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dobson ac repair
Posted by: hadenuf ()
Date: July 22, 2011 05:26PM

Had a horrible experience trying to use RA Dobson for air conditioning repair. Capacitor died on my unit. Wholesale cost for capacitor is about 20 bucks. Dobson tried to charge me 243 dollars. This was for material only. A markup of well over a thousand percent. Takes about 15 minutes to remove and replace. Three wires and a couple of screws. So, dobson wants 243 plus 125 for labor. Research from internet shows a normal price of about 150 to 175 for parts and labor. Bought brand new capacitor on ebay for 32 bucks. Pretty easy and will do myself.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: thanks for the info ()
Date: July 22, 2011 05:30PM

Is that charge for the expertise?

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Mr. Fixit ()
Date: July 22, 2011 05:33PM

Kudos to you for doing the repair yourself.

Seems that in NoVA these service and repair companies just assume you're pulling down a few 100 thousand a year, too aloof to get your hands dirty or spend the time to research the fix, and are willing to fork out the big bucks for any little thing.

You're right about the extraordinary markup. That is one of the higher ones I've heard of.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: realist12 ()
Date: July 22, 2011 06:09PM

hadenuf Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Had a horrible experience trying to use RA Dobson
> for air conditioning repair. Capacitor died on my
> unit. Wholesale cost for capacitor is about 20
> bucks. Dobson tried to charge me 243 dollars. This
> was for material only. A markup of well over a
> thousand percent. Takes about 15 minutes to remove
> and replace. Three wires and a couple of screws.
> So, dobson wants 243 plus 125 for labor. Research
> from internet shows a normal price of about 150 to
> 175 for parts and labor. Bought brand new
> capacitor on ebay for 32 bucks. Pretty easy and
> will do myself.


In home A/C repair is a high overhead business.
When a tech comes to your home these are some of the costs which must be covered:
Person to answer phone
office rent
phone bill
office utility bills
cell phone bill to dispatch calls
liability insurance
service vehicle+ fuel and maintenance
service vehicle insurance
service vehicle inventory
trained person to perform repairs (good ones make 80k+)
accounting and payroll
profit.

RA dobson is making little or no profit by replacing a capacitor for 400 bucks.
They are a well known local company that does a great job for a reasonable price.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: hadenuf ()
Date: July 22, 2011 08:19PM

R u kidding me? 125 bucks for 15 minutes and 75 bucks for each additional 15 minutes want to do the math? 350 bucks an hour they have eight trucks on road and each is making over 2k per day just on labor charges. 16k per day. That pays for a ton of fuel, insurance and salary. There is no reason to take advantage of customers by marking up an item over 1000 percent. Dobson would have received nearly 400 bucks for 15 minutes. even with only two calls per hour, they are charging 800 bucks per hour. Do not try to tell me that their costs, many of which are fixed, are 800 bucks per hour!!!

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: realist12 ()
Date: July 22, 2011 09:03PM

hadenuf Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> R u kidding me? 125 bucks for 15 minutes and 75
> bucks for each additional 15 minutes want to do
> the math? 350 bucks an hour they have eight
> trucks on road and each is making over 2k per day
> just on labor charges. 16k per day. That pays
> for a ton of fuel, insurance and salary. There is
> no reason to take advantage of customers by
> marking up an item over 1000 percent. Dobson
> would have received nearly 400 bucks for 15
> minutes. even with only two calls per hour, they
> are charging 800 bucks per hour. Do not try to
> tell me that their costs, many of which are fixed,
> are 800 bucks per hour!!!


These service trucks do nowhere near 2 calls per hour and many calls are warranty or contract calls that bring in little or no money.
I am not trying to say dobson does not make some money but 400 bucks for someone to come to your home and replace a capacitor is very cheap. There are some hvac companies in this area that would have charged much more than that or lied to you and insist that you need a system replacement for 5 to 8 grand.
There are plenty of crooks in hvac but I beleive Dobson is one of the straight shooters that do not screw their clients.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Buy me a clue ()
Date: July 22, 2011 09:14PM

realist12 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> and many calls are warranty or contract calls
> that bring in little or no money.

So that means they already made the profit on the sale of the unit/part (warranty) or the sale of the contract, no?

School me...

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Capacitor ()
Date: July 22, 2011 09:49PM

So funny - my ac's capacitor blew yesterday night too - must be something with the heat. Took me about an hour to troubleshoot the problem, then drove to Grainger to pick up the part (cost me $15.99) and was back in business after another hour. AC repairs are really not that complicated and something anyone with basic skills could handle (freon fill excluded).

