Report: #424208

Complaint Review: Allin Plumbing And Heating

  • Submitted: Sat, February 14, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, August 11, 2011
  • Reported By: delta British Columbia
  • Allin Plumbing And Heating
    12981 80 Avenue
    Surrey, British Columbia

Allin Plumbing And Heating furnace repair part was quoted at $644 plus labor just before severe cold weather, later that month i phoned supplier out of curiosity and was quoted $61. I was charged almost 1000% markup Surrey British Columbia Canada

*UPDATE Employee: Our actual cost for the part was $296.77

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I believe this is greatly overstated

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I was told by repairman from Allin Plumbing and Heating ( Better Business Bureau accredited) that my furnace needed a new inducer motor since mine was broken and not repairable,he said he would check to see if there was one available,

He came back to me after making a phone call in his truck and told me that there was one only left in the Vancouver area, after that I would have to wait for one from Calgary.

The bad news he said is that this part was worth $644 plus installation. I was surprised since the motor seems to be no more complicated than a bathroom fan motor but he was the professional and this was 2 days before massive cold weatherfront was to hit the Vancouver area so I agreed to go ahead with the work and paid the bill which included the part plus a fee for diagnosis and installation. The initial diagnosis and motor removal took 10 minutes. The new motor installlation also took about 10 minutes

Several days later my brother in law ( who works with electric motors ) said that he would take the old motor to work and look at it. He returned it to me the next night and said he fixed it in 15 minutes with $8 worth of bearings.

I then phoned the furnace parts supplier and asked what my cost would be on the motor if I was to buy one from them direct, They gave me a price of $61.

Allin Plumbing and Heating marked up the part by almost 1000%.

This company is fraudeulently misleading their customers and doing some serious gouging, I have no problem paying $80 hr for a technician to troubleshoot a problem and the same wage for installation of a part, nor do I mind a markup of up to 100% for a mechanical part as that seems to be a standard throughout some repair businesses including appliance repair and auto mechanics.

This company needs to have serious look at their business practices and be honest and forthright with their customers and when they quote a price for a furnace part, that means for the part and not what they decide is a justifiable appropiate ridiculous markup in order to cover their costs to run a business

delta, British Columbia
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/14/2009 04:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE Employee

Our actual cost for the part was $296.77

AUTHOR: Andrew Lake - (Canada)

I posted a response to your complaint two years ago, but now that I am working for this company again I was able to access your invoice and our bill from the supplier.

Our local supplier (in Langley), who was the only supplier (that our technician knew of) in the Lower Mainland, charged us $296.77 for the part.

The customer indicates in his post that a "furnace parts supplier" could supply one "direct" for $61. First of all, I would like to point out that local suppliers often charge us much more for parts than the prices offered by online & out of town discounters. This is especially true for less common parts. However, we find that few customers are interested in waiting to get a part from an out of town discount parts source, even if it is a rare part and the savings are substantial. This is especially true in the winter.

I have tried to contact the customer who made this post for details regarding who he got this price from, and was unable to get a response (although he may have forgotten as its been 2.5 years). Although it is unusual for a local supplier to charge us 5x as much as a "direct" discounter,  there are some other questions I would have regarding their low price:
-Was the part OEM (made by the original manufacturer) or was it a generic ("knock-off") part?
-Did this part include the "inducer kit" or was it just the motor itself?
-How much would shipping and handling have been and how long would it take for the part to arrive?

You invoice indicates we charged you $644.32 to replace the motor. This did include the installation. The only additional charge was the $79 diagnostic fee. This was our fee for the initial trip where our technician diagnosed your problem. Also, even if the motor went in easily and did not take very long, we still had to make multiple trips to deliver the part from Langley to Delta and return to your home.

If you have any additional questions or concerns please e-mail me:

Thank you,
Andrew Lake

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I believe this is greatly overstated

AUTHOR: Andrewl - (Canada)

I think that your accusation of a 1000% markup is due to confusing an original manufacturer's inducer motor assembly provided by a local supplier/ mfr's distributor with that of the inducer motor only, maybe or maybe not OEM.

I believe that you got the part number from the motor part of the inducer and asked a supplier for the price. The supplier may have quoted a price for the motor from the original manufacturer or a generic product that will probably work OK, but maybe not.

The $61 price for the motor was certainly only for a motor, not for the entire assembly.

Manufacturers generally recommend replacing the entire inducer assembly rather than just the motor. When I worked at Allin they only replaced the entire assembly. This is because it can be tricky to only replace the motor, easy to damage the wheel, misalign something in the inducer assembly and cause some noise, the premature motor failure could have been caused by a problem within the inducer, etc. Most manufacturer's distributors only supply the complete assembly.

Local suppliers also charge a lot more than some internet suppliers, wholesalers, etc. as they have to keep a lot of stock relative to their level of sales. Most of these suppliers do not list their prices online. But, for example, AMRE Supply, who has a store in Surrey, lists some prices at their web site and search for "inducers" and you can see that they do charge a lot more than $61, maybe way more, for a motor only. Some of their inducer assemblies are over $500.

So I think that you are quoting the price for the motor only, and they installed the whole assembly. They also picked it up from a local distributor and it was probably OEM. Your price could also be for a generic part instead of an OEM and from a supplier shipping them out from a central location vs the manufacturer's local distributor.

I would also point out that it appears they correctly diagnosed the problem and the technician was proficient in installing the part quickly and correctly. (Would you have been happier if he struggled with the repair and took a lot longer so you would have gotten your money's worth.)

You do seem to know that repairs can be expensive but it seems few people understand the cost of running a business. A licensed, experienced heating technician can make $35 or even more per hour. Benefits, WCB, EI, etc. add 25% or so to this, making it about $43. Insurance, depreciation, maintenance and gas for a truck that is being driven around a lot, even if it is a regular heavy duty van not a cube truck or anything, is probably over 10k a year. Insurance can be 2k per tech. Uniforms, phone, paperwork, etc. can add 3k, training courses/ trips another 3k. Plus you probably need a bookkeeper/filer type office person and a dispatcher/ calltaker for every 5 techs. Then you have to pay for the marketing, the cost of running the office, free callbacks because even good techs aren't perfect, a few percent for credit card costs, bad debts, etc. All in all, a tech probably has to bring in 150K a year in addition to the cost of parts to break even. A lot of work in the summer is going to be discounted tune ups/ repairs, so they will probably have to make the majority of this margin in the colder months.

Consumers should be able to expect honesty and competence, but should also understand that the cost of providing services is higher than they might initially think.
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