ED Magedson – Founder
Wilson Mechancial207 W Brasfield St Smithville, Missouri USA
Wilson Mechancial Inc Price gouging on repairs. Smithville Missouri
Called reporting my outside condenser fan gradually getting louder on 10/18, they scheduled a tech for 10/21/2013.
The tech arrived, and through a discussion with my wife she helped educate him on the work they had previously performed on our system. The tech mentioned he would go look at the unit and then exited the house. About an hour later (per my wife), the tech came back in the house (without knocking), and the informed her we were all fixed up and wanted to have her come listen to the unit (she wasn't aware of the noise before so she wasn't able to compare). Then we were presented with the bill which prompted my wife to call me to discuss how we should pay.
My wife handed the phone to the tech and we discussed what was replaced. It was a condenser motor ($290) and a capacitor ($30). Then the tech told me it only took an hour to replace so it was "covered" in the initial visit which wasn't entirely true. I was charged a $65 trip charge and then 1 hour of labor, $90 on top of that. It seemed a bit high to me but I paid the invoice over the phone and went on my way.
Once I got home, I inspected my outdoor unit. It looked good, I kept hearing the tech in my head tell me how simple the repairs were and knowing I just spend $475, I was curious, how expensive is this part he put in? I looked inside the unit and could see the sticker on the side of the motor, it was a MARS 10459 1/3-1/8HP 825RPM motor, clear as day.
So a little Google action and I find I can purchase that exact same motor from three different websites for under $70. Amazon.com had it, ComfortGurus.com had it, PlumbersStock.com had it, you get the idea. So needless to say, seeing a part online for $70 that I just paid $290 for really chapped my hide. That's a %414 markup for god sakes!
So, I called the company asking for some clarification. Was I looking at something incorrectly or did they seriously just charge me this type of markup on this motor? After a heated conversation I came to the following conclusion.
1. Wilson Mechanical has no problem charging a %414 markup on its parts.
2. Wilson Mechanical thinks they are a bargain (compared to others) so therefore I should be happy to pay this type of markup.
3. Wilson Mechanical thinks there's an illegal online marketplace that's selling knock-off Mars 10459 motors.
4. Wilson Mechanical pays taxes on their parts, so therefore they charge me more.
5. Wilson Mechanical keeps the parts in-stock, so therefore that helps justify the level of markup.
6. Wilson Mechanical has a hard time understanding how I could see an issue here. Regretfully the Internet does exist and Google is pretty easy to use.
7. Wilson Mechanical made no attempt to reduce my price to what I would consider something a bit more fair, say a 200% markup maybe?
Here's my problem. While price gouging is usually just someone complaining about paying more than they would like for something, this take on a whole different dynamic when we're talking necessities like food, water, gas, and yes home heating and cooling which is pretty much a necessity. Taking advantage of consumers, charging this level of markup is just a poor and dishonest way of doing business. If their business truly costs $400 per hour to operate (minus parts), they have a business that looks to unsustainable ($475 invoice, minus $75 cost in parts = $400 and the tech was there "right at an hour").
I might suggest Wilson Mechanical team up with MrHVAC, they seem to have a pretty good program designed to allow them to make profit but not price gouge its customers.
Based off that chart, my $70 part would have been fairly marked up %275 which would have in turn cost me $192, a savings of $100.
I also called around to their competitors and the first one I called, without giving him the details quoted $300 for the same repair, with no trip charge, labor included, and this is a reputable company within the same vicinity of Wilson Mechanical.
Fair, I don't think so. Taking advantages of consumers, regretfully it looks to be the case.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/22/2013 08:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/wilson-mechancial/smithville-missouri-64089/wilson-mechancial-inc-price-gouging-on-repairs-smithville-missouri-1093712. 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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