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: hadenuf ()
Date: July 22, 2011 10:04PM

If you review the internet, normal charge for AC capacitor replacement runs 125 to 175. This includes everything. Was willing to pay that and thought was a fair price. Considering the zip code thought 200 bucks would even be ok. but a 1000 percent markup on a product is absolutely thievery.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: AC you see ()
Date: July 22, 2011 10:17PM

Capacitor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So funny - my ac's capacitor blew yesterday night
> too - must be something with the heat. Took me
> about an hour to troubleshoot the problem, then
> drove to Grainger to pick up the part (cost me
> $15.99) and was back in business after another
> hour. AC repairs are really not that complicated
> and something anyone with basic skills could
> handle (freon fill excluded).


The way these cheap run caps blow these days everyone should have a turbo cap on hand. I have used over a hundred of these without a repeat failure.
Turbos are expensive but worth it.
Attachments:
accel_1001.jpg

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Beat The Heat ()
Date: July 22, 2011 11:31PM

hadenuf Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you review the internet, normal charge for AC
> capacitor replacement runs 125 to 175. This
> includes everything. Was willing to pay that and
> thought was a fair price. Considering the zip code
> thought 200 bucks would even be ok. but a 1000
> percent markup on a product is absolutely
> thievery.

I had 2 replaced over the past 4.5 years. Each time, my bill was nearly $300. I'd love to have found someone who would have charged so little at the time. Now, I have my own spares in stock and ready as needed.

I also have the manifold and gauges. I bought a 30# tank of R-22 freon last weekend, too. The E.P.A. can K.M.A. with their $10,000 fine for buying / selling R-22 freon without a license. I'm more capable than the licensed A/C guys at doing the work.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: EPA ()
Date: July 23, 2011 12:11AM

Beat The Heat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> hadenuf Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > If you review the internet, normal charge for
> AC
> > capacitor replacement runs 125 to 175. This
> > includes everything. Was willing to pay that
> and
> > thought was a fair price. Considering the zip
> code
> > thought 200 bucks would even be ok. but a 1000
> > percent markup on a product is absolutely
> > thievery.
>
> I had 2 replaced over the past 4.5 years. Each
> time, my bill was nearly $300. I'd love to have
> found someone who would have charged so little at
> the time. Now, I have my own spares in stock and
> ready as needed.
>
> I also have the manifold and gauges. I bought a
> 30# tank of R-22 freon last weekend, too. The
> E.P.A. can K.M.A. with their $10,000 fine for
> buying / selling R-22 freon without a license.
> I'm more capable than the licensed A/C guys at
> doing the work.


You just admitted guilt of a federal crime in a public forum.
You are not allowed to posess cfc's without a license and a recovery rig.
Im guessing you dont even understand superheat or subcooling.
Better get soap on a rope.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: KeepOnTruckin ()
Date: July 23, 2011 01:17AM

EPA Wrote:
------------------------------------------------------->
> You just admitted guilt of a federal crime in a
> public forum.
> You are not allowed to posess cfc's without a
> license and a recovery rig.
> Im guessing you dont even understand superheat or
> subcooling.
> Better get soap on a rope.


I've heard of people stealing heat pumps to sell the copper inside of them. Even if they get caught stealing 10 or 15 units, they don't get charged with theft or even destruction of property, but rather unlawful release of refrigerant.

As for the high cost of a capacitor replacement, realize that you are paying for a trained person to do the job safely. Sure you can try to replace it yourself, but you are dealing with high voltage electricity here. It can be very easy to shock yourself if you do it wrong or try to short it incorrectly. Perhaps it is better to pay someone to do it and be better safe then sorry. You also don't have to get all hot working outside in these 100 degree temps

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: 9ty9N ()
Date: July 23, 2011 01:51AM

Is there a way to figure out the size of the capacitor you need to buy without opening the unit?

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: hadenuf ()
Date: July 23, 2011 06:15AM

I was more than willing to pay a fair labor cost. Had no problem with 125 fee for 15 minutes. It is the damn markup on capacitor that is so disgusting. I would be happy to purchase capacitor on my own and pay someone to install. Dobson would not go for that. They want high labor charge and ridiculous markup as well.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: realist12 ()
Date: July 23, 2011 07:48AM

hadenuf Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was more than willing to pay a fair labor cost.
> Had no problem with 125 fee for 15 minutes. It
> is the damn markup on capacitor that is so
> disgusting. I would be happy to purchase capacitor
> on my own and pay someone to install. Dobson would
> not go for that. They want high labor charge and
> ridiculous markup as well.


