Arrrgh! Bait & switch?

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Forum topic by Madmark2 posted 09-21-2021 04:41 PM 609 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3096 posts in 1831 days

09-21-2021 04:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ac salesman question

Wanted to get a 15,000 BTU mini-split for the garage. Already insulated the garage door. Seals tight, no light. Spot is picked for both in & out mount. Runs are short. Call the Co. that did the whole house AC 18 MO. ago.

Salesman comes out, surveys site, discusses details. He’s on his tablet and calls in details. Gives us a “firm”, “out the door”, “tax tags & dealer prep” price. The amount is big enough we’re going to have to finance it. He again gives me the $ for the loan. We agree to the full bore quoted price—no haggling. A sweet deal for the salesman.

Less than a week goes by, financing is approved, salesman calls back saying “great, we got the ok, but price is now up 20% from last week.”

I’m “no deal”, you gave me a firm number, we got financing for that number, and you’re either going to give it to us at that price or we’re not buying it.

Salesman is “but, but, but, prices went up last month! The 15’ of copper tubing went up!” My attitude is that, if you didn’t know your pricing, you should have kept your mouth shut until you did.

Salesman calls back with “I spoke to the owner and we can do it for only 10% more, or we can do it at the original price but NO WARRANTY.” So if I insist on the original price, they can do a shitty job with no recourse? F that!

I’m reminded of the scene from “Fargo” where the Wm. Macy’s car salesman character is being excoriated by a cust about a $1000 “undercoating” charge suddenly being added on, and Macy says “let me talk to my manager”, leaves the room, talks sports to kill a minute or two, and walks back in saying how “my manager never does this, but he can let you have it for only $500 more.”


-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

16 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7229 posts in 3736 days

#1 posted 09-21-2021 04:47 PM

Not much to discuss as far as I’m concerned…I’d walk away and find someone else. I’d also probably figure out a way to communicate this chitty company as much as possible. You could, of course, get a lawyer and hold them to the original contract but why screw with it?

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View northwoodsman's profile


673 posts in 4989 days

#2 posted 09-21-2021 04:57 PM

I wouldn’t do business with a company like this. The increase, likely fake, is their problem not yours. If they didn’t see the increase coming then they need to find a new wholesale supplier. It’s either a scam or poor internal communication. You agreed to the installation on the date it was quoted correct? If not, was there an expiration date on the offer? If it is a real increase then the salesman should have went to bat for you. I’m in sales and this is unacceptable. I have convinced our owners to sell things below cost because it was the right thing to do when we were building the business and things like this occurred, they never disagreed.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View HokieKen's profile


19367 posts in 2381 days

#3 posted 09-21-2021 05:00 PM

3/4” thick-walled copper tubing can be had for $5/foot today. So even if it was free when he quoted, I fail to see how a 15’ run would raise the price of the job significantly.

I’d tell him that it’s the quoted price and it’s warranted or he can F-off.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View SMP's profile


4830 posts in 1148 days

#4 posted 09-21-2021 05:30 PM

I would check Yelp and see what the TREND is for reviews of that company, knowing that a few 5 star reviews will be from the owner. And also google their name + BBB.

View Madmark2's profile


3096 posts in 1831 days

#5 posted 09-21-2021 06:25 PM

Called the AC shop that just redid the truck AC and asked the owner who he would use to install a mini-split. He gives me # of guy who did his son’s home AC. Called. New guy ballparks 20% under the other guys original price for an 18,000 (vs 15,000) BTU unit.

He’s going to check price and availability and get back with a written estimate. Imagine, actually checking for price and availability before coming up with “best and final” bid.


-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View therealSteveN's profile


8858 posts in 1817 days

#6 posted 09-21-2021 06:34 PM

Depending on where you live you can claim “injury” due to higher costs of a reputable dealer, that ends up doing the work, and has costs over and above the agreed upon price. That is the ultimate stick it up yer axe move. They get ZERO income, and have to shell out money to another vendor, because they didn’t honor their written contract. I would definitely engage the services of a blood sucker if I were you.

-- Think safe, be safe

View controlfreak's profile


2890 posts in 844 days

#7 posted 09-21-2021 06:40 PM

Saying that the increase of 20% of the entire price is due to an increase in copper tubing is just a flat out lie. To offer 10% off that and remove the warranty is a non starter. It sounds like the salesman missed something in the quote and was told he can get the price up or no commission for the sale. I would see how the other quote goes and if the installation is quality work. If all goes well then I would write a negative (but polite) review. Give them 2 stars so you look reasonable. You may want to ask the guy who does it what he has in the copper tube and how much it has gone up recently.

View SMP's profile


4830 posts in 1148 days

#8 posted 09-21-2021 06:48 PM

I have bought various sizes of copper pipe at Home Depot this past year and I just checked and its about the same price as last I bought some a few months ago.
I smell a scammer.

