What is the standard practice for a service appointment?

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ChiefEngineer

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I have gotten to the point a number of times where I needed some help. I called. What always
happens is someome asks: "what is your address". We then get further by trying to get some vague idea of if or when
they might show up....which almost always has no definite outcome...like they have to subcontract someone
they have to coordinate with.

After getting no real idea "if or when" they might really come out I simply would close the call
with "I'll call you if I can't get somebody sooner".

I've done this enough times now over about 4 years, when my well situation started to decline. I discovered
that even though I only gave a general description of where I was (there is no mailbox address), they had, in fact, tried to show up
to help. I had my old notes calling again, described things, and they would "recall" my property and ask if I had a locked gate, which I do.

I considered this over-the-top-friendly-helpful to the point where I truly think that it might be standard etiquette that if
someone gives you an address that means it's OK for them to do whatever they want. Being from another part of the world
I have always been leery of this because it was used in court as a defense by people who would do things uninvited and
then claim they were given permission...not that "well guys" would do anything really bad. But that is why I was clear.
They also seem miffed at being stonewalled by a barrier, even years later, and stated they would "keep me
on their books for the future" or something like that...like they had been doing me an enormous favor, as if they might have
been paramedics. Perhaps I don't quite grasp the whole picture...but I had thought they were just asking for location to
research water table depth, not arrive whenever.

I have had many people over the years sit at my locked gate, far from the house, and continuously honk to get someone
to see what they wanted, like that was normal. Where I learned to live that sort of behavior never worked out very well,
so I am thinking this is some sort of cultural norm I am unaccustomed to, even after decades of living here.
 

Valveman

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I am sorry for the poor service. But it is not just pump and well guys these days, but generally I don't get good service from any contractor or service person. They do act like I owe them a favor for just answering the phone or showing up. I ran a pump and drilling company for many decades. This time of year I would be several months behind. There is always someone who thinks their water is more of an emergency than others. So, schedules get juggled to accommodate as best we can. But when you came up on my schedule I would ask for you to meet me at the locked gate at a specific time. That is not uncommon in the pump business as many wells are very remote. Then you would get a diagnosis and a repair at the least cost, that would last as best as I could make it last. When your water is running, you pay me, I thank you sincerely for your business, and you follow me out to lock the gate. But that is probably why I am not a rich man. Lol!

These days most pump guys don't know the best way to make a system last at a reasonable price. All they know is how to install the most expensive and shortest lasting systems available, like they are taught by the manufacturers. I understand. It is hard to make a living replacing a $25 pressure switch, even if you charge $200 for the service call. But that doesn't mean it is ok to then talk someone into a $5K system and promise longer pump life and energy savings which cannot and will not happen. The pump and well guys in my family have always been honest to a fault. Pump guys and drillers these days can get rich selling expensive equipment that doesn't last long. I do believe that is why DIY has become so popular. I see people drilling wells and pulling pumps some "professionals" could not do any better. At the very least it is important to do the research and know enough not to be talked into a system that ultimately becomes a Tar Baby.

I am having the same issue right now with a HVAC heat pump. I have a perfectly good and working system that I gave $5K for about 20 years ago. I serviced it, cleaned the fins and coils this morning. It still looks like new and has a simple compressor, coil, fan, and control board. Because of MY age, I was looking to replace it. The new one is now $15K and has a variable speed compressor, fan, and pump, along with an inverter and two way complicated thermostat. Several of my friends and neighbors have complained about the high cost, short life, multiple problems, and lack of qualified or willing service technicians to keep these systems working. I just want a simple long lasting system like the one I have now and those are not even available anymore. Who's idea was it to screw everything up so badly anyway? Sorry for the rant.
 

Jeff H Young

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I do plumbing nothing to do with wells I dont think Ive been to a house with well in 30 years so it might be differant.
Ill get a call for say a small repair couple hours or less and 100 bucks or less in parts . usually Ill tell them ill take alook at issue no charge ill be there at a certain time aproxx and confirm withen an hour of arrival often ill ask If theyll be home awhile or just waiting for me? if I have other jobs im not going to stress a non emergency . like a drip at the tub spout .water heater leaking differant story ill push something else aside.
honking horn at a locked gate I havent done but if an appointment was made in the sticks and no cell service or person met me at gate Id be honking horn . I guess thats how they roll where you live since its been happening often for years to you
 

