idea prohibitive. But, he said, nothing precludes you from suing the customer for non-payment who had benefited from your work efforts and does, I assume, have the physical presence here. He went on to say, that you may not even have to follow completely thru with the action. His thought was that after the customer got served a summons to small claims they in-turn would most likely contact their warranty company demanding some response. Even in the event that you had to follow through the customer would most likely bear the liability which could be easily demonstrated in court. Jim is just simply great at business law and that is exactly what I did. Following his instructions to the letter it was like he had seen this through some great mystical crystal ball that was capable of seeing into the future.
The next email I got was from Brian at Syntechs, “You have no right to contact Samsung or file a small claims suit against an end user. Your agreement was with Syntechs to service these calls. For 810864 you service the call in July and payments is not due to be sent out until the 10th business day in August. That day is tomorrow. For 800807 parts have still not been sent back so how can we pay for a job that is not completed. Completion of job includes returning the parts. If you would like to discuss this feel free to give me a call.” Notice he never mentioned that he had not sent me an airbill which was Syntechs responsibility. So, I replied, “I have every right in the world to contact whoever I want to get paid on these jobs and I will... Until I get paid life there is going to be a bit different. As far as the part goes I have said in dozens of emails and calls where is the airbill I have requested to return it?? I am not returning this on my dime, for something Syntechs was supposed to provide. So, quite simply, send me a pre-paid return airbill and I'll be glad to send back the part. Oh and BTW, I just got off the phone with CPS and they will be contacting you also. Apparently they didn't know about this situation either. But they assured me that they paid Syntechs $135.00 for this quite some time ago. So I'd like you to send my check and the airbill for the part immediately...” Bottom line was I got an airbill for the part the same dayin an email and shipped it back immediately. I also then received a check in the mail for $130.00 dollars. It’s obviously $100.00 dollars short. But as of the release of this story I am still holding on to some hope that Syntechs will be fair and honorable and not continue like some John Grisham novel. And then again, there is still bringing the customer to court for non-payment.
What’s truly puzzling is how Syntechs can operate this way with all the complaints I’ve read but that’s really none of my business. On the other hand it does seem odd that companies like CPS, Samsung and Vizio would dare to put their reputations on the line and their customers up for potential lawsuits over such quibble. Finding a technician for a repair job would be as easy as an email to tech-assist or looking someone up in the Nesda directory. (National Electronic Service Dealers Association) But my only concern is to be paid for my work and and I will if I have anything to say about it.
Hope my story helps someone else out there that’s struggling. As for me it’s back to work as usual and onto scratching out a living in this ever changing industry.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/19/2013 10:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Syntechs/Boca-Raton-Florida-33487/Syntechs-aka-HDRepaircom-aka-Synergy-Technical-Solutions-Fails-to-pay-for-Tv-service-w-1077253. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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