I will try one last time to make you understand. I had this same argument a couple thousand times when I was a service manager of an hvac company in North Carolina in the 90's.
The cost of getting a well stocked truck to your house is very high. The service company will need at least 8000 dollars worth of inventory on each truck. Most of this inventory rides up and down the road for 3 to 12 months this inventory is money that is earning no interest. If you have 10 trucks then you have 80,000 in inventory plus whatever you keep at your shop.
A retail store would not carry inventory that did not turn at least 10 times a year. A service truck will turn many items once or twice a year.
These are just some of the costs of getting a reasonably equipped truck to your home. If a company is to stay in business these costs must be covered plus a profit.
I dont know anyone at Dobson but I have seen their very professional work at some homes I have visited. 400 dollars for a run cap replacement is very reasonable if not cheap. I garandamtee you that ARS or My plumber or Mettcalfe would have charged 600 to 700 and put the hard sell on you to replace the entire system.
I just hate to see a good company bad mouthed out of ignorance on a public forum.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Quit Whining ()
Date: July 23, 2011 08:51AM

If it's 100 degrees outside and someone said the could fix my A/C for 400 bucks, I'd be overjoyed.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: .02 ()
Date: July 23, 2011 09:06AM

realist12 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The cost of getting a well stocked truck to your
> house is very high. The service company will need
> at least 8000 dollars worth of inventory on each
> truck. Most of this inventory rides up and down
> the road for 3 to 12 months this inventory is
> money that is earning no interest.

Maybe this model needs to change some, when you receive the sevice call, hopefully the company can get the make and model of the unit to go along wth the problem. Have the truck stocked with the common parts of failure from the diagnostic sheets (s/w) by the stock boy. If you need a part in the field, Have the stock boys deliver the part to you, or if a local suppier is near by, you can get it. No more stocking trucks with $8k of unused bounced around in transit parts. Though the service vehicle can still be stocked with the common parts known to fail that are not high dollar.

But something has got to change.

Just my .02, not an expert.

Thanks for shedding some light into the situation.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Joe B. ()
Date: July 23, 2011 09:39AM

What are the symptoms of a blown capacitor?

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Les ()
Date: July 23, 2011 09:51AM

"It is the damn markup on capacitor that is so disgusting."

I suspect that they only mark it up if they make a field call. If you buy it from them, it may be much cheaper. I buy parts for bathroom repairs that I do myself from the local plumbing firm in Herndon (H&S). The cost is comparable to that HD or Lowe's.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: psycho ()
Date: July 23, 2011 11:10AM

This is something I've wondered about for a long time.

If you go to developing countries, stuff is expensive, but getting things done is cheap. Here, stuff is cheap, but getting anything done is expensive.

There's a myth that the US is an efficient, frictionless economy - my experience is that its anything but.

There are a lot of things that we do that just make no sense. Realtors are a good example - we have managed to come up with a structure that looks as if it should be an efficient market, but where we end up paying 6% for something which costs 2% in countries such as the UK.

Its amazing that we have a market structure for consumer HVAC where it ends up costing 100's of dollars to fix a simple part

In both of these cases, the service could be delivered much more efficiently - traditional market theory would suggest that if it could be done (which we know from other countries that it can) - players would join the market and drive the price down - but its just not happening

The business lobby would claim that its excess regulation, but I firmly believe that that is not the case - in the case of realtors, the market failure is that we have too many of them and hence the margin is spread too thinly. With HVAC, it may be that the overall market is just not big enough for a player with the organizational and strategic skills to want to play. In other cases, such as bricklaying, it seems that we're just not training the next generation. In many, its just that energy is just too cheap and hence we build products and systems that don't scale or deal well with changes in underlying prices. In others, its that we refuse to invest in maintaining and improving our infrastructure - which is why our roads and bridges are collapsing.

At some point we are going to have to take a serious look at how the country's economy operates if we are to regain competitiveness.

The answer cannot be the direction we are heading where the rich get richer and the middle has no security or where the business lobby gets away with claiming that the way to competitiveness is through wholesale environmental degradation or by denying consumers adequate protection and staff the right to organize.

I tend towards well regulated free markets with checks, balances and stakeholder commitments, but its becoming increasingly clear that our current framing of market economics is failing us.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Les ()
Date: July 23, 2011 11:22AM

UK has a lot of discount real estate brokers. You have to do the showings yourself and handle other details. The commissions are also lower since you don't pay half of the commission to the buyer's agent.

