By:  Mark Rohmann

I have found a fantastic way to literally save hundreds of dollars on your central A/C repairs.

Don’t use Central Air conditioning (CAC) which is promoted and advertised in our Woodlands Homeowners Directory.

A little over two weeks ago our A/C went out at night.  The next morning we called the company listed in our handbook and a service rep came out for a charge of $135. I asked if that fee is taken off if repairs are done to which the office said no. I later found out that the larger, more reputable A/C companies have coupons that refund the service charge, however this fee pales in comparison to what came next.

Smile Dentistry

The serviceman was fantastic, diagnosed the problem, and found it was the condenser fan motor. Being an older five ton unit, he said the motor wasn’t available and had to be ordered. I panicked a bit seeing it was already 86 degrees in the house.

The serviceman called his office from our phone  and had the woman on the other end order the part and he stressed that we were in great need of it. He then left saying soon as it arrives that he would be back to install it.

Looking back years ago, I remembered that this particular motor was hard to find so I began searching the internet for a replacement. By the next afternoon I had located one and called CAC to find out the status of the motor that had been ordered. I figured if they found one right away I would take it, even if they added a little to the cost for their trouble. The woman at CAC said it wasn’t ordered because we needed to put a deposit down first.

“Were you ever planning on letting me know?” I asked.

She had no answer.

“How much is the motor that I need a deposit for?”

“450 dollars.” She said.

Hearing that I nearly fell off my chair. “OK, hold off on ordering,” I said, “I found one, brand new in the box for $45.00. I’ll give you a call when it’s in so the serviceman can come out and install it.”

She said, “Sorry, we only install our equipment.”

I told her, “Forget it, I’ll fix it myself,” and hung the phone up on her while thinking to myself, Jeez, at least take me down the block to Subway for lunch before you %&*# me.

Luckily, four days later, the motor arrived and I gathered up all the pieces that the serviceman had left laying loose around my A/C unit. I was able to put the motor, fan, wiring, and guards back together myself.

This was all completed 12 hours before I was scheduled to have surgery.

Thanks CAC,  You’re never going to hear from me again. Our manual needs to be updated and our Homeowner Association President’s need to take a closer look at who we support and use. This includes the landscaping company that cut my lawn about a month ago. This real “class act” climbed off the riding mower, walked over to my hedges, pulled his (word deleted) out in broad daylight and began pissing on them. I have small girls living on each side of our home. Imagine the problems the association would have had if they’d been out at the time.

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Massage Envy

12 Responses to "Resident Finds an Economical Solution to his A/C Problem in the Woodlands"

  1. I no longer us CAC for the same reasons. I had my hot water heater fail. The service call was free, but they were going to charge me $105 to replace the heater, even though I was covered in my contract. I asked what type of unit they would use. I never heard of the brand so I looked it up. It was the cheapest unit on the market, $65 retail list with only a 6 month warranty. I went to Lowes and they installed a GE with a 10 year warranty for $200. CAC wouldn’t install a comperable unit to the one I had.

  2. You would probably have the same charge from any other a/c firm because they use quality parts and expert labor.

    I’ve had excellent service from CAC and the job is guaranteed. You get what you pay for, so I’m sure you’ll be calling another a/c firm when the part stops working in a few weeks. CAC has an excellent reputation in this community which is evident by the hundreds of people in the Woodlands that have contracts with them.

    If you saw the lawn guy do this about a month ago and you’re so worried about the children in the area, why didn’t you do something about it at the time???

        • Let’s just say I’d bet mine, and my kids life that he won’t ever do this, at least in our neighborhood again.

      • Larry, I’ve also had excellent service from all other A/C companies I’ve used in the past. They also used parts that are high quality.

        No, I don’t think I’ll have to call another A/C company in a few weeks. The part that was installed was the same model, make, and manufacturer of what was in the unit and what CAC was going to order at nearly $400 more than what I paid for it! Oh yea, I forgot to mention, it also has a warranty on the part which I didn’t have to pay extra for…

        From the tone of your response it sounds as though you may have a vested interest in C.A.C. ???? Hmmmmm?

  3. i have also patronized the repair companies listed by the HOA’s thinking i would get a fair, maybe expensive, deal but was so disappointed. it seems most of them do want to gut the residents out here. maybe because it’s the WOODLANDS, a supposedly exclusive (wealthy) community. i have since learned to steer clear and look to other repair services.
    Hey Larry,
    What ?$#** head you are. you don’t seem to realize you maybe the one in a million who can layout $$$ like that or maybe you are part of CAC.

  4. cac always looks for a way to deny coverage.I have a 2 yr old lg washer and dryer they said if its was made in mexico they cant get parts .Before i renew my contract i will provide them with all the info on my appliances and compair other service contracts .Had this problem with a samsun refridgrator ice maker they said they cant get parts .I
    was able to get it on the internet and installed .

  5. I agree 100% with this notes. I have called cac to repair the ice maker, they want $475, about the ac they want to replaced $4260 I paid $400.00 to be repair, A faucet waiting since June for the part, after many calls now CAC wants to get a new one, and of course I have to pay.
    To finalize the only free repair I got was the garbage disposal.
    They always look for ways to deny the repairs.

  6. While it is cool that Mark was able to replace his condenser fan, I would like to caution anyone about doing surgery on their A/C system. Capacitors, contactors, 24VAC thermostat lines, and 300psi refrigerant can royally mess your day up if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    The concept of the maintenance contract for my mechanical system and appliances is completely unnecessary in my mind simply for the fact that if reasonable-quality equipment is installed *correctly* by qualified tradesmen, you won’t have any issues with that equipment for quite some time.

    As a contractor, I have reservations about the service contract thing. It’s like selling insurance. In fact, I feel dirty even talking about it. When cheap equipment (or old equipment) is used, you’re going to be nailed on fixing whatever the service call is for. It’s not a coincidence that their $65 water heater only has a 6 mo warranty. When you have a service plan on quality equipment installed correctly, you’re also wasting your money. You will have paid much more on your monthly or yearly contract than the actual replacement cost of any given system or appliance. Your hot water heater should operate on its own for 7~10 years before it fails. Your A/C system should easily go 5+ years without anything more than simple homeowner-compatible cleaning. Do the math and I think you’ll see what I mean. You can already afford the replacement cost on a per-item basis if you can afford to pay the service contract.

  7. I too no longer use CAC but for a very different reason. The “repairmen” they sent have been less than skillfull. Took them two calls to repair a simple faucet leak, could not figure out an electrical switch problem and a toilet that was running. They changed the guts only to have the same problem a month later, I fixed it myself. The office staff was rude and it often took days to get an appointment. When ordering a part it took two weeks and I had to call them. I see the servicemen parked at all hours wasting time, one even told me a certain amount of time is allotted per call so they don’t tell the office when they finish early. Funny thing, since I stopped using them, I haven’t needed one repair! Coincidence?

  8. I have found that CAC has gotten away with poor customer service in the Woodlands for some time. They were sending the same slackers time after time until I called them and told them I would write a letter to the WHOA and drop them.

    I call a supervisor now to schedule any repair and she sends me quality people. I have permanent notes on my account that there are certain people who I will not allow in my home. One of them has been fired.

    If you don’t like the people, call and do not stop until you have talked to someone high enough up to satisfy you.

    I think they deserve a chance to fix it, as I would want, if it were my business. When they do good work, I call and let management know. Ditto for poor work.

    They have some excellent people though they are not normally scheduled in the Woodlands.

    Sadly, with the hostile environment many vendors receive from the Tamarac code people, a number of very good people refuse to work here. And I don’t blame them.

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