Carl Gamble knows summers in Roseville can be scorchers.
So he bought a new furnace and air conditioning system in 2005 for a house he owns.
Since the new system had a 10-year warranty on parts, he says he thought his troubles were over.
“I feel burned,” he said. “I feel he railroaded me.”
Gamble paid $5,398 for the system from Sacramento-based All-Year Heating, Air and Solar.
But when the system broke down after five years, the repairman charged him $405 — $85 for a service call, $170 for two hours of labor, and $150 for “circuit board” — which Gamble thought was a part.
When he called the company for an answer, the owner said the $150 was to “process” the parts.
“Where does my warranty come in? That’s why I did get the 10-year warranty,” he said, “so it would be maintenance free, and I wouldn’t have anything to worry about.”
But isn’t the whole point of having a warranty to protect you from having to pay when something goes wrong? What is this “part processing fee?”
“Everything should be clearly spelled out, in the warranty,” said Melanie Bedwell of the Contractors State License Board.
She said the idea of processing fees is something new that the CSLB has not yet encountered, but that consumers should be well informed of the any terms of the warranty.
“All of the parts and all of the costs associated with them should be spelled out, whether it’s a contract or a warranty,” she said.
When CBS Sacramento scanned Gamble’s warranty, we don’t see anything about a processing fee.
The owner of All-Year told CBS Sacramento he wouldn’t go on camera, but said his company always charges processing fees on parts. Otherwise, he asked, how is he supposed to make a profit?
Gamble still feels he was duped, and said he is considering going to small claims court to get his $150 back.
“It’s been mindboggling trying to keep up with everything else,” he said. “It’s just wrong.”
The CSLB said it does try to resolve cases like this. If you have an issue with a contractor, you can submit it to the CSLB on their website.