Nothing worse than getting a raw deal on a cold winter day.
First I've known Walter Kirkland since South Meck High School days and over the years I've paid his company enough to put at least one of his kid's through college.
So its sad to see a company that once offered top-notch service at a fair price, lower itself to blatant piracy.
I'd guess what happens is things get comfortable and you start to feel like you can charge what you like, the customer and competition be damned.
Shane nice guy doesn't look like a pirate does he?
Last summer after years of paying Kirkland techs whatever they asked, never once questioning a bill, I called Walter out on a "contactor" a small but necessary device that tells the outside condenser unit to power up, which had been replaced just the summer before.
Seems ants have an attraction to the low voltage current that powers the contactor. The ant get inside the mechanism and eventually the contactor stops working and needs to be replaced or so I was told.
The price of a contactor from Kirkland is $185.00 the price for the same part on line is $22.50. I don't mind a mark up, even 100% or 200% but an 822% mark-up is out of line. In fairness this includes the technicians ability to connect four wires and tighten two screws. But add in the diagnostic service charge of $89.00 and suddenly a $22.50 part is a bill for nearly 300 bucks.
I told Walter I thought the price was pretty out of line. His response was that he thought it was fair and that was his price.
I told the tech I'd fix it myself and paid only the $89.00 service charge. Turns out if you shake out the dead ants the contactor works just fine. And now I have a spare that cost me only $22.50 plus $12.75 for the overnight shipping.
Yesterday I called Kirkland at 8:05 AM and asked that they visit a condo that they had replaced the a/c at a year or so ago. The tenant had called to say that the heat had suddenly stopped working and I assumed it would be a pretty quick fix on a fairly new unit.
But the response I got was that I'd have to pay the overtime rate because they were really busy. I'm pretty easy going but I get tired of being abused and enough is enough.
I asked Rhonda the friendly voice on the other end of the phone if that was the best they could do, her reply was everyone pays the overtime rate in the winter.
Needless to say I told Rhonda and Kirkland Heating and Air Conditioning no thanks.
Hello Morris Jenkins? Can I get warm heat in my house tonight?