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Old 07-23-2019, 10:14 PM   #1
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repair bill

How do you handle it when you have work done on a AC unit and are told it needs a new computer boat then turns out it is actually the fan so that is replaced.Then you get the bill and the computer board you did not need is there.It seems like these mechanics work on the process of a limitation.

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Old 07-23-2019, 10:52 PM   #2
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That is referred to as a parts changer as opposed to a diagnostic specialist.
I would start with the boss. Nothing was wrong with the old computer board, put it back in. Failing that, we need to reach an accommodation. I pay you to diagnose and fix what is broken, not replace parts that aren't. It's unlikely they will remove all of the cost for the board and associated labor, but if you can cut it in half, well that's something. Attitude and a willingness to compromise will likely get you a lot further than losing your cool.


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Old 07-24-2019, 05:56 PM   #3
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If the tech was a factory certified or authorized tech for the brand of A/C that you have, they should have been able to diagnose it properly with the troubleshooting procedures from the factory service manuals. Otherwise, then yes you get anything from parts swapping to someone that knows the system from experience. Reminds me of a dryer my mom had an appliance repair 'specialist' come out to fix. She paid $60 to be told within 10 minutes of arrival that the control board was dead and no longer available.

Once I had a look at it, took me 5 minutes with a multimeter to see that the relay controlling the heating element was not operational and a $10 part fixed it. The schematics were printed right there on the service panel. Couldn't get the $60 back, she paid cash.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:54 PM   #4
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What confirmation do you have that the replaced board is actually OK? If you're going to negotiate, you need facts to bolster your position. You'll need to be objective when you approach the person who can make an adjustment or accommodation. Make sure the person you speak to has the capacity to resolve the problem. Ask questions, avoid diagnosing. Calmly express your expectations of what you'd consider a reasonable resolution.

In my experience in the HVAC service business, when there was a situation where some corrective action was needed, I always appreciated when a client presented what they felt was a fair resolution, it made the process smoother.

Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:28 PM   #5
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We service equipment with many circuit boards. Most can not be tested. The only test is a replacement board. If that doesn’t fix the problem the board comes out and we go to the next possibility. We are the dealer and that’s on us. We do not charge for the board that we didn’t Replace but we do charge for the time to make the swap. That is standard procedure in my trade.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:27 AM   #6
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Arc has it right. I worked as a field tech for dot matrix printers and the service manuals were a parts swapping guide. A list of symptoms in a grid determined which parts were swapped and in what order. If a swapped part didn't fix the problem, we put the original part/board back in and moved on to the next replacement item/part/board. Time for the troubleshooting was charged and the parts that were actually used was charged. Broken circuit boards were sent to the manufacturer for refurbishment. Most of the parts we used for repairs were refurbished.

The HVAC service manuals I've seen have specified tests for boards, check voltage here or there, etc... to help narrow down what part is bad.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:36 AM   #7
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My last home HVAC system had troubleshooting LEDs built in.

I look far and wide now for products that have built in error code systems.

I am tired of the keep the consumer in the dark period of the "early computer age".
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:42 AM   #8
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I would ask after the fan was replaced, was the circuit board swapped back to the original to confirm that the original board did indeed have a problem? If they didn’t try going back to the original board to confirm that is was bad, then I would have a problem paying for it. Occasionally there will be multiple problems but the norm is one problem, one fix.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:46 PM   #9
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Your situation is common, but don't assume you know the facts. You don't know whether the board was needed or not. That said, I'd start by discussing it with the service manager. I'd even go higher if required, but your discussion should start with a question of whether the board was still needed.

To me the likely most reasonable resolution isn't giving you a refund for the board and labor but a sizable discount if he's not sure the board was bad. You don't want to pay more labor to switch and try now. So, perhaps he reduces the parts charge for the board by 50%.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:30 PM   #10
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Would you be willing to share what the cost was for the circuit board that was replaced ? I think it would make a difference if it was a $50 part or a $500 part. I would assume that the reason the service techs first choice was to replace the board is because its a common failure point. If that's the case, and the cost was minimal, you may have saved another service call in the future because now you have a new circuit board.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:43 AM   #11
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Always ask for the removed part.

Have you paid them yet? That's going to make a big difference to your negotiating position.

I took a 4 year old outboard to a dealer because of a rough idle. They said a new carburetor was needed because mine was corroded. As I was thinking about my options, the mechanic said they happened to have a carburetor in stock so they already replaced it.

I drove to the shop to pick up my tender and asked for my old carburetor. They said they threw it away. I retrieved my old carburetor from the trash. I paid them $567 with a credit card and as soon as I got my tender off their premises, disputed the charge with Visa.

I took the removed carburetor to an automotive carburetor shop for diagnosis. They found no corrosion internally and they found debris in the idle fuel port which caused the rough idle.

I wrote a letter to the outboard shop with a copy of the invoice with diagnosis from the carburetor shop. I subtracted the cost of the carburetor and labor from my invoice and explained to them my reasoning. I sent them a check for the $102 balance. I told them that if they wanted the new carburetor back, I would take the outboard to another outboard shop and have the carburetors swapped back and they could pay for the labor.

The owner of the shop called and threatened to sue me. I told him to go ahead. It's been three years and I have not received any further correspondence from the shop.

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