I want to write about my experience with James Mattingly at JustAir. They are a smaller company who gets typically overlooked because people are both skeptical of their prices, which are MUCH lower than much larger and more “prestigious” competitors, and because those larger competitors utilize scare tactics in their sales pitches to steer you away from considering a smaller, more personalized company. I was a victim of those scare tactics and their deceptive advertising, and was quite cynical and paranoid about being referred to a smaller company. I’m sure there are many others out there like me. So please read this and know that you CAN receive dependable, friendly, and prompt service from a small company and avoid paying the massive markups and avoiding the heavy-handed sales tactics of their larger competitors. Read on….. I arrived home two weeks ago to find my air conditioner blowing hot air on a hot day, and feeling that dread that accompanies something like this – something you know is going to cost you alot of money and headache, I called a company that I’d used previously to perform repairs to my aging air conditioner. The air conditioner is a 14 year old roof mounted 4-ton unit. I’d previously needed emergency repairs during the worst of summer about 5 years ago, when a failure in the blower motor left my young family searching for hotel room while I panicked and called a large air conditioning contractor, advertised as one of the largest, without having the time or luxury of researching the company or shopping around. Needless to say, the emergency repairs were expensive, and that repair also left me spending money to repair the now leaky roof around the air conditioning unit. Luckily this time I had the luxury, if not the patience, to explore other options since the worst of summer was over. Also I knew that replacing the AC unit was probably going to be the eventual outcome, rather than costly repairs to a very old unit. With all this in mind, I once again called the large AC repair and sales company based on my lack of knowledge, experience, and confidence with other companies. After all, with all the advertising this HUGE company does, with their mailers disguised as “official” looking government documents, they must have the volume and reputation to provide the best service and reasonable prices, right? My choice to use (and overpay) that company in my previous emergency repair certainly was based on that perspective. The repair technician from the large company showed up very quickly and went right to work diagnosing the small leak that robbed my AC unit of refrigerant over time. He wrote down the cost of his repair estimate, and it was expensive ($1200) but not surprising considering how much they charged for the previous repairs. However, knowing that replacing the unit was more of a realistic option than the repair due to the age of the unit, I inquired about the cost of a new unit. The technician did not have this information, and in very slick fashion the high pressure salesman was at my door within an hour. The loud, brash, retired contractor sat me down and bombarded me with his sales pitch. Everything was there that you could ever expect. He elaborated on the superior quality, reliability, and customer service of this very old and prestigious company, while warning me that using any other company would be very inadvisable and would cause me nothing but problems. He told me that any company that could claim to do the work for less than his company, would for sure be looking to take advantage of me with hidden costs, shoddy work, and inferior equipment. He made sure that the other companies and air conditioning manufacturers I may have heard of before (indeed the two examples he used were the only two I could name) were made to look well inferior to his company’s superior AC units and customer service. He told me that anyone claiming to do the work for less than $6000 was lying, and he told me that others in the industry were out to get me, and would charge me extraneous fees for crane rental and other fees. At this point I was scared to death to even try and price shop, knowing that I was going to get screwed and I’d never have a cool house again. He did a fantastic sales job……for a 115 degree day. Luckily it was NOT 115 that day, and I was not in a position to make a panicked decision. By the time he had me scared to death to even consider that there were better and less expensive options, he figured that I would not even think twice about considering the purchase and installation of their unit. The cost? Only $8000-$9000 – before tax. Inside my head, my jaw hit the floor, but at least I didn’t panic externally. He glossed right over that cost, and into the OTHER services his company would love to provide for me along with the purchase of a new air conditioner, like thousands of dollars to spend on additional insulation (because he assured me that my SRP certified house surely did not have enough insulation) or adding additional vents to my roof because they never put enough in when they built the house (even though I had additional vents put in with my roof repair). He never did write down the exact price of course, and never did, and never could commit to a price at all, just a range. And of course he’d need to come back the next day and perform a complete analysis about what I needed and what extras I’d need. I told him I would call him back the following day, and sensing what I must have been thinking about doing, he advised me to send him any estimates that I should get from other companies, so that he could make sure they were offering me the same equipment he was offering, because he assured me there would be no way I could get a comparable product from a different company for a lower price and that it would not be in my best interest to even look. With his exit, and after paying the $50 diagnostic fee, and the decibel level of my house returning to normal, I called my uncle who I knew had business dealings with various contractors and I figured he would have a reference for other options. He immediately and emphatically advised that I call James Mattiingly at JustAir. I said I did not want to talk to a salesman, and he told me James was the owner of the company. I figured this was just my uncle having a connection with the owner of the company and that I’d be referred to a salesman or repairman. The next morning, the phone number he gave me went right to James and within a few minutes we had set up and appointment to have him out to look at my AC. I felt lucky to have been referred to JustAir, because with the fear I had of a smaller company, thanks to my experience from the night before, I would have never found this company on my own. And that’s why I’m taking so much time to write such a detailed referral, so that you understand that you don’t have to be intimidated by these large companies with infinite and deceptive advertising, and you can have have confidence in using JustAir. James could not have been more friendly, courteous, helpful, and knowledgeable. Based on his attitude and approach alone, I was immediately put at ease, even with my paranoia about dealing with a small company that I had been warned would “screw me over”. James evaluated my situation personally, and wrote down the cost of the repair – about HALF of what the other company proposed. I was tempted to get the repairs, since the price was so much lower than the other company, but I knew it was not wise on such an old unit. He also WROTE down the TOTAL cost of replacing the unit, since I told him that I was considering doing that. The TOTAL cost of the replacement AC was almost ONE HALF the price of that much larger company, and I would be getting the newest Goodman unit with a better warranty than the other guys offered. I advised him of my fears, and got his assurance that this price included the AC unit, installation, all fittings and adapters, a new base, and installation of a new thermostat – the price included EVERYTHING…even the crane rental…and it was all in WRITING. Needless to say, I looked no further, and certainly didn’t need to take this proposal back to the big company “expert” for his evaluation. We booked the installation for early the next day, and later James called me to confirm the appointment. The next morning, James called me to let me know he’d be out a little earlier than scheduled, and I left immediately to meet him. I got home, and James himself and his technician had already disconnected my old unit and had the ductwork ready for the new unit to be attached. The crane arrived, swapped the units out, and James himself completed the connections. Assured that everything was to my satisfaction, we shook hands and James left assuring me of a quick response if I have any issues or need any future repairs. And I’m sure JustAIR will be there for us when we need them, and I’ll have confidence that I’ll be receiving the same great personalized service from JustAir and I’ll know I’m getting a reasonable price without insane big company markups. Hopefully if you are in a position where you need a repair or replacement of your air conditioner, you’ll consider JustAir and save yourself all the stress, anxiety, and wallet-drain of dealing with the big companies with their high overhead and outrageous markups. Don’t be intimidated by a slick sales pitch! You’ll get an awesome price, friendly advice and service, and I will gladly call on JustAir in the future!