Pann Home Services

Business Description:

Whenever the need for Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical, Carpentry and Home Remodeling arises; Pann Home Services is on call for you 24 hours a day.

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heating & air conditioning
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Cambridge, MA

Pann Home Services

Ripped off!!!

I called Pann for an electrician to hook up a new dishwasher. The scheduling was easy, the people I spoke to on the phone were courteous, professional and friendly. I was arranging this for a tenant of mine, so I was not able to be present during the visit, but I was told the electrician would call me once at the apartment. He did so, and asked a few questions before saying he'd call me back. When he did, his estimate for the job was $550.00! I nearly choked when hearing this and had to ask him to repeat the figure twice. Given that the dishwasher was simply replacing an older model (so all the electrics were in place and just had to be attached), and that the dishwasher was worth $400, I couldn't believe he wanted $550 to do the job. I protested and asked for detail, and was given some vague answer about this and that. I said I was by no means going to hire him for this job. He asked that I pay him $70 dispatch fee. I refused to give him my credit card and said I'd call the office. He tried to insist and I hung up -- I was not comfortable giving this individual my credit card details. I called the office and complained that the quote was ridiculous -- the person I spoke to was courteous but gave no explanation. So I just asked her to charge my card for the dispatch fee and said I wasn't going to use their electrician.

I then called a friend who had recently had an electrician do a job for him, and make an appointment the a few days later with the new electrician. In the meanwhile I received a voicemail from the Pann electrician saying that "after discussing this with his supervisor" he was willing to give me a discount and do the job for $370. No thanks. When the new electrician came, he took a look and said it was a straightforward job. He did the work in 20 minutes, had the dishwasher up and running with no problems, and charged me only $120! This is a reputable and licensed electrician... I told him about the quote from Pann and he too was shocked and said I should complain.

I can come to no conclusion other than the electrician at Pann was unreasonably trying to overcharge me (by over $400!!) for a very simple job. Perhaps the fact that I was not able to be there and that he was dealing with my tenant made him believe that I would feel compelled to accept his absurdly overpriced quote. I will never ever use or recommend Pann after this experience -- this was an attempt at highway robbery!

comments


I'm responding to your phone call and posting on Customer Lobby and Google expressing dismay about our prices. Yes, we do charge more than many other companies in the area, though not as much as others. I make no apologies for our pricing. I learned a long time ago that it is far better to offer a more expensive, quality service and explain our prices every once in a while than to skimp and have to live with a reputation for poor quality forever.

It is precisely because we share this concern and that of our client’s requests for up front pricing that we have implemented our up front pricing system.

Up front pricing is relatively new to the plumbing, heating and air-conditioning industry, but it is “Old Hat” to the appliance repair, automotive industries, Doctors and Dentists, actually most professional service industries use it.

Based on 57 years experience and over nine million completed jobs, we now “build” the price for each job type by applying the material, average labor, overhead and profit to each of these jobs. With this system, our clients now get what they truly want, “The cost before the work is performed.” Nor do you pay extra if our technician takes longer than the average amount of time required performing the work.

By removing the unknown of how much the job is going to cost, we believe you are better able to make the decision of whether or not to have the work done. Up-Front Pricing also gives you peace of mind, because you are not watching the clock and wondering “is this man ever going to finish? Or how much is this going to end up costing me!” And it allows our people the time to do the job right the first time and to leave your home as clean or cleaner then it was before he arrived.

Why do we charge more? It's a fair question. Let me endeavor to answer. First, our prices are not set by happenstance. They aren't set to the level we think the market will bear. Neither are they set to the level our competitors charge (that is price fixing and illegal). Our prices are set so that we can keep one dime out of every dollar after taxes. I think that's fair.

The fact is that our prices are based on our costs and only our costs. 4 times a years we sit down with our accountants and adjust our prices based on their experience and knowledge over our overhead. Out of every dollar we charge, we must pay for:
 Our technician's salary, we only hire the best so we can provide you with the best service.
 Their worker's compensation,
 Their social security, their medical benefits,
 Their uniform,
 Ongoing training,
 Tools
 The truck and proper maintenance
 The finance charges on the inventory they carry,
 The gas in the truck,
 The insurance for the truck,
 Our business insurance,
 Our state licenses,
 Our telephone line charges and telephone system,
 Our Service Manager to answer the phones and dispatch the technicians (keeping track of the progress of every job to keep you informed when you can expect the technician) and their overhead,
 Our computers and our software,
 Office workers to enter information into the computers and their overhead,
 Accounting,
 Billing,
 Tax and legal services,
 After hours calls taken by General manager, no answering service
 Yellow pages advertising and other advertising media you may have used to contact us,
 Membership in professional and trade organizations,
 Reserves to ensure we can honor all of our warranties and guarantees,
 People to fill out dozens of forms and reports for various government regulators, taxes,
 And on and on it goes.

It costs a lot of money to run an organization that is prepared to respond promptly (or at least respond the same day) for people like yourself who call us in a crisis because they have a leak, no hot water, no heat, no air conditioning, electrical outage or the front door won’t shut. You don't want to wait three days, until we can get around to it. That means we need extra resources standing by. Resultantly, faster service is more expensive.

Yes, there are some in our community that charge less. There are some that hire less qualified personnel, who make lots of mistakes and must go back and correct them. There are some that do not train their workforce to keep them up to speed with current codes and practices. There are some that drive beat up old trucks, which will leak oil all over your driveway or in front of your home. There are some that do not conduct background checks on their employees or perform drug tests to ensure that you won't have to worry about a service technician returning at night to rob you to support a drug habit (please do not scoff; this is a very real problem in our industry). There are some that do not carry the proper level of insurances to protect you in the event of a catastrophe. There are some that cut lots of corners.

It is each consumer’s decision what type of company they wish to establish a professional business relationship with. Many with a professional full service company like ours, and some with the bare-bones type of company. That is what makes the Free Enterprise System work.

I can understand how you might be upset. If you walked into a nice steak house for dinner, you might also be upset to learn that you could have gotten a dinner at buffet style restaurant for far less. Different businesses charge different prices for what appear to be similar products and services every day. Yet, rarely are the products and services truly the same. There are always differences.

When you called us, you may not have wanted the quality of service and level of protection we offer. You did want our speed of response, however. The problem is that the quality of service, level of protection, and speed of response we provide come together as a package. We can't break them apart or isolate one aspect of our service from another.

When we signed in with Customer Lobby we anticipate that we would have great, good reviews and reviews that had concerns like yours. We are not only allowing great and good postings, we are allowing reviews like yours. I challenge any other company that allows less then good reviews to be posted on their website. We welcome reviews that are not great or good allowing us to resolve those concerns and work to resolve those issues like yours. You were quoted $456.00 for the task at hand. The technician gave you a saving coupon that we send to our customers for $50.00 and I extended a courteously discount of $25.00 making your contracted cost to $381.00
I'm not here to make excuses. I merely wanted to offer an explanation. I hope you have a better understanding than you did when you called. If, for example, your bill was $350, it cost us $315 to provide you with that service, including taxes. We will only keep $35. I think that is fair!
Thank you for your time and understanding.


Sincerely,
Michael S. Pann

Pann Home Services

Pann Home Services commented on 07/07/2010