On May 22, 2003, I had a scheduled appointment with United Air Comfort. A tech came out to my home that day at 930am(licensed or not, I do not know), his name was Pete. He explained to me what his few hours at my mother home would entail, I agreed to him that it would be good to clean all ducts and to take out the compressor to the furnace and have that cleaned.
Pete from United Air Comfort, quoted me $400 for the job, which to me at the time, the house had never had any type of duct cleaning. Pete explained to me that he would clean the vents first and then start with the furnace. My brother supervised Pete and I left to my job.
A few minutes later after arriving at my job, I get a call from my brother telling me that the tech Pete had told him that he was going to step out and get something to eat and drink and he would be back. It was 10:15am when my brother called me. I had told Pete that I would give him a check for $100 and the rest to be charged. My brother wondered about the time frame of Pete's job completion, my brother asked because he was scheduled to go into his job at 2pm. I told my brother that I would be at the house at 11:45am. Upon arriving at the house, I asked my brother if Pete had come back and my brothers response was no, but my brother explained that Pete had taken the furnace apart before leaving.
I sat with my brother til 12:45pm, when Pete shows up, so I asked Pete, to walk me through the process of cleaning the ducts and what his time completion would be. Pete politely walked me through and told me he would be done by 2pm. Pete mentioned that the furnace needed much more cleaning and that he would perform that task first. I headed back to work, at about 2:45pm, I get a call from my brother telling me that Pete was still working on the furnace and nothing done to the ducts and that he needed to head to work. While talking to me on the phone, my uncle shows up, to install some hardwood floors. My brother leaves and my uncle, stayed to supervise Pete.
As my uncle was installing the floors, he suddenly hears a loud electrical boom and the lights flickered on and off. My uncle walks over to where Pete was working on the furnace, my uncle realizes that Pete was thrown against the wall and as he was getting up, Pete was holding his right arm, as though he had gotten a serious shock from installing the furnace. My uncle asked Pete if he was ok and Pete mentioned to him that he was, said he might have touched some bad wiring. Pete then tells my uncle that he will be leaving for a few minutes and takes off.
This was about 3:30pm, at about 4:30, Pete returns with another guy. As they are talking about what happened my uncle listened in on their conversation, the other person that came with Pete, asked Pete if he had tested the furnace before disconnecting and Pete said, no. So the other gentleman, started to check the furnace for errors or problems. My uncle immediately calls me and informs me of what is happening, upon hearing what my uncle explains to me, I call Pete on the cell phone and I get no response, so I leave him a voice message. Upon disconnecting with my uncle, I head off to a meeting out in Crystal City Virginia.
My uncle calls me at my meeting at 7:30pm, to tell me that after the new gentleman came to the house, they both told my uncle that they needed to come back to check the circuits. My uncle tells them that he has to go and that if they need access to the house, they would have to wait for me to arrive. So both the new gentleman and Pete leave at about 5:30pm.
Later on I get a call from pete at 7:45pm, asking that if I was in the area for me to come and open the door to the house, cause he had his equipment and he needed to fix a few things before completing the job. I was not finished with my meeting and told Pete how inconvenient this was for me, because I was not even close enough to just rush over there. I told Pete I would be at the house by 9:15pm.
Upon arriving my neighbor suggests I ask the new guy for his license. When Pete and the new guy arrived, I asked to see the proper certification and the guy, said I have it, and I said may I see it. The new guy said, what you don't believe me and I responded, at 930pm, you think I am going to believe anyone, so he should me the license. Now I did not ask Pete for his license at the time. Well, both Pete and the new tech, start checking on the furnace and realize that Pete had blown 2 fuses and they tell me that they are going to have to go and buy a fuse.
They came back at 10:15pm and put everything into its place as they turn on the furnace the furnace made a sound, so I ask them, now the furnace was not making that noise before and both said to me, well this is an old furnace. I then told them, it working prior to Pete's arriving and that I needed it adjusted. So the new tech began to look into it and adjusted the problem. As they both were leaving, I said well is the balance going to be adjusted and the new tech said, what was the initial cost and I said $400, so the new tech said to me, yeah I'll deduct $40 and I said to him, you think my time is worth $40, by you telling me this, its an insult, you were probably better off treating me to value meal at McDonalds and the guy laughed, I said , I am serious I have lost a lot of time today and nothing was done. The new tech said, he was the manager of Pete and that the next day they would contact me about the adjustment. As they packed up and left, I clicked the off button on the furnace and it would not turn off.
The next day I contact United Air Comfort about having them to send someone more experienced to fix the incomplete and damaged job that Pete had left, so the first person I speak to is a guy by the name of Thio, who with a bit of an attitude tells me that he would send someone to the house the next day between the hours of 8am to 1pm. So I asked my boss for the day off and about 11am, with no one knocking my door, I call United Air CSR agent tells me that I have been scheduled for Wednesday, June 4. With much frustration, I said, ok. On June 4, mother decides to await the techs and they send out someone by the name of Stew, this tech comes out and locates the problem after being their for 3 hours and through the 3 hours continues to tell my mom that the unit is old.
I arrive and explain to Stew that the unit was properly functioning before all happened and that I did not appreciate how this issue was handled. Stew realizes that the problem with the furnace is that a transformer which relays an on and off, was damaged when the wrong wires were touched by Pete. Stew turns to me and tells me that the cost would be $250 to have the transformer fixed, so I tell stew politely that the billing needs to be taken from United Air Comforts inconvenience fund. Stew then receives authorization to order the transformer and tells me that the furnace cannot be used until they properly fix it. Stew tells me that someone will schedule me for someone to come out when the part arrives.
