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Question DetailsAsked on 9/13/2015

HVAC return duct (25 ft 16 in) replacement $500 - did I get ripped off?

My home warranty company said my return duct had to be replaced and quoted me $500. It is a single story house, and the guys came in and finished in under an hour. I was expecting it to be a bigger work...

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6 Answers

Voted Best Answer
1
Vote

Alot depends on where you live, metro areas have more higher expenses then suburban or rural.


You could call around and try to get phone quotes by decribing work as you have here.


In our area $225 to $300. We woiuld likely send one man.


Why did they say the work needed to be done?

Source: www.bayareacool.com

Answered 4 years ago by BayAreaAC

0
Votes

Ye, paid too much for materials and labor, is there isn't something else included.


This is ofeten what happens with warranty companies. They pay the contactor so little that the contractor finds non-covered issues and charges highly for those services.


As a contractor I find in contractor only internet forums, that this is the advice given to those working for home waarranty companies, as a way to be profitable.


We refuse to work for nhome warranty companies, as we would never do this,and we could not breakeven on what they pay.

Source: www.bayareacool.com

Answered 4 years ago by BayAreaAC

0
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Thanks, so what would this work typically cost, replacment of one return duct 25 ft 16 in?

Answered 4 years ago by Ajai

0
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Thanks! I live in Plano, TX. Next time I'll definitely shop around here. The first time they came they said previous owner had tried to repair it many times (repair I guess means put a lot of tape over it). So that guy cut off the whole duct, tied it up and closed it. I got the quote a couple of days later. The company is BFS Home Warranty, just FYI.

Answered 4 years ago by Ajai

0
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Looks like you got off easy, reading some of these.


http://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/re...

Source: www.bayareacool.com

Answered 4 years ago by BayAreaAC

0
Votes

Haha, overall they have been responsive. I was cool (like my AC) till I'd to shell out $500 in addition to the $55 per visit :)

Answered 4 years ago by Ajai

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Votes

The above comments say it several times - it is becoming more and more common for a home warranty repairman to come out and to either say the repairs are not covered under the warranty (even if they should be), to "find" something else wrong (which may or may not be) the "has" to be repaired, or even to create a problem that did not exist to get more bucks out of the job.


People also, in the course of these "upsell" efforts, get trapped into the mode of going along with these increased or additional charges without thinking if an alternative contractor might be cheaper, and without getting a second opinion on whether they are really needed. One prime example I saw was a $12,000 upsell of a whole new boiler and integrated hot water storage tank system system (worth about $5-7,000 competitively) by a home warranty repairman who came to fix a failed circulating pump that would have cost about $250 installed were it actually shot, rather than just a power failure to it.


They have you in a catch 22, especially if they have torn into the system, because if you tell them no then they go away and the home warranty company won't pay anything.


Another scam that is becoming more and more prevalent - not all contractors by any means, but becoming a significant occurrence (with car mechanics too) is to take a heating system or electrical panel partway apart, then say that the system is dangerous so they cannot, for liability reasons, put it back together without fixing it. They really have you on the hook with that, especially if a heating system during cold weather or a car you need to get to work.


The classic and very common case of this is with forced air furnace heat exchangers, because in most areas if they are cracked the HVAC serviceman is prohibited by law from reactivating the system - so there are a lot of them taken out that are actually fine. A few months ago there was an article on a scam uncovered where a HVAC tech removed working uncracked exchangers and put in a replacements old used ones taken from other systems that had been cleaned up and hit with some aluminum spray paint to look new, brought to the jobsite in restapled boxes from new exchangers, and billed to the customer as new.


On your duct changeout - sounds high as other comments said, but with two guys and about $6-12/LF (after markup) for the ducting with hangers and sealant and such that is about $150-300 in materials and say $200-300 in labor (except in a few very high cost urban areas), yeah - sounds on the high side but not incredibly sky-high. If it was actually 1 hour work for 2 guys, lets say you got torn a bit, but not totally ripped.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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