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Report: #466570

Complaint Review: Acree Air Conditioning - Tampa Florida

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  • Reported By: Tampa Florida
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  • Acree Air Conditioning 3801 Corporate Park Dr. #130 Tampa, Florida U.S.A.

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Prior to the technician arriving at my home, my A/C system was working. He was coming to do a routine preventive maintenance. I should mention that the service was agreed to cost $79. He worked in the attic and outside for an hour (maybe 90 minutes) and then came in the house to say there was a problem.

He said that he turned off power to the air handler (unit in the attic), to work on it, and could not turn the power back on. He said the switch was broken, and that he would be happy to fix it, for a $200 repair fee.

I told him I could install a switch myself. At this point the A/C was off. This is Tampa, FL, in late June. Outside the air is 90 degrees and it's probably 150 in the attic. In a few hours my house would be 90+ degrees.

He assured me that after I replaced the switch, the A/C unit would turn on and my house would be cool again. He never did the preventive maintenance and did not charge me for it. He then left.

This is a 30 AMP 2-pole, single throw switch in a plastic junction box. It cost $30 because of the high amperage and took me 15 minutes (in the heat of my attic) to install. But after installing it, the A/C did not turn on. It's a switch with 4 wires - 2 in, 2 out - what could I have done wrong. I checked it and double checked it the new switch and my installation were working fine - power was getting to the air handler.

I called the company and told them the above story, and I told them they needed to get someone back to my house ASAP to repair whatever the guy had broken. The next 20+ minutes was a major argument with them, with them claiming that since I decided to do the switch myself I must have broken the system. They were not accepting any responsibility and wouldn't get anyone there anytime soon.

The best line in the debate was when the woman (Michelle) says "even if you have power getting to the air handler doesn't mean you did it right - there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a switch". If you know anything about electronics, you know how stupid that statement is.

Finally they agreed to send someone over but they'd be charging me for a diagnostic call. When I started to object to that, she said they would not send someone unless I agreed to pay for the call.

Thankfully when the repair technician arrived (6 hours later) (remember 90 degree heat), he had the system working in 5 minutes. The tech that came in the morning had bent the sensor in the drip pan (collects water under the air handler) which prevented the system from turning on. He did not charge me for the call, since it was very clear that the first guy had broken the system.

So why am I posting this report? Because of the grief they gave me on the phone (saying I broke the system), not taking responsibility for the damage their guy had done, and for not making the repair of this damage a priority. They should have been back at my house within 2 hours max, and with no threat of charging me for the call.

Before posting this report, I wanted to give the company one chance to make things right. I spoke with the owner, Jack. He still didn't get it. He was saying that his girls should have told me that they would come back but maybe not until the next day (again 90 degrees and they broke it). I see where his customer service girls get there attitude.

I strongly suggest you stay away from this company. They are over-priced, do shoddy work (at least the first guy did), and don't take responsibility for their mistakes. Find a better A/C business to deal with.

Paul
Tampa, Florida
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/30/2009 06:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/acree-air-conditioning/tampa-florida-33619/acree-air-conditioning-incompetent-technician-broke-my-ac-callous-customer-service-in-n-466570. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author
1Consumer
1Employee/Owner

#3 Author of original report

Lets review a few things

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First let me say that I am grateful to Ben for filing a comment on this report, because it was only as a result of this comment that I was notified.  For some reason I was not notified of Jack's comment. Let me start with this - take a look at the reviews of Acree Air, Tampa, FL on (((Redacted))) You will see (as of today 11/11/2009) there are 4 reviews (one by me, 2 prior to mine and 1 after mine).  On this site, Acree has a total score of 2 out of 5 (humm, great service).  They have scores of 1, 1, 1 and 3.  Please go read them for yourself, and just in case someone wants to claim so, I only filed one review on that site, the other three are from 3 independent people - so you have 4 reviews there, all basically saying the same thing - STAY AWAY FROM ACREE AIR! Now let me touch on a few points from Jack's comments. 1) when the first guy came to do the preventive maintenance service (Jack called it rejuvenation), I had agreed to paid that guy $69 for that service.  At the moment I can not find the credit card charge so I'm willing to say that they never charged me that amount. 2) When the first guy (who turned off the power switch and broke the float switch) left, he said he would come back shortly after I replaced the electrical switch.  By the way, note that the electrical switch is mounted to a cross beam in the attic a few feet from the A/C unit.  The float switch is inside the float tray under the air handler.  These two things are not related, and my replacing the electrical switch could not have, in any way affected the float switch.  Also note that in their normal preventive maintenance, they inspect the tray and float switch.  In addition the guy who did fix the system some 6+ hours later, said that the first guy was obviously the one to have affected the float switch. 3) As for the repair of the electrical switch, they wanted something like $170 to replace a simple switch.  I bought the replacement for $30 and replaced it in about 15 minutes.  Sorry that's not worth $170. 4) I did not get upset (and yell) at their CCR *until after* they (a) refused to make the repair of my system (which they broke) a priority; (b) have the first guy come right back, as he said he would do; and (c) insisted that I must agree to pay for another service call for them to come back and fix the system they broke.  Jack keeps referring to his recordings - sure go ahead and listen to them - you'll see the kind of customer service they give! 5) they sent out the next "available" tech, some 6 hours later, in 90+ degree heat. 6) they did not charge me for the repair ONLY because the tech refused to charge me.  He did make it clear that the office told him to charge me, but he didn't because it was obvious that their guy broke the system. 7) Yes, before I filed complaints I wanted to give Jack an opportunity to apologize and to tell me what he would do to ensure this sort of thing would not happen to someone else.  He refused to accept any responsibility, and continued to insist that I most likely broke the system.  Go ahead listen to the recording.  I told him at that point that I would do everything I could to inflict financial loss on them, and that he had earned every lost penny. 8) Yes I filed a complaint with the local BBB.  All I asked for was a written apology and a statement of what they would do to prevent this from happening to someone else.  Some time later (several weeks) I received a statement from the BBB that Jack refused to do what I asked and so the complaint would have to become permanent on their record. 9) Finally, this is not an issue of "do they do shoddy work" or not.  The quality of their work will depend on the tech that comes in your house.  The guy who came back at night and fixed the system was great.  I'd have him back any day.  This is also not an issue of the first guy breaking my A/C.  Accidents happen.  He bent the float switch and the A/C didn't go on.  No problem.  THIS IS AN ISSUE OF THE TOP LEVEL MANAGEMENT STANDING BEHIND THEIR WORK AND PUTTING THE CUSTOMER FIRST.  This is an issue of customer service.  Here is what should have happened: a) when I called, after replacing the switch and the system did not come on, their CCR should have apologized for my inconvenience and should have arranged for a tech be back at my house within 2 hours at most. b) there should have been no mention of charging me for this return trip. That would have done it.  The tech would have found the bend float switch, apologized again for the first guy's screw up, and the system would have been working.  I might have even written a praise review on them for standing behind their work and fixing their mistakes.  But that is not what happened.  Instead I got grief, 6+ hours of unlivable conditions in my home, and threats of charging me (several hundred dollars) to return and fix the A/C system that they broke. I stand by my original statement (echoed by 3 other people on superpages) - STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY.

