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William Henderson Plumbing
William Henderson Plumbing and Heating Wm Henderson Plumbing and Heating Legalized Extortion, Price Gouging, Outrageous Billing Practices Broomall, Pe
22nd of Dec, 2010 by User704840
We called William Henderson Plumbing and Heating to come out and clean/inspect our gas furnace and diagnose a potential problem at a cost of $120. Not great...but OK for where we live (Suburbs of Philadelphia)

A problem was identified with the blower that required
replacement of a small part. I watched the technician remove the part and test it...He said, and I quote, "that little part is expensive". Not being an electrician or HVAC technician, and knowing that complex machines can be expensive to maintain, I did not doubt him.

The cost of the part (a capacitor)and replacement services was
$285. Per Henderson's policy, this cost WAS quoted in advance. I DID sign on the dotted line, and the fee WAS paid, under the assumption that I was being quoted an honest price. I suppose I COULD have gone online and looked up the price of a 5 microfarad 370 Volt capacitor after the tech had quoted the price but, in reality, who would do that when it is 20 degrees outside and your heater is in danger of failing.

The part was installed in approximately 10 minutes. I watched this process, which was apparently only slightly more complex than installing a 9 volt battery in a smoke detector.

After the tech left, I
discovered through a simple online part search that the part cost about $10.00.

Total bill was $405 dollars for minimal cleaning/inspection
of furnace and replacement of a $10 part. Total service call time...approx. 30

I went to the office to offer them alternative payment of
$200 for services rendered, which seemed more than fair under the circumstances. This was declined. I was also denied an education from the service manager on how the installation of a $10 part in 10 minutes could warrant a $285 dollar fee. Barring anything else, an explanation would have made me feel at least slightly better

This is not only about the money, but also the principle of ethical billing practices. In this cold weather, consumers are more worried
about their heaters failing, less likely to do consumer research, and more
likely to pay whatever is asked to ensure comfort. Also, the elderly or those
without the ability to research the true cost of a service/part are no doubt
being taken advantage of on a daily basis.

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