Industry Standard: The Advanced HVAC Story

19 Sep

So for those of you that have visited us over the last couple of weeks or so, you would have noticed that our kitchen is torn apart and is in the process of being renovated.

During this renovation a breaker was tripped and as a result, our outdoor AC unit would not power on. Knowing that I know absolutely nothing about electricity, I started to google around for a reputable HVAC company that could come and have a look at what had happened and get it resolved.

Advanced HVAC had a paid google ad that allowed you to text them straight from the ad, so that’s what I did.

As you can see, the gentleman on the other side of this conversation mentions their hourly rate is $95/hour. So in my head I said “Ok it’s probably going to be under an hour, so $95 + Tax is likely what it’s going to cost me.” To me that sounded fair.

So they schedule a “call out” for me for between 1:00PM and 5:00PM.

About an hour after the initial call, they called again to ask if they could come closer to noon as they were finished up early. I told them it wasn’t an issue if they wanted to show up earlier and so they confirmed they would be at my house closer to noon.

The technician didn’t arrive until 1:45PM (Closer to 2PM for those who know how to tell time). He wen down, flipped a breaker, went out to his vehicle, wrote a work order, and demanded I pay them over the phone before he left my house.

I called and spoke with someone at their offce to arrage for payment. When I mentioned the invoice seemed higher than it should be, he told be it was “industry standard” to charge a “call-out” fee. This is a fee to simply send a truck to your house. Then on top of that, if you want the guy to come in your house and do something, well that’s $95 per hour. But if they just come by, $95. I thought that was a load of shit, so I called a couple other HVAC companies. Lo and behold, this is not an industry standard. It’s some made up charge to charge me 4 times the cost of flipping a switch.

The labour portion of the invoice was $35!!!! Be careful of companies like this who are not up front about their pricing.

Thanks Advanced HVAC! I will most certainly not be calling you guys again!

The Apple Tax

1 Oct

People that follow me on Twitter or Facebook know that yesterday I had to take my Macbook Air into the Apple store to have my battery “serviced”.

About a week ago my mid 2012 Macbook Air started prompting me to have the battery “serviced”. According to the help article on my Macbook the battery can have several statuses.

Service battery the battery is experiencing an error (regardless of how new it may be) that could result in an unstable capacity. While it should continue to function, it is recommended you have it serviced.

Replace battery soon the battery should hold ample charge to allow you to work, even though it holds less than its original capacity.

Replace battery now the battery will not hold enough charge to give you ample work time.

No big deal right? I figured I could take a quick trip to the Apple store and they could diagnose and repair the issue.

I was educated

The Apple store representative informed me that basically any battery status other than NORMAL means the battery has to be replaced and since my Macbook is a few years old, it’s not covered by a warranty. This means a charge of $149.

No problem. I tell the rep to go ahead and I’ll pick my Macbook up tomorrow as I didn’t have time to wait for it to be completed.

I received a phone call

The Apple technician that was assigned to work on my Macbook Air called to inform me that they found liquid damage to the case and trackpad and in order to continue repairing my Macbook it would require an additional $300 worth of work.

Macbook Repair Bill
Macbook Repair Bill

Here’s where I am at now. New battery, new housing, new trackpad and a little labour! I asked the tech if they could simply sell me a battery and the answer was no. I asked the tech if they could just replace the battery and the answer again was no.

This pretty much left me at Apple’s mercy as I needed my laptop and couldn’t just buy a battery. This was super frustrating.

After shopping around and trying to find something comparable, I ended up feeling defeated and authorized the work to be done. I can’t go long without a laptop. I run a small business and really need my Macbook to be working.

This is the price you pay to be an Apple customer. Either do what Apple says, or toss your $1200 laptop out the window when something happens out of warranty.

Thanks Apple.