Having worked as a residential HVAC technician over the last 20 plus years I have found that one thing has always remained consistent. The average customer knows very little about their system and are easy prey for any technician who wants to rip them off. Their lack of knowledge along with many contractor’s business models of paying the technicians a percentage of the call as their compensation often leads to the consumer being gouged unfairly.
Today’s consumers do have some advantages that were not available previously. Access to the parts cost through use of the internet does help as the homeowner can look up the cost, however, often a repair will require a dealer only item or the part is of low quality which is easily dismissed as junk by the technician. Even if the homeowner finds the exact part for a lower price it is often not available and needs to be ordered. When it’s extremely hot or cold this is not a viable option and most companies will not warranty a part that was not purchased through them.
Over the last 25 years the industry has moved toward a flat rate pricing structure or sometimes better described as upfront pricing. In this business model the customer is given the repair price upfront allowing them to decide if they want the repair done or not for a given set cost. Although consumers tend to like this model better it is of little help to ensuring they are still not over paying as the part cost and labor are not listed in the invoice. Another problem is that if the homeowner refuses the repair then they still owe the service call or diagnostic fee which typically runs $60.00 to $80.00.
So what then can be done to solve these disadvantages for the consumer and help bring back some integrity to an often poorly trusted industry? What if there was a place where the homeowner could find what the fair and honest price of a repair should actually cost them?
Well now there is!