I get no call for 2 weeks, so I call on June 18, 2003, I call and asked for someone to please explain what I needed to do to get assistance in this matter and I get transferred to 4 customer service reps, finally being able to tell the CSR my story. The CSR then schedules me for June 25, 2003, between 8am 1pm, so I ended up requesting for 2 hours off just to be able to babysit the new tech. On June 25, I get a call from the tech that was going to my location and I met him at the house about 9am, this guy very rude and not too nice, seemed like he too did not know what he was doing.
At 10:30am, I told the guy that I needed to leave to attend a meeting and that he needed to send Stew to my home, because Stew seemed to know what he was doing. This guy spent the whole 1hour and calling other techs for help. So the tech with a bad attitude packs up and leaves, he tells me that stew would be at the house on Friday, June 27, to install the transformer. Once again, we are still without A/C or Heating. On, Friday, June 27, stew arrives, my mother decides to take off from work, just to be there for the process of getting the unit to work properly. As my mother is upstairs doing some things, she starts to smell burning and runs downstairs and asks stew what the burning is, stew then tells her that something else is wrong with the unit and has to order another part. My mother calls me and tells me this and now, I am requesting for your assistance. I think without yelling or screaming, we have been reasonable with United Air Comfort. United Air Comfort as you can tell did not comply with their contract of performing what said was going to be done and yet they made a domino mess out of our furnace. Now as you know for the past week, we have hit high temperature levels and have had code red for people to stay in their home. My mother spends her nights at her home with a fan and during the day, she comes to my house cause her home is unlivable without A/C.
I have allowed United Air to come in to my house, I would say about 10 times now, which I have asked for time off just to supervise their work, at the same time the people all except for a guy by the name of Stu, every other tech from United Air has held an attitude coming to my home, as though they hold grudges with me.
Unbelievable, but I still let them in. Anyways, I received a call from Eian Birch the president of United Air, after the complaint was filed with Fairfax County. Eian informed me that he would get someone to fix the old unit immediately, techs came out and concluded that the old system was not going to accept any new parts to be installed, so it was recommended that I needed a new unit. When speaking to the Vice President of the company, he tells me that he will give me a new furnace & outside unit for $1500.00 and that the scheduled date of installation would be August 2, 2003. Well on August 2, 2003, a tech comes out to my home with an attitude and realizes that United Air needs to do some sort of custom installing and that the new unit would not be installed until the following week. This really upset me because, for the whole summer, I had no Air Conditioning. Well on August 9, 2003, 2 guys arrive from United Air and they try collecting $1500.00 from me and I told them I would only pay $1000.00, they called their manager and the manager explains to me that he can only do it for $1200.00 and to realize that they are taking a big hit on this job and I re-informed this manager of what I have gone through. Being an accountant my time is just as valuable as theirs. Anyways, I was not trying to get anything for free, so I said ok and I gave the money. The job took about 8 hours, when the techs were done they didn't say ok here is how this works all they said is to replace the filter this is where its at, they turned it on and I signed for the sheet and they left, they did not bother looking to see if anything was wrong.
When at home I have used the Air Conditioner. On August 27, 2003, I started noticing that my wood floors where coming up and they were like expanding, but I paid no attention to it, since I have been away on business. On September 5, 2003, I noticed some mold growing on the base of some base moulding I have, which is beside the furnace. Once again, paid no big attention to it, until yesterday September 14, 2003 at about 7pm, was getting ready to put some doors where the Furnace unit is, when I noticed that the Furnace releases water into the sewer, but at the same time is dripping condensate water from the furnace to the cement floor which is finding its way under the wall into the living room and under the wooden floor, which has caused Mold to grow & has damaged my wooden floors. You could say, I'm pretty upset, but I am keeping my cool. My plans now are to get all of this taken care of, because I'm tired of dealing with United Air at this point, maybe I should not have paid for a new furnace or AC unit, all because I never hired this folks, I hired United Air to send me their top notch Techs. I definitely, would like this letter to be sent to Eian Birch, so he make his managers aware of the cost that this has implemented on not only myself, but Eians company. My next attempts, is to have Fairfax County Consumer re-open this case and if I could get the lawyer that was referred to me previously. I believe I have the proper backup and witnesses to justify the wrong doings of this company. I will be informing people from my residence about this company, in our next Association Board Meeting. This letter and backup, should be sent to United Air (Eian Birch), next I will send this to all news channels in the D.C. area especially Channel 7, all because they hold a spot that is intended for people that have problems with companies, I'm sure they will get a kick out of this, next I will contact the Better Business Bureau and let them know as-well. All because I know if I contact or get contacted by United Air, I'll end up getting the same type of service and this time, not only was their installation so incomplete, they also managed to damage my floors and United Air will not want to pay for this, so my actions now will be to let everyone knows how this company performs. People should not have to go through this, not even I, I never asked for this, paying the $1200.00 was in the efforts of just dealing with the problems. Solution: My solution would be to consult with a lawyer on who I should contact about getting better HVAC certified techs into my home, to estimate the cost of damage. Secondly, once having the estimate, get an estimate how much it will cost for the wood floors and base moulding to be replaced. Thirdly, get an upgrade on the AC unit outside, meaning get a carrier unit installed instead. Last but not least, United Air will need to cover all legal and damage fees due to the lack of their installers.
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