I’m kind of a busy person. I don’t like my time wasted. As a result, the last thing I want is to deal with problems, or even BE a problem.
So if I hire someone to do something, I expect it done… honestly, quickly and effectively. The last thing I want to do is to complain, unless I have to.
In addition to the million and one things I have going on at work, school, etc, the Yelp review below of West Coast Chief Repair (www.chiefappliance.com; no linky dink for you!) describes the week long drama I’ve had in trying to repair the air-conditioner that broke during the heatwave of this past weekend at a rental property I manage. These are VERY GOOD tenants. They never bother me and handle most things themselves. So when something goes wrong for them, I try to fix it as expeditiously and conveniently as possible.
They told me on Monday (of Labor Day) that their a/c was broken. I called on Tuesday morning to make an appointment with the company above. I called them due to good recommendations I’d heard about their service.
This review on Yelp (Yelp account needed to click link) describes what happened. I had only 5000 characters to write the review, so some minor editing was done to reduce the length of the piece.
I called on Tues to make an appt to fix an a/c. The soonest they could get out was Thurs between 4-7p. We know what is wrong with the a/c; the same thing happened before. I got a call today to confirm the appt; I said that a specific part that was broken & to have it on hand. I was told this would happen.
My tenants got home early & started waiting at 4pm. At 7:15, they called me: no one had shown up. I called the company, asking where the technician was: dispatch took a msg. At 7:20, the tech finally showed up. (I didnt receive a call back from the company until after 7:30)
As I mentioned, we knew exactly what the problem was. The tech tried to tell the tenants that the fan was broken. This was not true because my tenant works with electronics & was able to bypass the broken part (a circuit board) & get the fan to work. The tenants questioned him about the fan being broken.
The tech backtracked & said the compressor was broken. This was a lie. Not only based on the fact that the compressor does work (again when that circuit board is bypassed), but by the fact that a broken fan does not equal a broken compressor.
How the tech changed the diagnosis after being confronted is extremely fishy. He said he would have to leave, come back & charge for another visit and then order parts, etc. At 8pm, my tenants called me, livid at the experience. Not only had their time been wasted, they felt like they were jerked around.
My tenants are very good people & I felt like I had failed them. I said I would call the company right away & get some resolution on the issue. Shortly after 8pm, I called the company again. Again, it was a dispatch operator. I asked for a call back urgently from a manager. I did not get a call back for an hour.
At 9:02pm, I called the dispatch operator again. My name was still in the system from the previous hour, but the operator said my message had already been relayed.
At 10:15p, I called the dispatch operator for the 3rd time after the visit; the 4th time in 4 hrs. I complained that I hadn’t gotten a call back EVEN THOUGH THEY CLAIM TO BE ON CALL 24/7.
At 10:20p, I received a call from Michael, the Manager. Despite being pretty pissed off, I calmly explained of the story above, starting with the tardiness of the tech.
His first response to me was that having a guy show up 20 min outside of the window “was not a big deal” & “not unreasonable due to traffic.” I told him that this was indeed a big deal, because a service window is a service window; an apology was appropriate (not having my complaint dismissed as if our time wasn’t valuable). The appointment was not from 4-7:30, it was for 4-7pm; my tenants were inconvenienced as a result of this; & I said that if the tech was indeed going to be late, a phone call to either myself or the tenant (both #s were provided) would be appropriate.
(Throughout this conversation, I could hear Michael’s kid crying in the background. I get it. It’s 10:30p. If it were my choice, I wouldn’t be having this conversation either.)
Michael got upset because I challenged him about the tardiness of his tech & told me I was being “unreasonable.” At this point I hadn’t raised my voice yet & had been trying to keep my patience. I think I may have sounded frustrated, but I certainly hadn’t gotten upset.
But to have the manager tell me I’m being “unreasonable” & not even attempt to acknowledge any problem began to set me off.
It gets worse. He said, “I don’t have time to deal with this right now. I will talk to the tech & call you in the morning.”
I asked, “I thought you were on call 24/7.”
He said, “You are unreasonable.” AND HE HUNG UP ON ME.
***HE DARED TO SAY *I* WAS UNREASONABLE?!?!?!***
I AM SHOCKED THAT A COMPANY THAT CLAIMS ON ITS WEBSITE “WE TREAT YOU LIKE FRIENDS” TREATED ME LIKE THIS.
On their website, the Better Business Bureau badge of Company Rating A shows prominently on the homepage.
If you go to the BBB website, you’ill see that the ACTUAL rating is NOT an A. It is a “BBB” rating, LOWER THAN an A. This is still a high rating, BUT IT IS NOT WHAT THEY ADVERTISE ON THEIR SITE.
Also, check out the review from the BBB site on 8/26/2007 by bdblack, who says they are crooks.
I certainly wouldn’t disagree.
UPDATE: On 9/7, I rec’d a call from the office at 8am. I spoke to Alex who politely listened to the whole story. When I was done, the first thing he did was apologize for the bad experience, which is what I should have received last night from Michael. Then he offered to try to make it better. I requested a second opinion from a senior technician who admitted via phone that the circuit board could be the problem, not the fan. But the soonest they could make a new appt was for Monday afternoon.
Instead, I ordered part online; arriving Sat. The tenant fixed it himself by replacing the bad circuit board. The fan is fine.
While I appreciate the professionalism of Alex, it was too little too late. He said that I would not be charged for the first visit and that a senior technician would come out on Monday afternoon, as scheduled. But since the part is already fixed, I am canceling the service call.
I will be filing a complaint to the Better Business Bureau for false advertising (the wrong rating posted on their site) and also to file a report of this incident.
And if I get charged for the visit, I will be disputing it on my credit card, as well.
PS – I received EXTREMELY GOOD service from ClimateDoctors.com, the company that I bought the circuit board from. Not only did they have great prices, the customer service was EXCELLENT. When I called their toll-free number to place the order, Chris Auger (a technician for 20 years himself) answered the phone, took the order, and gave me some advice. Then he made sure that the order was indeed fulfilled immediately so that the part arrived on Saturday to the tenant via FedEx. Even though the shipping costs were almost as much as the cost of the part itself (FedEx’s fault, not ClimateDoctors), the order arrived with no problems. He even faxed me a copy of the invoice and also sent a tracking # so I could track the FedEx package.
I absolutely recommend ClimateDoctors.com for excellent prices, customer service, and value.