It probably went like this:

Boss to sales guy: “quote that sucker 20% over average going rates”

Sales guy an hour later: “boss, he fell for it and agreed LMAO!”

Boss: “Awesome work Bob, now claim that the price of copper shot up unexpectedly and its going to cost even 20% more than that! He’ll probably fall for it with the prices of wood going up etc, lol”

Sales guy “Yes sir!”

View Knockonit's profile


976 posts in 1445 days

#9 posted 09-21-2021 07:28 PM

i’d have to say, run….............. prices on ac units are coming down not going up which also here includes the heat pumps, i just finally got a dual head 2.5 ton, delivered for a tad over 2k. with all line sets ect. all i gotta do is install, even with the covers for line sets into shop. the price this purchase was almost 500 hundred under what it was three months ago when i started looking

good luck,
rj in az

-- Living the dream

View bigJohninvegas's profile


1096 posts in 2705 days

#10 posted 09-21-2021 09:03 PM

When I was looking to do my mini split, I had three HVAC companies bid it. The 1st never even made it to the house. Called to say he was on his way, and asked what the job was. When I told him garage mini split he stated a price without ever seeing the job. Next two matched his price at 6k for a two ton or 24k btu unit.
Way outside my budget
That is how I ended up with the Mr Cool DIY unit I got today.
The only good thing I got out of having the estimator come to the house was proper sizing and where to place the system in the shop.
Not a hard job to do, but requires a least one extra body. And two would be better when hanging the air handler on the wall.
Its not that heavy, but feeding the line set through the wall is easier with two on the inside, and one outside.
I only had my wife’s help. She worked outside as I feed the line set through the wall to her. But when it gets to the point where you have to pick up the air handler, it gets tough to feed the rest of the line set at the same time.
I’m into my system for right at 2k. Still running great.

-- John

View RClark's profile


164 posts in 3428 days

#11 posted 09-21-2021 09:12 PM

Yeah, things are tough these days with the way copper is pricing and such. But….it sounds like there was no delay in your acceptance; I think it’s only reasonable to expect that they would perform for what they quoted and contracted. Heck, they were even set to make money on the financing deal.

-- Ray

View squazo's profile


303 posts in 2888 days

#12 posted 09-21-2021 09:18 PM

Dont use them, they are trying to rip you off.

Just some recent prices you can use here.

I installed a 2 ton minisplit mr cool DIY 20 seer last month, i did all the work, it cost $2,500.

My friend had a 6 ton AC central unit installed it cost him $7,000. But is only a 17 seer.

Mr cool is pretty slick stuff.

View HowardAppel's profile


114 posts in 4277 days

#13 posted 09-21-2021 09:32 PM

Retired corporate lawyer here. Tell the company to ESFOAD (eatshitfuckoffanddie) and shop around. I would never suggest doing business with a company that acts this way—I would have no confidence in their product, their work or their “Warranty” (for which I suspect that they would always claim didn’t cover any necessary work). And if they come back and say “we had an agreement for the original price” tell them that by asking for more money and worse terms that they repudiated / constituted an anticipatory breach of the original agreement, that their new proposal constituted a new offer and that you said no to their new offer—therefore no binding agreement. If necessary, let me know what state you are in and I will get you some citations to appellate decisions for your state stating exactly that, no charge. The law and the facts here are on your side.

My name is Howard Appel, my California state bar number is 158674 and my email is [email protected]

View ibewjon's profile


2641 posts in 4036 days

#14 posted 09-21-2021 09:45 PM

There are plenty of good contractors in your area. Just be sure the new guy didn’t quote too large of unit or you will cool without getting the humidity down. A little small is better than big. It needs to run. We use Elite from the Bradenton Sarasota area for our condo work. The F in L started using them close to 15 yrs ago. Get a third quote to compare sizing. If a third size, get a fourth till there is agreement in sizing. Just for info, you can look up line set pricing at supply house .com.

View david2011's profile


163 posts in 4950 days

#15 posted 10-19-2021 06:57 AM

Earlier this year I had a 3 head Mitsubishi mini split heat pump installed. The installation was complex with the 3 heads well separated and difficult medium to long refrigeration line runs. The installer did a first class job, covering all exposed copper tubing and wiring with plastic covers. The main unit was mounted on a nice steel base that keeps it about a foot above the concrete on which it sits. It is extremely quiet, not interfering with conversation on the patio a few feet away. It was more expensive than other options but we don’t even notice a difference in our electric bills compared to last year. Three heads added significantly to the overall cost of both the hardware and the installation.

The areas air conditioned/heated are a 325 sq ft sunroom, 400 sq ft workshop (3040 cu ft) and a similar sized upstairs that is only about 1600 cu ft due to it being built in the peak of the roof. The units run all the time to keep my tools rust-free in the Gulf Coast humidity. We only live about 6 miles from salt water so the humidity is abundant.

My points are only that we got a quality system that was beautifully installed, serves us very well and is extremely economical to operate.

-- David

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