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The sad sad tale of my furnace

On Friday night we turned on the air conditioner for a few minutes to cool down Mia's room, and it didn't work. Woe. On Saturday, we called our usual climate-related appliance people and they agreed to come out without charging us for a weekend call, which was nice, but then he was three hours late for the "window," which was less nice. And then he told us that we either had to clean the coils for $1300, or, and this was his professional recommendation, replace the whole thing for $4900, which was not nice at all.

Chris and I were very upset. We sobbed to our parents hoping someone would offer us the funds to replace the damned thing and instead, my father in law recommended that we call his people for a second opinion. I almost didn't do it, I almost went right ahead and ordered a new furnace (actually heat pump) just to be sure it would be installed before it got hot again. But I did call, and the guy from the second place came today, and he fixed it with a piece of duct tape. The door switch was loose, the coils are fine.

I am currently accepting suggestions of precisely what words I should use to cuss out the service manager of the first place. Get to work.

Comments (45)

Idiot. No-not you, the service guy.

I think whatever words you use, they should include the words "writing a letter to the Better Business Bureau."

Good for you getting a second opinion! Yay that it's fixed!

Unreal. Thank god you listened to your father in law! And I'm glad your guy didn't keep you waiting around this afternoon.

Well, just GR! Duct tape is the cure to all sorts of ills :D

well, you are a fan of the word cocksucker. that may be appropriate.

well, you are a fan of the word cocksucker. that may be appropriate.

I would have two words: fuck and off

How about "I'll be writing this up on Angie's List." That strikes fear into the heart of service folk, I've found, and is more satisfying than just an angry cuss out- you can feel happy that you've spared other people the same nonsense.

Take a picture of the duct tape and send it along with this note, preferably on 'Hello Kitty' brand stationary:

Dear Asshat,

This was the fix action undertaken by someone with integrity and a soul. It only cost us $1,275, as opposed to your obscene quote of $1,300. That's right. I hope it burns.

The Haters of You

I'd go with "Better Business Bureau" and "taking my business elsewhere." And I'd follow up with the letter to the BBB.

Lots of really bad ones. Stupid buttmunchers. GAH. Also, God bless duct tape.

Take a picture of the duct tape and send it along with this note, preferably on 'Hello Kitty' brand stationary:

Dear Asshat,

This was the fix action undertaken by someone with integrity and a soul. It only cost us $1,275, as opposed to your obscene quote of $1,300. We hope the loss of our business burns you in a place that you don't want to be burned.

That's right. We said it.

The Haters of You

A friend of mine almost got similarily burned by a car company. From that day she drove around with a big sign in her back window that said "Ask me why I will never use again"... and people did ask her.

You say, "I'm going to tell the whole Internet about your incompetence." Those are the cussiest words to anyone in business.

MAN that pisses me off. PLease do a follow up post about that! That's HORRIBLE.

Oh my GOSH. Yes, definitely throw around words like "Better Business Bureau" and probably something about integrity and honesty. And how they will never, ever see any of your money again, not to mention anyone else you can possibly tell not to use them, either.

Of course, maybe the one guy they sent out was a complete dickwad loser. They need to know that he is clueless and needs a new job.

you could make it into a poem - you know like back in grade school:
F - is for my Furnace - which isn't bad - you
U - is for the Umbrella I would like you to shove
where to sun don't shine
C - is for how Clearly you don't belong in this
line of work
K - is for Kite - as in go fly one

O - is for the Obvious which you totally missed
F - is for Friggin number of clues you need to
F - is for the kung Fu I will pull on your ass if you ever show your ugly face around here again

- or you know - something like that.

I like to refer to bad things as pant. Like "that burger was total pants" or "Your service is complete pants. I went somewhere else and they fixed it with duct tape!"

Good luck! And? My pregnant internal temperature is jealous of your air conditioning.

OMG! I dont know what to call them, but I certainly would tell everyone I know how unscrupulous they are. Geeessshhhh!

You seem to be fond of the "F" bomb. May I suggest that?


Yay for your Father IL, boo to the service man who should take of your money and buy some duct tape!

