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Don't act on your assumptions

Series of air conditioners at UNC-CH.Image via Wikipedia

It had to be right, right?

When we purchased our house in 2006, it was brand new. We had flown in from Seattle in April and bought the house from the builder then flew back to Seattle to finish the school year. When we arrived on the 5th of July the temperature was over 90 degrees. Our realtor had called me earlier in the day to tell me she had turned on the air conditioning so the house would be cool when we arrive.  It was a nice touch. 

Entering the house late that day, it was very warm inside.  I am fairly handy around the house so I did the usual, check the breaker, fan and thermostat. No luck. On the furnace was the sticker from the company that did the installation.  I gave them a call. This was during the building boom that led up to the crash of 2008 and HVAC contractors were working some unbelievable hours. I ended up talking to one of the general managers as everyone else was in the field. I explained the problem. He asked the usual questions, did I check the filter, the breaker etc. I could tell he was assuming that everything was fine and I was the problem. After all, it was a brand new house and they had installed the system. It had to be right, right?

I was finally able to convince him that he needed to send someone out. Since everyone was working hard, he came personally. When he arrived it was in the early evening and he looked like he had been having a bad day.  I could tell he was not happy about coming out to, he was sure, show me something simple. I walked with him as we first checked the thermostat, the furnace in the basement and finally the condenser outside.

He took one look at the condenser and said something to the effect that this was the problem as the fan was not blowing.  Closer inspection showed that the entire wiring harness had never been installed that connected the condenser to the electrical supply.  This is analogous to the car that won't start which turns out to have had no gasoline! 

Well, he was pretty embarrassed.  We both knew immediately that whoever had installed the system had never checked to make sure it worked.  To his credit, he corrected the problem that evening.

While it was not right to begin with as he had assumed, he made it right.  To this day I do business with this company.  They listened to me when they "knew" I was wrong.  They did not act on their assumptions. 

- Mike Colwell

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