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I meant no disrespect. I know there are people in the trades who still try to do a good job for a fair price, and actually show up when they said they would. I just don't seem to have their phone numbers. Last two construction jobs I did, I had to finish the plumbing myself. The plumber got about 70% of his money and decided that was enough, and would not return my calls. I also have a place with two locked gates. It is so remote it cost me about 500 bucks to just get a service person to show up. I make sure the gates are unlocked and usually meet them at the high way, to make sure they don't get lost. If I forgot I wouldn't mind them honking at the gate, but they would quickly have about 200 cows surrounding them, as that is how my neighbor calls his cows. Lol! I've had people freak at the gate, including my wife, as they sometimes come running even if you don't honk. :)
 
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ChiefEngineer

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I meant no disrespect. I know there are people in the trades who still try to do a good job for a fair price, and actually show up when they said they would. I just don't seem to have their phone numbers. Last two construction jobs I did, I had to finish the plumbing myself. The plumber got about 70% of his money and decided that was enough, and would not return my calls. I also have a place with two locked gates. It is so remote it cost me about 500 bucks to just get a service person to show up. I make sure the gates are unlocked and usually meet them at the high way, to make sure they don't get lost. If I forgot I wouldn't mind them honking at the gate, but they would quickly have about 200 cows surrounding them, as that is how my neighbor calls his cows. Lol! I've had people freak at the gate, including my wife, as they sometimes come running even if you don't honk. :)
Let me try to clarify my situation: OF COURSE if an appointment had been made, or even if a person said they would be out on a given day not only would I unlock my gate, but I would try to monitor my phone. My question is: 'when did "what's your address" become the same as "you just gave me permission to come out and do a service call whenever"?' No appointments were made in any sense I have ever experienced, at least in MY mind...like that would require an agreed time or day, or even that someone should come at all. I was getting ideas about how to unstick my pump and simply asking what they would do or charge for doing it. Most of the time they re-stated something I had already tried from this forum, like acid pellets (which didn't work), during which I would be asked for my address 4-5 times. To me things were left very clearly up in the air, and in most cases I would say something like "I'll give you a call back if I need you".
 
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ChiefEngineer

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honking horn at a locked gate I havent done but if an appointment was made in the sticks and no cell service or person met me at gate Id be honking horn . I guess thats how they roll where you live since its been happening often for years to you
It would seem your are right. All kinds of people "honk away" when my house is far away, and in some cases they wanted things like to buy my truck that they could see. In another case someone thought I was selling a lawn mower that I hadn't refilled with gas yet. Another was a neighbor that wanted to give me seedlings. I would walk all the way out there because I thought someone was dying and needed my help. I stopped doing that. No appointment has ever yet been made before a honker showed up here. Where I used to live, doing that sort of thing unannounced would have been like taking your life into your hands.
 

ChiefEngineer

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I am having the same issue right now with a HVAC heat pump. I have a perfectly good and working system that I gave $5K for about 20 years ago. I serviced it, cleaned the fins and coils this morning. It still looks like new and has a simple compressor, coil, fan, and control board. Because of MY age, I was looking to replace it. The new one is now $15K and has a variable speed compressor, fan, and pump, along with an inverter and two way complicated thermostat. Several of my friends and neighbors have complained about the high cost, short life, multiple problems, and lack of qualified or willing service technicians to keep these systems working. I just want a simple long lasting system like the one I have now and those are not even available anymore. Who's idea was it to screw everything up so badly anyway? Sorry for the rant.
Funny you should bring this up. I had an older central A/C system I replaced one component at a time. I let a licensed guy put freon in. I called him once when I was confused about one of the fans I was replacing...he told me it slid out if I found the right screw combinations, which I did. Later that day after dark, past 9PM, about six hours after we had hung up, he showed up like he had been invited at my gate honking for about ten minutes. I didn't invite him back after that. When the system died I put in a series of highly efficient window units and my electric bill dropped in half, even with hotter temperatures. There are now a bunch of DIY central units like Mr. Cool that I would consider putting in...but I'm not that young either...and these window units get rid of humidity on a zone by zone basis and the charm is than when their scroll compressors die Amazon sends me another real cheap...and so far that has only happened once. My central A/C was always acting up because of a fuse, a wire, mud dawber, lizard, or some other 25 cent plastic part that took down the whole giant locomotive-sized apparatus. And now my lights don't dim when the cool kicks on...oh yeah, and when I go out of town I can leave them on then after some power snap I don't return to a frosty igloo mess.
 

