Answer: Atleast a $100. Or maybe $200 or more depending on time.
Over the years, we have dealt with a few customers who argue with us about part price after we are done diagnosing their system and give them their system report and show them what was the problem and the faulty part. They google replacement part and tell us that we are charging a $100 or so more than its price everywhere. Its insulting and embarrassing when a customer make up their mind and act like we are trying to cheat them.
I remember one service call in particular where the customer was a school Math teacher. He wasn’t home himself. So after diagnostics we told his wife that they needed a new flame sensor. She called him and he wanted to know the part name and number and then told her to wait. Called again after 10 mins to tell us that its less expensive on amazon so why were we charging more $50. Then he decided that he would buy it online and replace it himself if we leave clear instructions to his wife that where and how to replace the sensor. Then he verified with his wife and wanted pictures of every step. The appointment was 2 hours long. Then we finally could tell that he was satisfied and we left with our service call charges $79.99 only. No doubt the customer saved a few bucks but was the time really worth it for any of us? We wasted so much time there waiting and explaining so that he could do it himself. And then after he placed the order, I am sure he had to wait a day or two for the new part to arrive and his family was without heat all this time. It was my first experience when I felt really hurt and insulted after this service call. He left us 5 Stars for that service but my experience at his place was the worst. Its not about money but the lack of respect of your business and time. I wish I could ask him that being a school teacher, why does he accept a paycheck every month? If I google, I can find every level Math classes online for free. Then why does he expect to get paid to teach something which is 100% free. Isn’t it because of his time and effort?
Luckily, 99% of our customers understand that if someone is coming to serve them and fixing the unit on the spot then its a great service and its obvious that a customer will have to pay for the part in addition to time it took to remove the old one and install the new part.
We agree some companies are not totally honest and charge insanely high prices for parts or service. Thats why you should always call a trustworthy company. But still set your expectations right. Its ALWAYS going to be more expensive than if you do it yourself. And if you can do it yourself safely, we recommend that you do it and we would love to guide over the phone if you are stuck in the process and need a little guidance.