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Brian HVAC Guy
Brian HVAC Guy, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 948
Experience:  I have been an HVAC/R mechanic/technician for 30+ years.
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I just had to have two capacitors and the contactor replaced

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I just had to have two capacitors and the contactor replaced on my HVAC unit. Total bill including diagnostic charge was just over $600. Is that in line with what I should expect or am I getting ripped off?

Diagnostic = $80
Hi, I'm Brian. I'm here to answer your HVAC question to your complete satisfaction!

This is a bit of a risky question to answer so please consider that in your rating. In my 30 years in hvac I specialized in industrial/commercial work but I got my start in residential service and continued to perform residential service throughout my tenure. I was in business in Florida for the last ten years of my active involvement in hvac and still performed residential service as a service to my commercial/industrial clients. I saw a lot of things change from my humble begginings in the trade and one of them was the "flat rate pricing" system of doing repair business. This is what sounds like the company you hired used. I always thought the flat rate system was overpriced and I never subscribed to it. I realise the cost of operating and maintaining a business these days is quite high but I have to say I believe your concern over those prices is pretty well founded. Especially since I know how much those three items would cost the company wholesale. You might want to look up those parts online yourself and you will see what I mean. Chances are the cheapest price you find for them online is still more than the company paid for them wholesale. If you are in a heavily populated metropolitan area that is primarily union I would say those prices are not uncommon but I still feel they are awfully high. Even with let's say a $125 an hour labor rate and tripling the cost of parts (not an uncommon practice with parts that are so inexpensive) and even adding a trip charge due to the high price of fuel and insurances, I can't add up a price approaching what you were charged. I'm sorry there are companies out there that feel they have to charge such high rates. I think it is a disservice to the trade and customer alike.
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