Monday, July 9, 2007

Thank you for using @#$%S...

Someone who's been through one major and one minor flood, heat pump compressor, four or five pool pump motors, couple of pool filter tanks, few dead refrigerators is not likely to treat warranty issues lightly. Thus, after being somewhat dissatisfied with service contractors taking a bit too long (up to three-four days) to show up, I decided to abandon my warranty company in favor of @#$%S, a big, domestically owned, reputable company. There is safety in numbers, I thought.

How naive of me.

Jumping ahead, I did go to extreme depths to explain to them that I have not one, not even two, but three units and did have to pay extra premium for the service.

Being diligent, I decided to use the service that's been advertised among other warranty clauses - preventive maintenance. So I call them up, they give me a window a couple of weeks later, it's still February, I'm thinking, what could go wrong...


Guys show up, take a look at the unit, say it's not on their record, spend half an hour on the phone with headquarters, say this unit is not on their records. I say fine, there's another one, which is on your records, go take care of that. They do, profusely apologize, and leave. I call up again and explain that the unit in question is not quite up to snuff and has to be looked up, they say sure, and schedule another appointment two weeks later.

No call, no show. With a window like 9 to 12 or 1 to 5, it's quite aggravating - half a day is wasted.

Another call, another two weeks. A crew arrives with gusto, steps up to the unit and says "Dude! This unit is not on our records!" as I stare at them in disbelief. So I make them write down the model and serial numbers of all HVAC equipment, upon completion of which task they notify me that I have not three, but five units, namely, one rooftop, two condensers and two air handlers. Fine, as long as the unit gets taken care of. They say they can't do anything now without headquarters approving, and leave.

Another hour on hold, another conversation, another two weeks. Another crew arrives. Guess what? The unit is still not on records.

Another hour on hold, another conversation, another two weeks. Another no call, no show.

I'm thinking, it's costing me too much aggravation already, the hell with it - if it breaks, they'll fix it. So I leave it alone.

So the summer comes. In June, one of my HVAC units goes dead (the one @#$%S "maintained"). I call @#$%S, they say it'll take them 9 (nine) days for them to dispatch the serviceman. I tell them this is unacceptable, keep biting their ankles every day - and 8 days later, the guy shows up. Replaces the fuse and is on his way. Not that I would believe that the fuse is the root cause, but there's nothing I can do with it - all in all, he's a professional...

Within two weeks, the unit is dead again, with the same symptoms. To make the long story short, it took them over a week to send someone over (mind you, we're talking about August in Phoenix), and the unit did get fixed. Ground short.

This is not a kind of service one pays premium for, so BBB complaint gets filed, processed, and somewhere in the middle of the winter a symbolic compensation comes. End of story.

Or so I thought.

What made me dig up this stinking corpse is that an appliance I bought a while ago, it turns out, has its warranty served by @#$%S. Damn, I say, let's hope it works this time.

Yeah, right.

Scheduled visit number one, 1 to 5 window. No call, no show. At 4:30 service center is called, and they are telling me that the contractor is actually parked in front of my house. Right. At 5:30 another call to service center, and they're told about the fact that contractor never made it in from the driveway, about pretty contemptible track record, of preexisting BBB complaint. They politely apologize and say they will have to call back reschedule.

A day passes. No call. Calling them. Another hold, another conversation, another 1 to 5 service window. Another no call, no show.

I wonder, are they brain dead? Okay, it may be fine to screw things up once. Not so okay, but happens twice in a row. But six??? And a complaint??? And, after that, two times in a row again?

Now, for those curious about the actual identity of the company... Pretty easy to figure out - I just want to leave myself some maneuvering space in case they ever get to read this and decide to send me a cease and desist. That would be fun to watch, though, and something tells me that I'm not the only one having this kind of experience. And have no doubts, another BBB complaint is on the way.

The most saddening thought? They're not alone. This winter, the unit I was trying to take care of in this story has finally died (pretty non-trivial failure, as it eventually turned out), and the contractor that was trying to fix it tried everything he could think of (took couple of weeks to order the parts, have them delivered, and another appointment scheduled), then just "recharged" the unit and said "Let's pray that it keeps working".

I guess he wasn't praying hard enough. But that's a different story for a different time.


  1. As long as you are a pussy about which company this is, and asserting your right to truthfully state facts, this is a blogpost that is useless and unhelpful to anyone. Grow some balls.

  2. @Clint: What's the point? Those in the business do already know, those that are not but want to know ask. If you want to know, ask privately, and I guarantee you that you will say "I, those... Duh, of course."