Total Air Care - unethical, immoral, fraudulent. Avoid at all costs.
Our A/C died 24 July 2018 and we contacted First American Home Warranty (FAH) the next morning via their on-line appointment request and via telephone. Three days later (!!!) Total Air Care (TAC)'s tech came out, saw that pressure was low in our condenser, and topped it off.
Two days later, the same problem happens again. Obviously there's a leak somewhere.
Second visit took FOUR days to get the technician out - he diagnosed a bad condenser coil (leaking) and told me they would replace it provided the home warranty covered it.
FAH decided to replace it, and here's where it goes sideways - well. More sideways than the ridiculous waits for people to come out and take a look.
I fought FAH for THREE WEEKS to get them to order the correct equipment. Our home is equipped with a 4 ton air handler and condenser, and they ordered a 3.5 ton replacement for both. I spent over 8 hours on the phone with multiple people who all gave me different stories, provided pictures of the make and model, the manufacturer's documentation on how to decipher the model to derive capacity, and finally am assigned a claims specialist named Yvonne. I was contacted via email only after I complained on their web-based dashboard that I wasn't being helped and that my kids were suffering in the 90+ degree, 80%+ humidity of a Florida summer.
So FINALLY, at 34 days of misery, the right equipment is available for pickup by TAC. I look at the portal, and see "Awaiting customer acceptance of non-covered charges". Huh? Never disclosed.
When trying to contact TAC, expect to waste 4 hours of your day in their Parts and Service queue to be told by an overflow operator w/o access to anything useful with regards to status that "someone will call you" - you never get through to a person that can help, they do NOT respond to emails, and they will NEVER call you back.
Here's what TAC submitted to me as "non-covered charges" - and wouldn't tell me over the phone, I had to get this from FAH:
Permit fee: $199 dollars (permit fees in my area are $95. A like-for-like replacement does not require a permit).
Manual J Load Calculation: $225 (TAC never ran one. One isn't required in my county. A Manual J calculation should be performed when DESIGNING a system, and takes into account thing like floor plan, cubic footage of air to be cooled, R ratings of insulation, windows, all of it, and not required during a like for like replacement).
Float switch: $100 (Available for $24.99 on-line, more than 300% markup)
Condenser pad: $150 (36" x 36" x 3" pad is $78 at Home Depot, 100% markup)
SUP(ply)-RET(urn) modification: $375 (Installing an air handler dimensionally identical and no listing of REQUIRED modifications. Also note TAC did not perform a site survey, cost estimating, labor estimating, or materials estimate.)
Programmable Thermostat to meet code requirement: $127 (Already have one, not required).
R410A reclaim/recovery fee: $144 (System is empty, it's leaking, so no refrigerant in system..if this is a legal requirement I'd want them to state the code and section that requires it. Thy did not).
Disposal Fee: $100
Condenser Tie Downs: $78 (A set of four of the same make as the manufacturer of the unit to be replaced are available on Amazon for $11.75. More than 500% markup).
Locking caps: $79 ($30 bucks at Grainger, no explanation of requirements provided and more than 150% markup).
Electrical Modifications: $550 (What modifications are required for an existing, code compliant installation? No site survey, cost estimating, labor estimating, or materials estimate performed. I'd want an itemized list of work to be performed with materials required as well as labor to be performed - what, to plug it in???).
Drain Line modifications: $76 (Huh?)
Code requirement Duct Certification: $175 (not required in my county)
Total cost of non-covered items were: $2378
Total cost of replacement equipment if I purchased: $3172
Offered cash in lieu of replacement: $ ~$2000
FAH stated that they:
- Do not set the charges from TAC
- Do not advocate for customers with contractors
- Do not release procured equipment to other contractors less predatory than TAC
- Do not obtain second opinions on installation "non-covered" charges
- Do not negotiate. Period.
- Take the payout or pay TAC $2400 dollars, and have a nice day.
If you've read this thus far, you're smart enough to figure this out...TAC unavailable for comment and FAH is useless.
Avoid at all costs. Find another warranty company and NEVER let TAC work on your house. Tech was a good dude but company? Crooked as a dog's hind leg.