find a contractor that won’t over charge me simply because of the city I live in
Updated: May 27
It’s hard to find a contractor that won’t over charge me simply because of the city I live in.
Well, it turns out, you really can hire a company that will provide you with a high quality job and at a competitive price just like in any other city so you don’t have to worry about getting over charged.
Yes, you heard right. You really can find a company that will come to your house and repair or install a new heating or air-conditioning system at the same price they would charge someone who lives in a blue-collar city. That includes getting professional service and a great warranty with all the bells and whistles a very expensive outfit would provide for you but only if you knew what to look for in an air conditioning company before hiring them.
In today’s post I’m going to share with you the in’s and outs of HOW TO FIND A competitively priced and HONEST, “LOCAL” Heating and Air conditioning company that will not only provide you with a great job but even a great warranty and service long after the completion of the job.
If you live in Manhattan Beach, Palos verdes, Rolling Hills and neighboring cities this short blog will answer the long time question may of you have been asking over the years. Here we go.
It was the beginning of December in 2017, the evening temperatures were dropping with each passing day. I was out in the field repairing heaters when I received a call from my dispatcher. She told me, we just received a repair call in Manhattan beach and they need their heater repaired as soon a possible.
The call was scheduled for three o’clock.
Upon arrival and introductions, the homeowner advised me that his home was built in the mid 1980’s. The home still had the original heater and although he knew he should replace the heater--he still only wanted me to make a temporary repair that could last 1 year--and he would deal with it replacing it then.
To which I agreed.
Unfortunately, after I diagnosed the unit I realized maybe repairing the old unit was not that good of an option, let me tell you why.
First of all the unit was 32 years old and replacement was 15 years long overdue. But that was not the reason.
The second reason repairing the unit was not a good option was, I could not guarantee that the unit would run without breaking down for another year. The reality is that when a technician like myself replaces a broken part, there is no way for me to guarantee that the unit will not have another part breakdown. It's unfair to me to even think that. (Many years ago, I fixed an old unit and another part broke weeks after the repair and let me just put it this way. I was blamed for it. Needless to say, I always tell my customers upfront that I cannot guarantee the entire system, only the part I exchanged. But that’s a whole other story.)
The third and most important reason is that I can't save anyone money if I have to repair the unit and shortly thereafter replace the entire system.
In this situation the repair was going to add to a repair over $500. In my opinion the customer would be better served if he instead opted to replace the entire system. $500 in this case would be a good percentage of a brand new system.
But what does this have to do with not getting overcharged because of the city in which you live you may be asking.
Well let me get to that now.
So after the diagnostics I went back to the customer with several options on my option sheet.
1. He could repair the unit and never recover the money spent on the repair.
2. Or he could replace the unit with a new one. the customer that I could fix it or replace it. He asked for pricing for both options and presented them to him.
(Keep in mind that upon my arrival he expressed that he did not want to replace the unit at this time. And I think I know why. I'll get back to this is a minute.)
After explaining my options to him he stopped dead in his tracks. He fixed his eyes upon me and looked me dead in the eyes and asked me.
“Are you the kind of guy that charges his customers more money because they live in Manhattan Beach?"
Wow. Is this true?
Are there really guys out there that hike their prices up when their customers live in white collar cities?
Isn't that discrimination? Is it fair? All these questions raced through my mind.
So I just blurted out the truth.
“Of course not sir. Wouldn’t that be discrimination if I did? --No sir off course not.”
At Red Apple Air we always charge what is fair to both parties. If we do a job in Compton or we do a job here in Manhattan beach--the equipment-- is the same price.
“Sir I think the difference in many cases is that professional people typically want higher quality equipment and other options were as in other cities customers ask for the bare necessities. At least that is what I have seen. Which would also justify why your price would be higher than other customers. But all that is related to customer preference.” I continued.
However, let me be very clear. Not all heating and air conditioning companies abide by the same levels of integrity, not by a long shot.
But this company Red Apple Air is very competitive, in fact we just bid a job in Torrance last week and the property owner told us our bid was thousands of dollars below the other estimates they received.
So I think we are a great bargain.
At that moment he told me that just recently he had a general contractor come out to his house to give him a bid on a restroom remodel. After receiving the bid he asked the contractor why it was so much. The contractor responded, because you live in Manhattan Beach and you can afford it.
It was at that moment that I understood what so many people who live in Manhattan Beach,Redondo beach, Hermosa beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, and even Torrance have to deal with. It's no wonder their guard is up and quite honestly I don’t blame them for having to be extremely cautious. If they don’t protect their own money who will.
But you sir, I believe you are competitively priced so I’m going to hire you to replace my unit. And do you know why I know it’s a great price you are giving me?
No, I don’t sir, I responded.
Because 15 years ago my furnace broke down and they gave me a price to replace the system. By golly, your prices are just a few hundred dollars more than the estimate they gave me back 15 years ago. It’s a darn good price, and i'm going to take advantage of that.
And he gave me the job.
Here is the point I wanted to get back to.
I believe the gentleman told me he did not want to replace the unit only because he was afraid I was going to try and overcharge him, but I didn’t.
In addition I think the over charging would have happened if he would have had me repair the unit on that day only to come back a year later to replace the unit. But now I fully understand the situation most of my clients are in.
For that reason I want to say one thing to my future customers.
I believe that all transactions must be a win win for both parties. This means that we must price our repairs and installations at a price that is fair to us and to you as well. You see, we pride ourselves for giving the best warranties for our services. But that also means we must do a thorough job from beginning to end if you want a great warranty.
Just imagine that you hired us to install the very worst heater on the market and you beat us up the price. And against our recommendations you insisted that we install that terrible unit that we knew you were going to be unhappy with.
Would it be fair to us if you expected a great warranty? I don’t think so.
That is why I always tell my customers. We are not the most expensive nor are we the cheapest. We charge what is fair and we only do work we can put our name on. If we can't be proud to have installed your system we probably should not be doing your job in the first place.
With that being said, if you live near the south bay or surrounding cities and you are in the market for a heater or air conditioning repair or replacement and you don’t want to be over charged. I would like for you to consider us. We are trustworthy and offer great options to all of our customers.
More importantly if you take us up on one of our recommendations be certain that any time you need us we will be just a phone call away.(310)532-0522