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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
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An air conditioning repair service came over on 6/4/13 to look

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An air conditioning repair service came over on 6/4/13 to look at my central air unit, as it was not working. He ‘recharged’ it and added liquid superseal (with dye) to prevent leaking. I paid him $430.00. It was working when he left. Within the next few hours I turned it off because the outside temp had cooled down. After a couple of weeks it got hot again so I turned the air on----didn’t work—nothing. I called the repair person back who said that now the compressor is shot and I need an entirely new unit. So my question is, if I go with him for a new unit, is he legally obligated to credit me some or all of the $430.00 that I paid before? I understand that, yes, he put some time into it, but I paid for something that wasn’t really fixed. And if I go with a different installer, am I legally entitled to get some money back from the first guy?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. In an ideal situation, the company would apply a credit to the cost for the new compressor to offset the previous $430 charged, since you used their service previously. The main thing which would need to be determined is if the issue with the compressor happened AFTER he recharged it and added the super seal or if the problem was present and his actions only masked it. The reason being, is that it is possible that the issue with the compressor had nothing to with his work and broken after he left and was a matter of bad timing. The reason I say this is because if you are able to show that he never fixed the job and pretty much just put a band-aide on it, it was evident that additional problems would occur. If that was the case, he/his company could be liable to you for any damages suffered, for failing to complete the job in a workman like manner. To say that he is obligated to give you some credit from the $430 paid is hard to say but I certainly think you have a right to ask them for a discount or credit, as a result of the time line of events. If you were to go with a different installer, you would then have to go back and sue the first company who tried to fix the problem and show that the compressor was the problem to begin with, they charged you for work that did not need to be done and what they did, did not solve the problem. This could be hard to do since you said it was working for a few hours after he left and then was not turned on until a couple weeks later. It is possible that the argument could be made that something happened while it was sitting idle and just broke from age. As such, you would want an expert to come out and inspect the unit, to see if there is any evidence to support your claim and refute theirs, that it was working properly.

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