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Re Joe B. - dobson ac repair
Posted by: novaguy81 ()
Date: July 23, 2011 11:30AM

Re: Symptoms of a blown capacitor

Joe B.,

When the capacitor is blown, the fan on the condensing unit (outside) will not start when the system comes on. When in this situation, you can confirm the capacitor is the problem by pushing (with a stick) the fan blades to start them turning. If they gradually get faster until the fan is spinning at full speed, you have proven the capacitor is shot. The capacitor is what provides the initial "push" to turn the fan on.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Joe B. ()
Date: July 23, 2011 11:38AM

Realist12 wrote:
>I will try one last time to make you understand. I had this same argument a >couple thousand times when I was a service manager of an hvac company in North >Carolina in the 90's.
>The cost of getting a well stocked truck to your house is very high. The service >company will need at least 8000 dollars worth of inventory on each truck. Most >of this inventory rides up and down the road for 3 to 12 months this inventory >is money that is earning no interest. If you have 10 trucks then you have 80,000 >in inventory plus whatever you keep at your shop.
>A retail store would not carry inventory that did not turn at least 10 times a >year. A service truck will turn many items once or twice a year.
>These are just some of the costs of getting a reasonably equipped truck to your >home. If a company is to stay in business these costs must be covered plus a >profit.
>I dont know anyone at Dobson but I have seen their very professional work at >some homes I have visited. 400 dollars for a run cap replacement is very >reasonable if not cheap. I garandamtee you that ARS or My plumber or Mettcalfe >would have charged 600 to 700 and put the hard sell on you to replace the entire >system.
>I just hate to see a good company bad mouthed out of ignorance on a public forum.

It's obvious to see who butters your bread Realist12. For you to call hadenuf "ignorant" is outrageous. F the truck running up and down the road with inventory -- that's business and sticking it to the customer is the point here. It's not about someone NOT wanting to pay the price -- it's the exorbitant prices the likes of you charge people in this area, a majority of which are responsible, working class cit's. You should go back to your shack in NC and stick it to the mountain folk you f'in yahoo.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: hadenuf ()
Date: July 23, 2011 01:15PM

Thanks for taking care of me Joe B. And no, I do not believe I am ignorant. And, will not stoop to the level of name calling. I do believe that what was once a solid reputable company with fair pricing has lost their way. Trucks typically carry only high turnover inventory and a small amount of stuff that is seldom used. This seldom used inventory is, in many cases, purchased for a particular job and never used. Or, perhaps inventory is not turning over due to 1000 percent markups! If companies continue to operate using these absurd markups, they will soon only make sales from service calls and annual contracts and repairs will not be performed. I am sure there are others who will purchase capacitor on their own and install themselves. And you can guess where this will eventually lead. People will only put up with so much before creativity steps in and new and improved methods evolve.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: fairfax felix ()
Date: July 23, 2011 02:46PM

AC repair is definitely expensive and as one of the previous replies stated in many cases the problem & repair is a quick non-complicated effort.

If the AC manufacturers were not in bed with the repair industry they would design the unit (paticularily when the outside unit is not functioning) with "turnkey" repairs that the average slob can troubleshoot and fix. Things like capacitors and high pressure switches and the like.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: psycho ()
Date: July 23, 2011 03:23PM

Les Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> UK has a lot of discount real estate brokers. You
> have to do the showings yourself and handle other
> details. The commissions are also lower since you
> don't pay half of the commission to the buyer's
> agent.

and the UK market works pretty effectively but without the unnecessary friction of an extra 4%/20k cost on selling a 500k house. There's no way that there's almost 50k of real work in selling an 800k house - that's about 6 man-months work

the problem here is that the buyer discounts the cost of the buying agent by having the seller include it in a higher sale price hence attaching it to the mortgage and out of mind. As a result, sellers have to attract buying agents not buyers.

one solution is for mortgage companies to refuse to bundle agent fees into the mortgage

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Beat The Heat ()
Date: July 23, 2011 03:44PM

EPA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> You just admitted guilt of a federal crime in a
> public forum.
> You are not allowed to posess cfc's without a
> license and a recovery rig.
> Im guessing you dont even understand superheat or
> subcooling.
> Better get soap on a rope.

So, you're telling me you've never done anything illegal? I know plenty about superheat and subcooling. I'm just sick of those A/C people who have maybe an Associates' Degree at best running around thinking they're a god with their profession. And, belonging to a union along the way is even worse.

I do what it takes to be pro-active in and around my home. I do major electrical and plumbing - with a permit. A/C is no different. Once one has understood the basics, it is a simple process. I'd be bored doing an A/C and heating job 5-6 days a week. Thank goodness, that I just have it as a hobby and have a real career during the week.

