CHOICE membership

Call out to receive the cost of service

The $92 call out will also allow time for driving to and from your place. This could be an hour or more depending on where you live and local traffic conditions.

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It was only around the corner in the previous house we lived in, which had a pool. Not too long ago I had a work mate who owned a pool business in a prime location with no local competition. The business was managed day to day by one of the family. There is a direct cost for the technician who needs far less skill than a plumber, less kit, and only a drivers license. One call out job per day covered the direct costs. The second the overheads and profit. All else was pure profit, not counting the markup on any parts or chemicals etc supplied with each job.

Competition is supposed to drive costs down and encourage survival of only efficient suppliers/services. It’s worth asking if this is working to the benefit of consumers or there are other factors?

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Have a look around. Up here in Qld someone will service your air conditioner for around $200.
You can also search for your brand of air conditioner online and see if they have a manual on how to service them and DIY. I’m planning on doing this for my air conditioners before summer hits again.

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Welcome to the community @smithc70

Some of the basics like clearing debris is not so difficult, but licenses and environmental regulations limit what one can legally do with the gas, regardless of which type.

Without an open ARCTICK license ( Unlimited ), installers are not allowed to re-gas air-conditioners or undertake any related repairs in QLD. The limited 18kW installers license does NOT cover this area of re-gassing or repairs.

In addition one needs gauges and a bit of know how.

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Room airconditioners uaually only involve cleaning the filters but split systems require proper cleaning of the inside of the indoor unit, especially the fins and the impeller, which costs us $220 per unit.

Here are some posts I left in other topics on th eforum regarding same.

Not only does professional servicing get rid of the disgusting mold but the units run much more efficiently so the reduction in energy costs may be greater than the servicing costs.

trades people are notorious for that but i had a highly advertised computer place visit my home and i thought it was easier only to find out i was told by the customer service people to make sure they stay the full time that was stated. They didnt even fix the problem and didnt stay so it goes to show many places are out to sting everyone.i will never use them ever again. took the computer to reliable service person who was much better and was never a hassle.

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This is very typical of the disregard that many companies have for their clients. It seems that they somehow believe they have a right to our hard earned money by giving us less than is expected. This perception can only stop with us, the consumers. We need to be more educated in our rights and be more outspoken to this behaviour.

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i totally agree with you i tend to find it happens to be a bad experience that teaches any of us to not fall for the same mistake. either way i cannot understand how some businesses operate and clearly stating the customer is entitled to a full service. the advertisement i see on tv is totally misleading anyway. and now with the way everything is i am even more careful choosing services.

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Aaaahhhhh… I used them for plumbing works. Their pricing was astronomical and their service substandard. I will never use them again.

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Unfortunately, my choice of lament, Choice and other consumer representative organisations do not have the financial capacity to take on the advertising media on their own terms.

Collectively business spends billions of dollars annually on product promotion. Matching this even with $1 of educational or informative content for every $100 marketing spend would be a great place to start. Perhaps with an industry levy?

The ABC Checkout program (my viewing) did a great job of opening up the minds of many to marketing tactics. Gruen took the industry apart in a more cerebral format. For now there is little elsewhere offer.

Governments and Ministers can opt to pull back media and advertising self regulation, increase funding and the authority of mostly state based Fair Trade, and support greater consumer education. There are also the outcomes of several RC’s offering plenty of guidance on where else to apply the heel of compliance, in defence of consumer innocence. (Consumer ignorance is a poor choice of phrase in common use. Most advertising is backed by consultants with psychology majors and business dealings by corporate legal departments with the best law firms on their side. We are all mostly ignorant in comparison and likely to remain so.)

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We live in Adelaide. We had new ducted air conditioning installed two years ago. As part of the deal we have a fixed price service agreement with them. They come every year and check that all is working and that nothing needs replacing. We have done this for over 20 years and have saved ourselves many of what would have been huge bills. It is the same company that was doing the servicing in the latter life of our old air con. They also advised us to not get it serviced for the first two years. We get it done in the winter months as that is cheaper.

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Sounds like a very honest reliable company. Could you please give me their name?

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Our solar hot water system sprang a leak and we contacted a local plumber to request a quote for repairs. A couple of men came out and inspected the leaking hws (we already had a ladder in place), and one returned (I think the next day) to quickly “check something”, which resulted in the owner of the business phoning to say we needed a new hws at a cost of “about $7,000” and some sort of terms could be arranged. From memory, this resulted in a couple of phone calls from the owner, but he would not discuss any possibility of repairs, only installation of a new unit. I told him that as an age pensioner I could not afford to replace the unit. A few days later I received an account for $192.50 (to be paid within 7 days or attract an additional late payment fee of $20 per week) for the “quote” (although I never received a written quote, or in fact any quote for repairs, only a telephoned sales pitch for a new unit). The account was to be paid within 7 days or attract an additional late payment fee of $20 per week. I contacted Consumer Affairs who said that although I should have been advised in advance of any charge for quoting, I should pay the account, which I did.

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Another case of the window dressing government has bestowed on us. Business did the wrong thing but you are advised to pay anyway. A sad state of affairs in ‘Consumer Affairs’ that seems a misnomer in your case.

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Absolutely disgraceful.

What make and model is your faulty HWS and how old is it?

A leak from within the storage tank may well have been caused by the sacrifical anode having corroded away if it had not been replaced, followed by the steel tank, unless you have a stainless steel tank such as a Solar Edwards or a copper tank as Saxon used to make.

Even if it was not economically repairable, a new solar system should be way less than around $7,000.

The invoice for the Conergy solar hot water system that the previous owners of our home had supplied and installed in 2014 shows a total price of $3,900.

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Thank you, Fred 123.

I’m a little old lady with no head for heights so I can’t tell you the make of the HWS just off hand, but we’ve been in this house for nearly 40 years and we were the first occupants so it’s a 40 year old unit.

But not to worry - a family member went up and quickly stopped the leak. Perhaps the HWS will hang in there for another year or two.

Thanks again.

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You are welcome.

Glad to hear that you have got a solution.

I presume that it must be a Solarhart unit if it is that old as they pioneered the tank on roof solar HWS market.

I clearly remember their TV ads in the 1980’s with a person speaking into an old corded phone handset and asking “Solarhart, how fast can you get me hot water” whereupon hot water immediately showers him from out of the handset.

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Solarhart sounds familiar. I think you’re right. :slightly_smiling_face:

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May I suggest an instantaneous gas hot water unit when you do make the change providing that you have gas going past your home? I would NEVER have a storage water heater again, especially living in Adelaide where our water is extremely corrosive. The added benefit is that you are only heating the water you use and never heat unwanted unused water which saves on power and water bills.

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Maybe. You will also wait while the heater turns on and heats up in addition to the wait while it comes through the pipes. So quite a lot of cold water is going down the drain until you put the plug in. This can be really annoying when you are cooking and want little bursts of hot water, as the machine turns off and cools down in between so you keep waiting each time. You can have the situation that the water at the hot tap gets colder before it gets hotter as cold water is fed into the hot water pipe, which doesn’t happen in a storage system. For longer use like a shower it doesn’t matter so much.

There are trade-offs with all water heating systems. With storage systems that are gas or electricity you lose heat from the tank which costs you money to replace. With direct solar hot water this loss does not give you a bigger running cost as once you pay for the capital cost the hot water is ‘free’. Storage hot water with an electrically heated tank where you have solar power is another equation as there may be savings heating your water in the middle of the day when your solar system is going strong. This topic is not simple.

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