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sometimes no matter what, you cant make someone happy

AUTHOR: Ben Belzel - (United States of America)

POSTED: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

As a former 3 year employee of Acree Air Conditioning, I can tell you that workdays in this company start very early and continue late into the evening. I have worked both in the field and the office of this company, and anytime there were issues with a callback, especially concerning something that could possibly have been at the technicians fault, that Acree always has taken care of their customers and stood by good customer service. Its an unfortunate circumstance for this customer that this happened, however as Jack stated as well, the numbers in satisfied customers greatly outwieghs those dissatisfied. Summers in FL are extremly busy for Air Conditioning contractors, especially Acree. Many companies cannot even be reached after 5pm, and generally from my experience you always get a live person on the phone, even at 10pm on a saturday or sunday. Thats exceptional if you ask me. Sorry this customer didnt see the efforts that they made to render the problem, but i would still to this day recommend acree to anyone.

Ben Belzel, Tampa FL

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#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

A few details were conveninetly left out of this unfortuante story

AUTHOR: Jack - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We installed a unit for this homeowner in November of 2006. He had it serviced in February of 2008 and then called us out again for this service. We were aware of no issues he ever had with what he describes as a incompetent compnay.

The day in question, we did come out to do a system rejuvenation. The system was running when we arrived. We turned it off to perform the work in the attic. We cleaned coils, cleaned heaters, verified electrical draw and other items during the 90 minutes we were there. At some point, our service requires us to turn the unit back on to check things and the switch did not work. We quoted a repair to replace the switch which was bad and as admitted by the homeowner "not our fault." He wanted to fix it himself. We advised him that we could go no farther with our work as we could not test anything out without power. He asked if the unit would start when he replaced the switch. We told him it worked when we got there, before the switch borke, it should work when he fixed it. We charged him nothing for the work we had done, or our service call. We would have had every right to charge him for our time but we felt this was not good business.

The homeowner knew or should have known that we were not able to test anything without the switch being replaced. He chose to replace the switch on his own. After a few hours he called and said the unit would not work. My CCR asked if he had wired it correctly. He began to become biligerant, abusive, threatning and vulgar. I have all the conversations in our offices recorded and are avaialble if anyone would like to hear how this REALLY happened. As I told Paul in our conversation, we could have handled it better but that gave him no right to curse at our people or tell them he was going to have them put in jail. Mind you this was after we agreed to send someone out ASAP.

We did in fact send the next avaialble tech out. He arrived about 6 hours after Pauls call. He found the float bent. The float that was in the attic, near the unit, by the switch. Now I am not saying that our tech did not bend the switch, but we werent the only one in the attic. Plus we were never afforded the opportunity to check our work because someone wanted to fix thier own air conditioner.

We fixed it, regardless of whose fault, and still did not charge a dime for all our travels and efforts.

The next day, Paul called and was even more abusive to my staff. When I got on the phone with him, I told him (again in a recorded conversation) that we could have handled it better and in hind sight we should not have questioned his repair. (We end up on 100's of calls a year from homeowners that make repairs incorrectly. Our staff gets a little frustrated when a client goes without cooling so that we can fix a problem created by do it yourselfer's) He would not accept that answer, I to this day still do not understand what he wants.

He has filed a complaint with the local BBB even though no money ever exchanged hands and I have requested that the BBB listen to the calls before they decide if they will attach the complaint to my record.

We are not a perfect compnay. We have however been in business since 1967. We run over 10,000 service calls a year and over a 3 year period we have had 16 BBB complaints of which all were resolved to the BBB's satisfaction. That is only 16 issues out of 30,000 opportunties. I am proud of my team and their track record of only 1 complaint for every 1875 service calls. In our business, that is unheard of.

We do not do shoddy work. That is obvious that by our track record, which is verifiable, and the fact that Pauls own system has never had a problem up until this incident. We have the longest (2Yr) gaurantee on repairs that I am aware in the area. We stand behind everything we do unconditionally. We have over 50,000 clients, 65% of our business is from repaeat clients and additonal 15% is from referrals.

Unfortunatley, Pauls story is not 100% accurate nor does it reflect our business. The recorded phone calls that I can provide can and do tell the real story.

Jack
Acree Air Conditioning, Inc
Tampa Fl

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