Now, as far as the R-22 debate goes, as far as anyone knows, I'm just holding the R-22 in my garage or basement for use by my licensed service person. To my knowledge, the fine is for buying and / or selling it without a license. But, I'm with you on the CFC license. Sure, I'll get that done and out of the way. $198.00 + a free weekend day to take a course, then I'll take the exam and get my license. Yes, even homeowners can do this.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: EPA ()
Date: July 23, 2011 06:15PM

To Beat the heat,

possesion of CFC's without a permit is a serious enviromental crime. People like you carelessly destroy our planet. A link to your previous posts was sent to the EPA enforcement division and it will take about two weeks to get the warrant to have Cary disclose your ip adress. Im sure by that time you will have stashed your smuggled refrigerant elsewhere and your hard drive if you did in fact make your illegal deal online.
Just remember when you destroy the enviroment you steal from us all and our children and grandchildren. Dont be an enviromental terrorist.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: KeepOnTruckin ()
Date: July 23, 2011 06:45PM

EPA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To Beat the heat,
>
> possesion of CFC's without a permit is a serious
> enviromental crime. People like you carelessly
> destroy our planet. A link to your previous posts
> was sent to the EPA enforcement division and it
> will take about two weeks to get the warrant to
> have Cary disclose your ip adress. Im sure by that
> time you will have stashed your smuggled
> refrigerant elsewhere and your hard drive if you
> did in fact make your illegal deal online.
> Just remember when you destroy the enviroment you
> steal from us all and our children and
> grandchildren. Dont be an enviromental terrorist.


Right because just possessing the can of refrigerant == ozone layer depletion

Meanwhile you can go buy a canned air computer duster and spray it around all you like, releasing it into the evnironment with no trouble.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: whatajoke2 ()
Date: July 23, 2011 06:59PM

Beat The Heat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> EPA Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >
> > You just admitted guilt of a federal crime in a
> > public forum.
> > You are not allowed to posess cfc's without a
> > license and a recovery rig.
> > Im guessing you dont even understand superheat
> or
> > subcooling.
> > Better get soap on a rope.
>
> So, you're telling me you've never done anything
> illegal? I know plenty about superheat and
> subcooling. I'm just sick of those A/C people who
> have maybe an Associates' Degree at best running
> around thinking they're a god with their
> profession. And, belonging to a union along the
> way is even worse.
>
> I do what it takes to be pro-active in and around
> my home. I do major electrical and plumbing -
> with a permit. A/C is no different. Once one has
> understood the basics, it is a simple process.
> I'd be bored doing an A/C and heating job 5-6 days
> a week. Thank goodness, that I just have it as a
> hobby and have a real career during the week.
>
> Now, as far as the R-22 debate goes, as far as
> anyone knows, I'm just holding the R-22 in my
> garage or basement for use by my licensed service
> person. To my knowledge, the fine is for buying
> and / or selling it without a license. But, I'm
> with you on the CFC license. Sure, I'll get that
> done and out of the way. $198.00 + a free weekend
> day to take a course, then I'll take the exam and
> get my license. Yes, even homeowners can do this.


"HEAT ","BEATTHE ","E","043"," 7109","MINT ","PL","ALEXANDRIA ","VA","09/29/2006","ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM "
"

thats just too damn funny.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Beat The Heat ()
Date: July 23, 2011 07:33PM

EPA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To Beat the heat,
>
> possesion of CFC's without a permit is a serious
> enviromental crime. People like you carelessly
> destroy our planet. A link to your previous posts
> was sent to the EPA enforcement division and it
> will take about two weeks to get the warrant to
> have Cary disclose your ip adress. Im sure by that
> time you will have stashed your smuggled
> refrigerant elsewhere and your hard drive if you
> did in fact make your illegal deal online.
> Just remember when you destroy the enviroment you
> steal from us all and our children and
> grandchildren. Dont be an enviromental terrorist.

Don't make a judgment that I'm careless. I don't believe I'm any more careless that the regular A/C "Joe" who does typical repairs and freon charges. Having ball valves and / or low flow adapters is key in ensuring that freon is not leaked into the environment.

Again, the A/C repair personnel, do think they're god. I believe you think you are one of these individuals. I don't believe you care about the planet as much as you might indicate in your responses. However, you're in the "industry" and just trying to prevent your piece of the pie. Heaven forbid, someone come along and prove an A/C person wrong.

Give it some thought ... I'm sure you'll see the logic that I have is not a distorted logic.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: j baez ()
Date: July 23, 2011 07:51PM

Let me get this straight, a slut in Florida kills her daughter, leads half the state on a wild goose chase and with more evidence that people already in jail were convicted with, goes free,and were going to put people with freon in the lockup.Please, there is a backup of cases involving removing tags off matresses that will have the courts clogged before we get to the freon criminals..

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Beat The Heat ()
Date: July 23, 2011 08:01PM

j baez Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Let me get this straight, a slut in Florida kills
> her daughter, leads half the state on a wild goose
> chase and with more evidence that people already
> in jail were convicted with, goes free,and were
> going to put people with freon in the
> lockup.Please, there is a backup of cases
> involving removing tags off matresses that will
> have the courts clogged before we get to the freon
> criminals..

