So how was your Friday? I got a call from Cheryl on Friday afternoon saying the termite inspection turned up some bad news. I was just getting over digesting that lump of coal when she called back to say the termite guy saw something wrong with the a/c unit in the attic.
The end of the work day did not bring a reprieve. I get home and the a/c guy is sitting with my wife at the kitchen table. Neither one of them looks like child on Christmas morning. The a/c guy says to me, “you look worn out.” “Yeah, it’s been a long day”, I reply. “Tell me about it. You haven’t been sitting here TALKING WITH HER for the last thirty minutes.”
CAPTAIN, WE HAVE AN INCOMING BOGEY AT TWELVE O’CLOCK. SHE’S COMING IN HOT SIR!
At this point I don’t even want to know, but I’m about to find out anyway. It turns out the a/c guy did the work and handed Cheryl the bill… without giving an estimate of the charges first. According to Cheryl, he did about three minutes of work (it turned out all he had to do was unplug a drain pipe outside the house) and handed her a bill for two hundred dollars. This resulted in a couple of phone calls and a screaming session with the owner of the company. Cheryl started the fireworks by calling the owner to complain about the lack of an estimate before repairs were done, and to ask about “that other little problem” the owner said he would come out to fix “next week” (about three months ago). (He had installed a new a/c system less than a year ago and gave us a one year warranty on the instalation. It turned out several things were installed wrong, and we were calling him to fix those problems that fell under his warranty. The problem the guy came out to fix on Friday was a different problem, not under the original warranty.) “Cheryl, keep you damn money. I’ve been doing my best, but I’ve had a lot of bad luck lately. Do you know how much it costs me to stay in business? Do you know what, I don’t even want your money anymore.” (Yes, up to this point we had been on a first name basis with the owner.) First, Cheryl was chewed out by the owner for interrupting his busy day, then the guy in my kitchen was chewed up and spit out for not “handling” the customers. Cheryl insisted that she did not expect the service call was going to be free, and the owner relented and told her she could write a check for $99.00. The guy in my kitchen took the check from my wife and let himself out. He somehow managed to “accidentally” drop the check we gave him just inside our front door. I wonder if it was the last day with the company.
Anyone who would like the name of an a/c repair service to avoid can email me at their leisure. I’m happy to provide this service free of charge.