Jeff H Young

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right if someone was dying out at your gate its just tough luck. I thought of emergency Really annoying I guess its too much trouble to have vsomething like a doorbell or a 2 way radio .
but to have a a service worker come 6 hours after your 9 pm phone call so somewhere around 3 am sounds Loco. and these are regular occurances no this stuff aint normal at all quite bizare really I would expect that kind of stuff to happen out here in wacky California but nope its not out here. A lot of wiered stuff happens but nothing like that espicially on a regular basis our problem is no shows by those that promise
 

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Let me try to clarify my situation: OF COURSE if an appointment had been made, or even if a person said they would be out on a given day not only would I unlock my gate, but I would try to monitor my phone. My question is: 'when did "what's your address" become the same as "you just gave me permission to come out and do a service call whenever"?' No appointments were made in any sense I have ever experienced, at least in MY mind...like that would require an agreed time or day, or even that someone should come at all. I was getting ideas about how to unstick my pump and simply asking what they would do or charge for doing it. Most of the time they re-stated something I had already tried from this forum, like acid pellets (which didn't work), during which I would be asked for my address 4-5 times. To me things were left very clearly up in the air, and in most cases I would say something like "I'll give you a call back if I need you".
Yeah I agree. Something not right there.
 

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Funny you should bring this up. I had an older central A/C system I replaced one component at a time. I let a licensed guy put freon in. I called him once when I was confused about one of the fans I was replacing...he told me it slid out if I found the right screw combinations, which I did. Later that day after dark, past 9PM, about six hours after we had hung up, he showed up like he had been invited at my gate honking for about ten minutes. I didn't invite him back after that. When the system died I put in a series of highly efficient window units and my electric bill dropped in half, even with hotter temperatures. There are now a bunch of DIY central units like Mr. Cool that I would consider putting in...but I'm not that young either...and these window units get rid of humidity on a zone by zone basis and the charm is than when their scroll compressors die Amazon sends me another real cheap...and so far that has only happened once. My central A/C was always acting up because of a fuse, a wire, mud dawber, lizard, or some other 25 cent plastic part that took down the whole giant locomotive-sized apparatus. And now my lights don't dim when the cool kicks on...oh yeah, and when I go out of town I can leave them on then after some power snap I don't return to a frosty igloo mess.
Interesting! 115V window units? I am also considering like Mini-splits, but they still have and outside compressor.
 

ChiefEngineer

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Interesting! 115V window units? I am also considering like Mini-splits, but they still have and outside compressor.
Yes. Believe it or not. ALL 115V. I also installed a couple thru-wall multi-speed transfer fans. Was going to do mini-splits next as there a few DIY's where they ship the freon in sealed lines and I already have a line-set I did my cars with. In my particular case my house was built in the 80's and much of the central A/C ductwork, as insulated as it looks, runs through heated spaces, and whenever the unit would kick on the first ration of air was hot. I was warned my "light bill" would skyrocket which turned out to be propaganda. I also noticed some of the people who OWN the central A/C companies in town have them sticking out of windows and walls themselves. When the hurricane comes I can cool quite a space very efficiently without a lot of energy waiting for the power to come back. In fact I keep one in a closet that is waiting to be hooked up to solar for that exact event. Since I installed a holding tank and a 115V booster for my lethargic well it is the same deal: I have water for a week that I can run off an inverter.
 

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I am sorry for the poor service. But it is not just pump and well guys these days, but generally I don't get good service from any contractor or service person. They do act like I owe them a favor for just answering the phone or showing up. I ran a pump and drilling company for many decades. This time of year I would be several months behind. There is always someone who thinks their water is more of an emergency than others. So, schedules get juggled to accommodate as best we can. But when you came up on my schedule I would ask for you to meet me at the locked gate at a specific time. That is not uncommon in the pump business as many wells are very remote. Then you would get a diagnosis and a repair at the least cost, that would last as best as I could make it last. When your water is running, you pay me, I thank you sincerely for your business, and you follow me out to lock the gate. But that is probably why I am not a rich man. Lol!

These days most pump guys don't know the best way to make a system last at a reasonable price. All they know is how to install the most expensive and shortest lasting systems available, like they are taught by the manufacturers. I understand. It is hard to make a living replacing a $25 pressure switch, even if you charge $200 for the service call. But that doesn't mean it is ok to then talk someone into a $5K system and promise longer pump life and energy savings which cannot and will not happen. The pump and well guys in my family have always been honest to a fault. Pump guys and drillers these days can get rich selling expensive equipment that doesn't last long. I do believe that is why DIY has become so popular. I see people drilling wells and pulling pumps some "professionals" could not do any better. At the very least it is important to do the research and know enough not to be talked into a system that ultimately becomes a Tar Baby.