Well, you see, "EPA" is a frustrated A/C technician. Having people mess around in his "area" makes him upset. When people become smarter and more in tune with fixing and maintaining their items on their property in a pro-active stance, this frustrates guys like EPA. The HVAC technicians love homeowners who don't do regular maintenance and preventive activities on their systems.

When the A/C personnel come out, they want those "15 minute" jobs to hit it and move on. $400 later, the homeowner has their A/C working again. However, then the A/C personnel stumble on something a bit harder, the start to panic. Rather than being a true analyst and providing some solid diagnostics of the issue, they quickly point out the age of your system and try and talk you into spending $6,000 - $7,000 or more for a replacement. What the homeowner doesn't know, is that the A/C person only paid $1,500 for the compressor and air handler / furnace. So, after a day of work and a bill of $7,000, a profit of $5,500 isn't so bad for a day's work.

Finally, EPA, as a poster apparently has a personal vendetta against me because I'm challenging what he does as his profession. That's why he's claimed to have forwarded the information into the actual EPA regarding the possession of R-22 freon.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: hadenuf ()
Date: July 23, 2011 09:35PM

Seems as if conversation went a bit off course. My only comment regarding EPA is simple. Like most of the federal government, they took an initial good thought and destroyed it with regulations and rules that are restrictive, hurt business and in some cases, simply absurd.

Back to Dobson. At some point, the business model for them changed. They were a sound company who could be trusted for performing reputable work at a reasonable price. It appears as if greed has entered the picture and old business model is gone. It is a shame. Their greed may provide a few extra pennies short term, but the word will get out and demise is a near certainty.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: ........ ()
Date: July 23, 2011 09:46PM

Beat The Heat Wrote:

> However, then the A/C personnel stumble on
> something a bit harder, the start to panic.

Like the moron who was halfway through installing a hard-start kit when I got there and observed that the unit:

1)Emitted a soft buzzing noise (which was from the contactor)

2)Condenser fan did not spin or make any noise

3)Compressor was silent also

Given these symptoms, would YOU install a hard-start kit? The moron who diagnosed the unit used a non-contact voltage detector to come to the conclusion that the unit was indeed getting power.

Something only a moron would do, as the contactor breaks one side of the 240V feed to the unit, and because of this, a non-contact voltage detector will indeed show that the unit is energized--whether or not the contactor is working. (Note to any HVAC contractors who read that and didn't get it: Try "Electrical Wiring for Dummies").

I took one of my multimeter probes and used it to push down on the contactor and the unit came on as the guts of a dead bug squished out of it.

Come to think of it, how many of these HVAC contractors even know how to use a multimeter?

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Beat The Heat ()
Date: July 23, 2011 09:59PM

........ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Like the moron who was halfway through installing
> a hard-start kit when I got there and observed
> that the unit:
>
> 1)Emitted a soft buzzing noise (which was from the
> contactor)
>
> 2)Condenser fan did not spin or make any noise
>
> 3)Compressor was silent also
>
> Given these symptoms, would YOU install a
> hard-start kit? The moron who diagnosed the unit
> used a non-contact voltage detector to come to the
> conclusion that the unit was indeed getting
> power.
>
> Something only a moron would do, as the contactor
> breaks one side of the 240V feed to the unit, and
> because of this, a non-contact voltage detector
> will indeed show that the unit is
> energized--whether or not the contactor is
> working. (Note to any HVAC contractors who read
> that and didn't get it: Try "Electrical Wiring for
> Dummies").
>
> I took one of my multimeter probes and used it to
> push down on the contactor and the unit came on as
> the guts of a dead bug squished out of it.
>
> Come to think of it, how many of these HVAC
> contractors even know how to use a multimeter?

You seem to have a more logical and grounded (no pun intended) sense to you. From the sounds of it, you'd look at the issue and dig into it through a proper investigative analysis. That's a good skill to have.

It's kind of like our auto mechanics. So many of them have become adjusted to reading a code and then swapping out parts. Many of them fail to spend an hour using meters to check voltages, etc. on the solenoids and various component to truly find the cause vs. replacing the part ... only to have the owner come back in a week because the check engine light (CEL) is back on.

Finally, in regards to the comment about this post getting off-topic from it's original intention about Dobson A/C, all I can say is welcome to the forum and the Internet. It's very hard to find a forum thread today that actually DOES stay on topic.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: me love you long time ()
Date: July 23, 2011 10:00PM

You know what I HATE, is the $50-75 fee to do an estimate which is waived if you choose them . HOW THE FUCK are you supposed to get more than one estimate. That's a scam.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: me love you long time ()
Date: July 23, 2011 10:01PM

I forgot to add, that it wasn't directed at the dobson company because i have never used them , but at repair companies in general.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Beat The Heat ()
Date: July 23, 2011 10:12PM

me love you long time Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You know what I HATE, is the $50-75 fee to do an
> estimate which is waived if you choose them . HOW
> THE FUCK are you supposed to get more than one
> estimate. That's a scam.


