On one of the many places to write a review about Air Masters of Tampa Bay a client of ours questioned the cost of analyzing their problem and then questioned the cost of the quote we gave them. I must say these are commonly asked questions of us, so let me explain how it works.
There are usually 3 separate charges to consider:
- The initial trip charge.
- Time to diagnose the problem.
- Quote to repair.
The Trip Charge: When a mechanic is sent to your home to diagnose an A/C problem, most companies charge a trip charge (as we do) which covers the cost of getting the mechanic to your home no matter where he my be located or what happens to him on the way. Companies average out that cost and come with a trip charge.
Diagnostic Time: Once on site, the technician will check the system thoroughly and charge a rate for every half hour of diagnosis time. Often, they can determine the problem within the first half hour to hour on site. Then they will give you a quote for the repair that includes the diagnosis charge.
Repair: If you accept the quote for repair, the mechanic will fix the problem and provide a bill to you for the trip, diagnosis time and actual repair costs (labor and parts). If you don’t accept the quote and want the work done by someone else, you should be charged only for the trip charge and diagnosis time. In most cases, we can fix the problem within one hour on the job site. On larger jobs (leaking coils, bad compressors) additional time may be needed.
If it sounds too good to be true…
Some companies advertise Free Service Calls. As a business owner, I don’t know how they can afford this unless their mechanic is told to try and sell you something. I think I will leave it at that.
Now, if a company advertises a Free Second Opinion (like we do), it is thought that we are doing a service for you. If you like the way we handled ourselves in confirming the diagnosis, or our explanation to you of the misdiagnosis and identification of the real problem, we feel you will hire us. Lets face it, the only reason you called for a second opinion was that you did not trust the other company for some reason. When the technician arrives, he is looking for a service ticket showing what the diagnosis was from the other company so he can confirm or deny that diagnosis. There is no charge for this service.
I hope this helps you when you call for service and I did not confuse you.I also hope I did not make it too personal using Air Masters of Tampa Bay as an example. But in this case, I can only speak for our company and I can only assume what other companies do.