Oh man, that would make me so mad! Thank goodness you got that second opinion though. I guess duct tape really does fix everyting.

Same. Exact. Thing. Happened. To. Us.


I personally like to use the word "bloody" when I'm really angry. It makes me feel better when I talk all British like. Ex: WHAT THE BLOODY F*CK WERE YOU THINKING? British accent optional.

Dearest Scam Artists,

I'm assuming that when you offered us your two excellent SUCKgestions for fixing our air conditioner, it was with the certain knowledge that THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY ON EARTH TO REMEDY THE SITUATION. Other than taking out a second mortgage on our home, of course. Our very hot home where, in her stuff little room, our tiny daughter must sleep with her cheek pressed to an icecube tray to stay cool.

Far be it from me to discourage a male when he insists upon cleaning something (ANYTHING!), but I should probably point out that it's never necessary when the item in question (such comes to mind)isn't really dirty in the first place. Ditto for replacing something that isn't broken.

Perhaps we know little about appliances, but we know enough to get a second opinion. Guess what? We like the second opinion better. Quickly now, you should fire yourselves and then see if the McDonald's nearest you is hiring before I think of another and exceedingly cruel use for the duct tape that fixed our unit. Hillbilly Bikini Wax, anyone?

You suck ass,
Beth and Chris


Swistle beat me to Better Business Bureau.

Wow. So where are you taking your father-in-law to dinner?

If they are a chain type place, like Sears, I would mention not only the BBB and Angie's List, but as well. I think if you contact the manager and/or owner you might get good results, especially if you were repeat customers.

Frightening. What type of a furnace did he want to replace it with? I never heard of a furnace costing that much.

I'd definitely write them up with the BBB. People need to know not to use this company.

Thank goodness for you FIL and a second opinion.

Hmmm. Didn't work. I'll try again.

Here you go. It's perfect.

Better Business Bureau. Assholes like him are the reason they exist, right? And then I'd follow up with a strongly worded letter or phone call to his ass. I know you probably want to rip him a new asshole (and he TOTALLY deserves it), but he might be more freaked out if you sweetly explained that you figured his sneaky ass out. Loser.

Cussing is good, but it would more likely make them laugh than mad. If you want to make them mad as you are, try this:

"Hi, may I speak to the owner or manager please? Hello, I wanted to tell you what happened with your serviceman, (name, who quoted us a repair last week. (explain details) I want you to know that we are furious. We will not only be telling everyone we know to avoid your company, but we both have web sites with very large audiences, and they too will know your company's name and to avoid you. If I can stop even one other person from being swindled by you, then I've cut into your profits greatly. I think you will learn that trying to screw people over is bad business. Goodbye."

Call or email your local news stations and clue them in. They love stuff like this, exposing con artists. also go to the Better Business Bureau and report them, cc-ing them on the letter. ; )

I heart duct tape.

The BBB and your local news station both seems like excellent suggestions. Make sure to include the phrase "attempted fraud" when contacting both places.

Go get 'em :-)

I don't think I can improve on what has already been said. Definitely include BBB and some mention that you are going to frequently and loudly share this experience with every homeowner you know.

That's the trouble with these outfits you never know if you can trust them. You're at their mercy since you/we have no expertise in these areas.

That's the trouble with these outfits you never know if you can trust them. You're at their mercy since you/we have no expertise in these areas.

I dont know if you ever read my story on my blog but exact same thing almost. Yeah they told us we were screwed and needed a whole new unit which was like 7K and we about died because we would have to take out a loan. Then we called grandmas so called perfect christian honest air guy and he came out and get this 70.00 was fixed. Call the BBB and report them. The more they are reported the less they can scam people.; Apparently they all tell you to get a new unit because if they dont they get no money. The company that tried to scam me had to hit a quota and if they didnt they could lose thier job. Now why would you want a 500.00 pay check at the end of the week when you could scam someone and get 2K???? I cant imagine living with that!

BBB. And any other consumer group you can think of...

Like others have stated before with the BBB and my favorite is contacting the news stations. There's nothing like bad publicity to make a company shape up. Good luck

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