If you're finding estimates for $50 - $75, then, I think you're doing great. Most companies end up charging quite a bit more than that.

But, I'll agree with you, it's a senseless fee that has gotten out of control. It's kind of like the hazardous materials disposal fee that they charge when your oil gets changed. However, the shop ends up selling the oil anyway to a recycling agency and makes even more money.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: hadenuf ()
Date: July 23, 2011 10:49PM

This charge for simply providing an estimate is way out of control. Can you imagine all companies doing this crap? Go to Lowes and ask for price of light bulbs. Ten bucks for answer, but ten bucks goes toward your purchase. Car dealer wants 500 bucks to tell you price of car. Guy comes over to give estimate on building your deck and wants thousand dollars to do projection. Better not let the IRS in on this stuff. They will start charging for tax forms so we can estimate what we owe them!

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Check 'Em Out ()
Date: July 23, 2011 11:15PM

Dobson gets a mixed write up in Washington CheckBook magazine: 74% approval by customers. Not as good as some and not as bad as others. Firms with at least a dozen ratings have scores between 29%-100%

I use M.R. Stride -- they are recommended for both "price" and "quality" by Checkbook magazine. Have been using them for 12 years - they do everything they can to save you money. Keep in mind that because they have a Checkbook rating you may have to wait a while to get scheduled.

M R Stride Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning
445 Nelson Dr
Vienna, VA 22180
703-893-5161

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: novaguy81 ()
Date: July 23, 2011 11:47PM

I actually prefer Delta Service Company myself. They did great work for me at a reasonable cost with no trickery or upselling. Found them on Angie's list because they had 16 reports with 13 of them being "A."

Delta Service Company
5712 General Washington Dr Ste J
Alexandria VA 22312
(703) 550-5520

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: me love you long time ()
Date: July 24, 2011 01:06AM

On top of that the fee kind of forces you to use the company giving the estimate because if you shopped around you would just waste money getting other estimates and you wouldnt

Do all companies now charge an estimate fee? Why doesn't angie's list or anyone say anything about this. I no of no other profession except for home repairs that do this (HVAC, plubming, floors) that does this. Why do these people think that they can do this.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: home chepo ()
Date: July 24, 2011 04:13AM

Joe B. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What are the symptoms of a blown capacitor?


1


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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: EPA ()
Date: July 24, 2011 07:35AM

Beat The Heat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> EPA Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > To Beat the heat,
> >
> > possesion of CFC's without a permit is a
> serious
> > enviromental crime. People like you carelessly
> > destroy our planet. A link to your previous
> posts
> > was sent to the EPA enforcement division and it
> > will take about two weeks to get the warrant to
> > have Cary disclose your ip adress. Im sure by
> that
> > time you will have stashed your smuggled
> > refrigerant elsewhere and your hard drive if
> you
> > did in fact make your illegal deal online.
> > Just remember when you destroy the enviroment
> you
> > steal from us all and our children and
> > grandchildren. Dont be an enviromental
> terrorist.
>
> Don't make a judgment that I'm careless. I don't
> believe I'm any more careless that the regular A/C
> "Joe" who does typical repairs and freon charges.
> Having ball valves and / or low flow adapters is
> key in ensuring that freon is not leaked into the
> environment.
>
> Again, the A/C repair personnel, do think they're
> god. I believe you think you are one of these
> individuals. I don't believe you care about the
> planet as much as you might indicate in your
> responses. However, you're in the "industry" and
> just trying to prevent your piece of the pie.
> Heaven forbid, someone come along and prove an A/C
> person wrong.
>
> Give it some thought ... I'm sure you'll see the
> logic that I have is not a distorted logic.


Come on now beat the heat, Did a big bad hvac man come to your house and make you feel like less of a man because you had to pay him to resolve a problem for you. Why don't you tell me all about it.
Attachments:
bully.jpg

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Beat The Heat ()
Date: July 24, 2011 03:07PM

EPA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Come on now beat the heat, Did a big bad hvac man
> come to your house and make you feel like less of
> a man because you had to pay him to resolve a
> problem for you. Why don't you tell me all about
> it.

No, they didn't. I've just had enough experience from talking with my neighbors and experiences of my own to come to the conclusions that I have.

