I had to pick up some parts to repair the toilets while I was out today. There is always a goober in front of the local Home Depot who wants to replace everyone’s home air conditioning system for free. I avoid eye contact with these guys so that they’re not encouraged to say anything. This particular guy was more ambitious than most.
“Can I help you find anything?”
“No, thank you. I know where I’m going.”
I would have been fine with this minimal exchange but he must have assumed that it was a sufficient lead-in to make his pitch on home air conditioning.
“How would you like to have a new energy efficient home air conditioner installed for free?”
I've heard the pitch before. The rest of story is that, through smoke and mirrors, they show you how to purchase a new air conditioner and then get all of your money back through various federal and local programs. Because of our home location, we are not eligible for the largest reimbursement. I could have kept on walking but I like telling them my story.
“You guys ought to take a mug shot of me and put it up on your wall with caption that reads, THIS GUY IS AN ASSHOLE.”
His face twisted with confusion.
“A couple years ago one of your guys was chasing me down the aisle to make his pitch. At the time I had AC problems so I agreed to let your estimator come out. She quoted me $4200 to replace the whole system.”
The man nodded.
“I already had two similar estimates from people who insisted that I needed to replace the whole system. However, I knew what the problem was. The evaporator coil needed to be replaced as it had multiple leaks that weren't repairable. She gave me a quote for $2200 to replace the air handler.”
He nodded again to indicate that he was with me.
“I also had an estimate for $1500 to replace the evaporator coil, which was the specific problem. I gave the job to the man with the $1500 estimate. When he finished the job he only charged me $1100 because the evaporator coil didn't cost what he had expected.”
The man’s eyes widened.
“Now, who do you think is going to get my AC business in the future?”
I turned and left the man with his mouth hanging open.