I couldn’t believe it. The company I had grown to trust when it came to my HVAC service tried to change our relationship from long term customer to lifetime ATM. It was disappointing to say the least. I realized that I would now have to endure a twice per year sales call instead of nice service calls.

If you are like most homeowners, you have different service providers that come by a couple times a year to check your heating and air or appliances. These maintenance visits, in the beginning, were purely about making sure that piece of equipment worked and kept working. Your service technician is likely someone you got to know and trust. Most of the time the service calls were uneventful. When something did come up, you felt comfortable that it was a real issue.

Unfortunately, companies have stepped up their game in this arena and are now using service calls to check on household systems or items that are only vaguely related to what their business is. It seems like every call is a sales call. A company technical rep asked to check the water heater even though that’s not part of anything they do. A couple hours later, there was nothing wrong with the equipment they sold me years ago but three recommendations for service were for items not even related to this company’s specialty! It really pissed me off.

One of the recommendations was to “snake” a vertical pipe that acted as a drain for the HVAC unit. I don’t have to tell you that vertical pipes in a household rarely clog up, especially from an occasional drip of water from an air conditioner. The other was for the water heater to be replaced. Frankly, it is less than eight years old, and we don’t have hard water so the likelihood of it needing to be replaced was next to zero. These costs went from $300 for snaking the pipe to $6,000 to replace the water heater. Neither of which had anything to do with the HVAC equipment they were there to maintain!

Ultimately, what they did replace was my trust.