On another note, don't you think you should be starching and pressing up your "Joe's A/C and Heating Repair" shirt? After all, Wednesday evenings are service industry nights at the Paper Moon. They'd love to have you come by in a clean work shirt, not one that you've been wearing all day long out in the 95 degree heat replacing capacitors at $300 a pop.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: hoe moaner ()
Date: July 24, 2011 05:23PM

Check 'Em Out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dobson gets a mixed write up in Washington
> CheckBook magazine: 74% approval by customers.
> Not as good as some and not as bad as others.
> Firms with at least a dozen ratings have scores
> between 29%-100%
>
> I use M.R. Stride -- they are recommended for both
> "price" and "quality" by Checkbook magazine. Have
> been using them for 12 years - they do everything
> they can to save you money. Keep in mind that
> because they have a Checkbook rating you may have
> to wait a while to get scheduled.
>
> M R Stride Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning
> 445 Nelson Dr
> Vienna, VA 22180
> 703-893-5161


I use these guys
Attachments:
Stiff%20Nickles.jpg

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: ........ ()
Date: July 24, 2011 11:53PM

Beat The Heat Wrote:

They'd love to have you come by in a clean
> work shirt, not one that you've been wearing all
> day long out in the 95 degree heat replacing
> capacitors at $300 a pop.

Shit for $300 you think they'd be able to take 'em out of the box and install them correctly wouldn't you?


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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: hadenuf ()
Date: August 04, 2011 03:59PM

Received capacitor in mail for 32 bucks. took less than five minutes to install. just turn off power at compressor and replace wires on capacitor one at a time. Works perfect now. Guy from United came by and told him Dobson story. United charges 140 for everything. Pretty normal price as opposed to dobson 369. Advice: Use someone, anyone, except dobson.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Gunny ()
Date: June 04, 2012 01:02PM

Reagrding RA Dobson. I had them for 20 years. No more. I have a two zone AC system that they installed and maintained. Both coils failed at the same exact time. This is an amazing coincidence, as they just serviced the systems last month. Their repair guy came unprepared and charged me 800 dollars to do about 10 minutes worth of work. After complaining to the (defensive) service manager and one of the (rather condicending) Dobson boys, I decided to take my business elsewhere. I found the fact that both of my coils spring freon leaks in almost exactly the same spots to be a little too circumstancial for my taste. When I spoke to the service manager, he got very defensive and then asked if I were accusing the company of damaging the equipment. I never brought that up; he did. So I am out $1000 dollars (two equally useless 'service' visits) and have two damaged systems.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: neo ()
Date: June 04, 2012 03:23PM

Ait Treatment wanted $262 to clean my inside coils. Talked to some people and found out all that they do is vacuum it. 5 minute job. Did it myself, and now have A/C.

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Cleaning your AC units ()
Date: June 04, 2012 03:57PM

How can I do this myself? Do I use a water hose or a vacuum cleaner?

Thanks,

Judy

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: funny as heck ()
Date: June 04, 2012 08:43PM

whatajoke2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Beat The Heat Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > EPA Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > >
> > > You just admitted guilt of a federal crime in
> a
> > > public forum.
> > > You are not allowed to posess cfc's without a
> > > license and a recovery rig.
> > > Im guessing you dont even understand
> superheat
> > or
> > > subcooling.
> > > Better get soap on a rope.
> >
> > So, you're telling me you've never done
> anything
> > illegal? I know plenty about superheat and
> > subcooling. I'm just sick of those A/C people
> who
> > have maybe an Associates' Degree at best
> running
> > around thinking they're a god with their
> > profession. And, belonging to a union along
> the
> > way is even worse.
> >
> > I do what it takes to be pro-active in and
> around
> > my home. I do major electrical and plumbing -
> > with a permit. A/C is no different. Once one
> has
> > understood the basics, it is a simple process.
> > I'd be bored doing an A/C and heating job 5-6
> days
> > a week. Thank goodness, that I just have it as
> a
> > hobby and have a real career during the week.
> >
> > Now, as far as the R-22 debate goes, as far as
> > anyone knows, I'm just holding the R-22 in my
> > garage or basement for use by my licensed
> service
> > person. To my knowledge, the fine is for
> buying
> > and / or selling it without a license. But,
> I'm
> > with you on the CFC license. Sure, I'll get
> that
> > done and out of the way. $198.00 + a free
> weekend
> > day to take a course, then I'll take the exam
> and
> > get my license. Yes, even homeowners can do
> this.
>
>
> "HEAT ","BEATTHE ","E","043","
> 7109","MINT ","PL","ALEXANDRIA
> ","VA","09/29/2006","ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM
> "
> "
>
> thats just too damn funny.


LOL! Now thats funny!

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Re: dobson ac repair
Posted by: Colt ()
Date: September 05, 2013 11:58AM

Plumbing and A/C repair have the highest failure rates in business, even more than restaurants. Despite the high costs, there are tons of costs to be in business. I know it is hard to believe but true.

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