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Question DetailsAsked on 7/17/2017

How much to adjust an invoice when the install didn't match the proposal?

I got a proposal to replace a dead AC with a new 14 SEER unit and a new coil. When the install was done, I learned they used a 13 SEER (manufactured 15 months before), and they did NOT replace the coil. They've offered to take about $400 off the $2500 bill, but that seems low. Isn't the price difference on the 13 vs 14 SEER unit almost that much on its own, plus the cost of replacement of the coil and install on that would be -- what? -- $400-500?

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Maybe you are not as nasty as me - but I would be flaming them by filing a bait and switch criminal fraud complaint against them with the police (or district attorney's criminal fraud unit, as applicable for your area), and also be contacting their Bond company to get the job redone per the quote by the bonding company. If unbonded, if they have company general liability insurance you could file a claim against that for their fraud.

It is also possible they broke the law in installing a 13 SEER unit, depending on your location - some parts of then country require 14 SEER units. More info on that here - could not get the EPA map to come up, but I think this is current - if you are in the North states 13 SEER would be legal for standard units, in southwest or southern states should have been 14 SEER and would be ILLEGAL to install a 13 SEER new unit. If they installed an illegal unit, I would be reporting them to the EPA too.

And not replacing the coil (assuming your mean the evaporator coil - the indoor coil - not only does that mean you have no valid "new system" warranty, but also a coil which will almost certainly fail significantly before a new one would so they left you with probably the most likely and most expensive component unreplaced. Replacing an evaporator coil is commonly $1000-2000 and commonly in the $1500 range or more for unwarrantied coil, not $400 - and that is what you are looking at having to pay when your coil fails, most likely well before a new warrantied (commonly 10 year) coil would. The $400 is likely the difference between a 13 SEER and 14 SEER unit, at their billing rate (the unit cost difference itself likely more like $100-150 wholesale).

All in all - I think they blatantly defrauded you, and I would lay into them - as well as requiring a proper new install per the contract from the bonding company (I would not let them on site again, given their behavior history - if the current "new" equipment is taken out it could be returned to them by the replacement contractor when the proper new unit is put in - assuming of course you ahve your money back by then.

I would also contact the manufacturer with the model and serial number and see if they show it as previouyslky installed - I would not be at all surprised to find that this is a unit that was installed somewhere and taken back out as defective under warranty, or perhaps even stolen.

On the reinstall of the proper new unit - I would also insist that it include flushing the lines, because if they pulled that kind of trick they may well have installed cheap gas with the wrong type of lubricant - or maybe even removed and then put back in R-22 (Freon) and lubricant, which does not mix at all well with the new gas (presumably R-410a), but they might have used a cheaper alternative which the unit may not be designed to run with - which also might have the wrong type of lubricant.

I would also file a complaint with the state contractor licensing board to hopefully get their license pulled, and of course after all is said and done, an appropriate Review on Angies List would seem to be in order too.

And keep documentation and take photos of coil and unit and serial numbers and such for the record.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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