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Another Gembecki Encounter Print
Written by Steven Estrada   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011

My AC's been working ok since the last Gembecki tech replaced a wiring harness earlier this year.

Yesterday I changed the AC filter, and the cover's fastener broke off, so I called the same place inquiring about a new one.

I mean - I tried.

The guy I spoke to identified himself as Mark Gembecki (sounds like the owner) but instead of talking about my AC, he asked when I'm gonna take my negative comments off the internet.

Unless I'm made aware that I made a big mistake in recalling or describing my experiences, or some law passes that takes away freedom of speech for bloggers, I call them like I see them, and don't give into bribes, gifts, donations, or takedown threats.

I've been WAITING SINCE JULY 2009 to talk to someone in charge about the performance of my AC, and issues ranging from a poor installation to shoddy repairs. But trying to engage this man in a healthy conversation didn't work.  After the guy got through posturing, I asked:

"If an AC mechanic tells you 'I think I know what's wrong with your unit, but my boss told me not to tell you,' then leaves without fixing it, how would you feel?"

The nonanswer I got back is he's gonna have my maintenance contract transferred to another company.

That sounds like a threat to me. It's like I'm hearing  "Either you take your posts off the internet , or your AC won't get fixed."

The man can refuse service to anyone he wants.  But it's up to me to transfer my maintenance contract to another company, something I should have done years ago, and will do tomorrow.

A business interested in good customer service, and customer loyalty would probably be probing me for information why I'm asking questions like I just asked, and about my bad experiences, then try to make things right.  Not yell at me.

Too bad Mr Gembecki and I didn't get to talk about the trouble that wound up being a dip switch setting on a circuit board that took a Trane employee to discover and fix, months of me laying sweaty in bed, hundreds of extra dollars of wasted in electric and time off from work while waiting for his people to try to fix, then finally months later set up Trane's service call that doubled as a training exercise in my garage for his techs.

Or discuss the thermostat trick that tried to fool me into believing the inside temperature was 72 even though I was sweating. (A thermometer revealed the true room temperature. A check of the THERMOSTAT SETTINGS showed it's "temperature display offset" was altered from default to display a number lower that the actual temperature.)

Or the missing ground wire on the outside unit a friend of mine discovered a few months after installation.

Or work out a deal exchanging the lemon of a 15.5 SEER Trane XL16i his company sold me for something less prone to breakdown, and easier to install and maintain, with a reasonable discount for my years of trouble, lost wages, steamy summer days with no AC, and electric bill at least $100 more per month since my faithful 10.5 SEER Ruud died five years ago.

Cause the guy hung up right after telling me he won't do any more warranty work, so we didn't get to talk about anything I've been waiting years to talk about.

I always treated Gembecki's staff with courtesy and cooperation. Even after the outside compressor melted to the ground ten minutes after completing a repair, when the tech came back, instead of complaining, I thanked him for showing up so quickly, and handed him a can of soda. 

Mr Gembecki didn't afford me the same courtesy.


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