HVAC company, member can’t reach agreement on furnace issue

HVAC company, member can’t reach agreement on furnace issue

Member complaint

I hired Hales Corners Heating & Air Conditioning in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, to find out why the exhaust motor on my furnace wouldn’t cycle.

The technician, Charlie, took off the motor twice. He kept saying it must be a plugged heat exchanger. After that, he said the diagnosis of the problem would cost another $155.29, bringing the total for the visit up to $299.79.

His temporary solution was removing the exhaust pipe, but you have to put it back on because removing it can cause toxic fumes. He never fixed the problem.

I got another provider to fix the problem within 10 minutes.

I called Hales to try to get the secondary service charge removed. The diagnosis was faulty, and he didn’t do anything more than he did for his first visit.

I told the owner I purchased the motor from a reputable motor repair and sales establishment. He didn’t even bother to ask what the problem was. He just said, “You’re going to pay,” and promptly hung up. I want a refund of $299.79.

Arlen Goodspeed, Waukesha, Wisconsin

Provider response

I took the member’s call after hours. I informed him of our charges over the phone. Charlie arrived and found the differential pressure was not enough to close the pressure switch safely and start the furnace, which means a bad pressure switch, bad inducer motor, plugged secondary heat exchanger or restriction in the PVC.

Charlie removed the inducer motor to check the secondary heat exchanger. It looked in poor condition. He then reinstalled the motor and removed intake on PVC fresh air. The furnace fired. He checked the PVC again for restriction and found none.

He removed the motor again, and that is when the homeowner told him that he’d just put the motor inducer on before he called us. Charlie then told him he had either a bad motor or the wrong one. He reinstalled the motor and left the intake off the furnace so the customer would have heat. We didn’t remove the exhaust PVC, as it’s glued in. The customer approved all work.

The homeowner called me the next day and told me he had either replaced or exchanged the motor that he bought, and he wanted his money back from us. I said no. I can’t warranty a homeowner’s attempt to repair his own furnace. All of my technicians are trained and certified.

Scott Puffer, owner



Have a complaint?

Our Angie’s List complaint resolution team attempts to resolve disputes between members and service providers. During this process, three outcomes can happen: Penalty Box, Resolved or Stalemate. Companies that don’t respond to a member’s complaint will be placed in the Penalty Box until they respond. A case becomes Resolved if a company addresses the complaint to the member’s satisfaction, or it becomes a Stalemate if the provider responds, but the company and the member can’t reach an agreement. Find out more about the Complaint Resolution Process.

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