The first paragraphs are a summary of my interaction with Thermo Cool Mechanical (TC). Details follow the summary.
TL;DR. We initially had a good relationship with TC and paid $1,736.25 over 4 visits during Dec 2018 for repairs to our furnace and heat pump. The repairs were not successful and in the process they damaged the furnace. The relationship became very bad with TC failing to deliver quotes when promised, refusing to let me speak to a manager, refusing to honour their warranty, leaving us without heat while not returning calls, refusing to admit the possibility they damaged the furnace, badly over-quoting ($4,750.00) on a replacement furnace, and declining my compromise offer to pay most of the $4,750.00.
In the end another HVAC Co replaced the furnace for $3,386.00. Their warranty is 3 yrs labour, 5 years parts. TC's warranty is 30 days and not worth the paper it is printed on.
We will never deal with TC again.
Nov 29, 2018: Our furnace (electric forced air + heat pump) dies with a bang.
Dec 1: Call TC.
Dec 4: TC identify damage to high voltage wire. Re-strip and reconnect. This is important. It is recorded on the work order. No heat. Identify damaged board in furnace. Order board.
Dec 10: TC install furnace board. No heat. Identify damaged board in heat pump. Order board.
Dec 19: TC install heat pump board. No heat. Identify damaged thermostat. Replace thermostat. Furnace starts.
Dec 20: Breaker trips. I reset breaker.
Dec 21: Breaker trips I leave furnace off, call TC.
Dec 24: TC identifies damaged insulation on a low voltage wire in furnace causing occasional shorts. Replicate breaker trip. Repair insulation. Furnace starts. Tech thinks this may finally be the root cause of the Nov 29 failure.
Dec 25 - Jan 13: After a week, when weather is very cold, there is a strong hot plastic smell.
Jan 14: Call TC within 30 day warranty period. They tell us it might be the new board off-gassing. They tell us to give it some time and see if the smell goes away.
Jan 14 - Mar 3: Cold weather comes and goes. When it is cold the smell comes back. It does not reduce.
Mar 4: Call TC.
Mar 7: TC opens furnace. The high voltage wire is loose and the high voltage connection block is a melted mess. [See Dec 4 entry.] TC promises a quote to repair the connection block and a quote to replace the entire furnace within a few days. Furnace is unusable. No heat.
Up to this point our relationship with TC has been fine. We were without heat for 24 days in Dec but TC respond quickly to phone calls, visited 5 times, and fixed 3 components. We understand that troubleshooting is not easy. We have paid TC all amounts asked ($1,736.25) on time and without complaint.
Now we are without heat again and there is a new $231.65 bill for the most recent visit. Now the problems start. There has been a change of personnel and the person we have been dealing with has left TC. The promised quotes do not arrive. I start calling every day or every second day. Each time we call I am told the quotes will be ready within 2 days or that somebody will call me back. Neither happens.
Mar 14th a quote of $4,750.00 to replace the furnace arrives. If we go ahead with the quote the Feb visit will be NC. I ask about the promised quote to repair the connection block. TC claims no knowledge of such a quote. After another 4 days of phone calls every day or two they send an email declining to provide the second quote. 11 more days without heat.
The $4,750.00 + tax quote seems very high and makes no mention of the possibility that the work on the high voltage wire on Dec 4 was incorrectly done and resulted in the damage that now requires that the furnace be replaced. TC’s own work order for the first visit strongly suggests this possibility.
I ask TC about the warranty. TC says the warranty is 30 days from Dec 24 and has expired. I tell them I called on Jan 14 within the warranty period (I provide the date from my phone's log) and that I was told to wait. TC says they will check their call recordings and get back to me. They do not. When I call back the switchboard refuses to put me through.
TC contacts me to say they will not honour the warranty. They do not say what they found in their phone logs. They see no connection between working on the HV wire on Dec 4 and having the HV connection block melting once cold weather kicks in. They refuse my request to talk to a manager. They refuse to continue the call. They offer $200 off the quote of $4,750.00 to replace the furnace.
I formally email TC with an offer to split the bill. I will pay for the new furnace per the quote, the repair to the heat pump on Dec 15, and the new thermostat. I suggest TC rebate the other amounts paid ($1,046.95) to repair the furnace since the furnace does not work, they did nothing when I called during the warranty period, and there is a strong possibility that they caused the current damage. I copy this to the one-ups.
TC replies almost immediately. They reject my offer, they will not honour the warranty, they offer an additional $200 off the quote. I can contact them if I want to proceed with the quote; otherwise, they have closed the file.
A few days later I get an email from TC saying the Feb visit is NC and reminding me of the $400 goodwill offer.
I contact other HVAC companies. I get the furnace in a few days for $3386.00.