Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Furnace Hell

Our fairly new furnace crapped out on us this weekend. It would only come on intermittently so the temp in our house has been hovering between 58 and 64 since Saturday. Granted that could be much much worse here in Minnesota, but it is still a major PITA. Good thing this didn't happen in February.

So I call up good old Centerpoint energy and they say they can send someone out Monday between 8 and 4-I guess they think they are the cable company. This means I have to take the day off from work and wait.

Did I mention my wife sprained her ankle this weekend?

So the Centerpoint guy shows up at 3:25 and works for about a half hour or so cleans a sensor, reattaches everything and says "Good to go. $95 please. This one particular part may be bad but it should be OK" Ten minutes after he leaves the furnace craps out again. So I call them back, wait on hold for a while before they say the tech will be calling me back. He calls back and we discuss the situation. It really looks like that "one part" is the root of the problem. He tells me to call Centerpoint back and have them send out a pipe fitter to replace the part.

Here is where it gets really fun; I call Centerpoint back, the phone rings then I get a busy signal. This goes on for an hour. I finally get through and relay what the tech told me. They then put me on hold. TWENTY FIVE MINUTES LATER they get back on the line and essentially tell me I am on my own. "Find a Pipe Fitter in the yellow pages" Needless to say I am a bit PO'd at this point.

So I call a different organization. They tell me they can have a guy out early the next morning. The tech shows around 8:45 and gets to work. After a while he reaches the conclusion that the part is indeed bad. He calls to get the price-

$499!!!!!! Just for that part. That doesn't count the tech's services.

As I write this I am waiting for him to come back with this valve assembly that is apparently made out of titanium and plutonium-only way that price is justified ;)

I am going to try and get out of paying Centerpoint since they didn't fix anything. I can hear a little voice in my head saying "Good luck with that"


MyEyedeas said...

That's a bummer man. I hope it works out for you. I distinctly remember when my furnace went out on a very cold Thanksgiving Day.
It was hard enough getting someone out there on TGD and then after looking at Minnegasco says "The good news is your furance is covered by ServicePlus so there's no charge for the visit. But your furnace is shot, so you have buy a new one.
For $1,500...Cash...Today"
Hope you have better luck.

James said...

Yikes! $499 and you're on your own?

At least you can take comfort that you'll be helping put Joe the HVAC Guy's kids through college.

MyEyedeas said...

LOL! Now that's funny! Good one James.