I am having the same issue right now with a HVAC heat pump. I have a perfectly good and working system that I gave $5K for about 20 years ago. I serviced it, cleaned the fins and coils this morning. It still looks like new and has a simple compressor, coil, fan, and control board. Because of MY age, I was looking to replace it. The new one is now $15K and has a variable speed compressor, fan, and pump, along with an inverter and two way complicated thermostat. Several of my friends and neighbors have complained about the high cost, short life, multiple problems, and lack of qualified or willing service technicians to keep these systems working. I just want a simple long lasting system like the one I have now and those are not even available anymore. Who's idea was it to screw everything up so badly anyway? Sorry for the rant.
The fed gov and the electric company's pushing for more energy efficient equipment. Elec comps because new.power plants cost billions. Gov to meet their climate change priority. Hvac service companies that in my opinion don't want or believe just the average service person not a electronic tech is needed. Thumb through this manual want to know what u think.
Lhttps://www.hvacpartsshop.com/content/goodman-hvac-manuals/ascseries.pdf
 
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The fed gov and the electric company's pushing for more energy efficient equipment. Elec comps because new.power plants cost billions. Gov to meet their climate change priority. Hvac service companies that in my opinion don't want or believe just the average service person not a electronic tech is needed. Thumb through this manual want to know what u think.
Lhttps://www.hvacpartsshop.com/content/goodman-hvac-manuals/ascseries.pdf
I thumbed through the manual. 2009? R22? They don't make that anymore do they? What am I looking for?
 

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Talked to a guy from Arizona the other day. Works for an electric utility. Says they have an old coal fired plant that was great and giving them everything they needed night or day. Started getting huge fines for everyday they burned coal, so had to shut it down. Have one $300M gas plant that can handle the load except from 5pm to 9pm everyday. Tried to get people to turn off pool pumps, AC, and other big load from 5-9, but nobody wants to do that. Can't build another gas plant because they would have to pay a $300M fine on top of the $300M for the plant. Got lots of wind and solar, but they don't work much of the time and never from 5-9 in the evening when it is needed. The really bad part is huge US coal trains are still running through that plant everyday on the way to Mexico, where they have really dirty coal plants without all the scrubbers and stuff making all they can make and selling it back to California. So, while California claims to be being green, this way of doing it is sending the problem to someone else and just making the green situation that much worse. :(
 

Fitter30

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I thumbed through the manual. 2009? R22? They don't make that anymore do they? What am I looking for?
Just all the info on ecm motors, evap coil orifices, piping info, refrigerant temp glide 410a and then know sheet metal, heating ,piping, electric and controls just the amount of info a residential service person needs to be qualified.
 

ChiefEngineer

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Well, you keeping the name or a link a secret? Lol!
Sorry if that was meant for me. There are all kinds of mini-split DIY videos on youtube....LOTS of Asian units sold on EBay. You have to flare or weld those yourself. There is also Mr.Cool for central HVAC...freon all in the pre-prepped lines with their own snap-connects. I mostly use Mideas in windows which can be taken-out-put-back-in all from inside...like NY people use on the 40th floor in summer...if you shop carefully you will see that some of them have inverters in them... they are a mild pain
to keep clean and you HAVE to stay after it. I saw a 5KBTU Midea in a Walmart stack yesterday for $160...don't know if it was an inverter model though.
 

ChiefEngineer

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I meant no disrespect. I know there are people in the trades who still try to do a good job for a fair price, and actually show up when they said they would. I just don't seem to have their phone numbers. :)
As long as I started this thread I may as well admit something someone did here is a continuing mystery to me...is there any chance that if a person calls one well company and interviews them about what they might or might not do, and that company perceives the possibility of making a service call (whether or not they are invited to make one), that they might, for whatever reason, pass the information to ANOTHER company, as, say, a sub-contractor who might then attempt to make a call?
 

Valveman

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As long as I started this thread I may as well admit something someone did here is a continuing mystery to me...is there any chance that if a person calls one well company and interviews them about what they might or might not do, and that company perceives the possibility of making a service call (whether or not they are invited to make one), that they might, for whatever reason, pass the information to ANOTHER company, as, say, a sub-contractor who might then attempt to make a call?
I would think that very unusual.
 

Reach4

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I would think that very unusual.
Which part?
1. Checking if the well driller in the next county wants to consider offering the job?
2. Passing address information to a different driller.
3. Getting a referral fee?

#1 seems reasonable... maybe his rig is better matched to the job, you are booked up for months, etc.
 
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