In August 2008, I purchased a new Ruud system for a rental home I have. Actually, I purchased a Goodman, but they installed a Ruud. Said it was a better system with a better warranty and they were not charging extra. Ok, as long as the tenants are happy, I'm fine with it. I have 2 Goodmans on my own home and have never had any problems with them, so that's the reason I had asked for that brand.
18 months later (spring 2010), the tenants call and the system is not cooling. I called the company that installed it and they said they would come look at it. The tenants were about to go on vacation, so I gave them my work, home, and cell numbers and asked them to call 30 minutes before they went out and I would meet them at the house or have either my mom or stepdad come over there (they live 2 houses away from the rental and have a key). They never called. I called back several times trying to find out when they would be out to look at it and continually got the run around. After several phone calls, he finally says "we got out there and got it fixed." I asked what was wrong with it and he said he didn't remember and would have to pull the work order when he got back to the office (that he was out on another job at the time) and give me a call. I never received a call. When the tenants came home from vacation, it was cooling. So, I assumed (yes, I know) that it had been repaired. He never sent a bill, so I assumed (again, I know) that it was covered under the warranty. I did call a few more times asking for a copy of the work order for my records in case there were issues later on. Never received a copy.
A few months later (summer 2010), the tenants call and say it is not cooling again. I called the installer back and got the same run around about going and looking at the system. To the best of my knowledge, he never went back out there. The tenants weren't too concerned as they had installed window units from a family member's home who had recently died. They were actually happier with the window units since they didn't have to cool the entire house. They seemed to think the problems with cooling it was just a matter of a hotter than usual summer and the fact that it is a 2-story house with only 1 cooling unit. They liked the window units because they could actually get the upstairs cool without freezing downstairs. I still called the installer as I wanted the unit checked again. At this point, he's ignoring me, the tenants aren't complaining and things got crazy busy at work so I just let it go.
Around Christmas 2010, I receive a phone call from the installer wanting to know why I haven't paid the bill from the spring service call. Huh? I told him I had never received one and asked if he had mailed it to my home address or to the rental property address. He said he didn't know and asked for my home address. I gave it to him (although he already had it from the original install). Once again I asked him what was wrong with the unit and he again said "I don't know - I'll have to pull the work order." Weeks go by and no invoice.
Day before yesterday, I got home to find a $495 bill from him in the mail. The work order was to add 3 lbs of refrigerant and clean the coils. I find this an excessive charge (and odd that he'd wait 8 months to bill for it). And, had the unit required this much work, he should have called to discuss it beforehand. I've had units recharged and cleaned before and nothing this excessive. Nowhere on the work order does it have where the leak was repaired and since the tenants had complaints later in the season last year that it wasn't cooling, I have reason to believe no leak repairs were made. I have a feeling that when they power it up this spring, it's going to do nothing but move hot air, which is going to result in yet another major bill.
Any advice? Am I being taken? I always thought that if a unit had to be recharged, it had a leak and the leak needed to be repaired. 3 lbs lost in about 18 months seems like a lot to me, but I am no expert in this field. I hate not to pay the guy for the work he did do, but like I said, the charges seem excessive, he should have called before doing the work since it wasn't warranty work, and 8 months later to finally send a bill? Just seems to me that someone needed some extra holiday money or has a huge tax bill looming and is now drawing up some extra invoices.