If you are buying a new split air conditioner (AC) this summer then expect to pay anywhere around Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,200 extra. Whether you buy online on websites like Amazon, Flipkart, etc or you buy an AC from any local shop, be ready to shell out more. All AC brands, be it big names like Samsung, LG or brands like IFB, Voltas and others, have come together to fleece their customers. How exactly? Well, in the form of “installation charges”.
Of course, it is quite obvious that you always had to pay installation charges for getting a new AC. But post covid things have changed and a new type “shrinkflation” has appeared. Not only are there new models with different AC cooling capacities like 1.4 Ton, 0.75 Ton and 1.2 Ton, brands have stopped providing crucial components for free in the box.
In the name of installation charges, all AC brands in India have stopped providing a standard power plug out-of-the-box. In fact, you also have to pay for the water drainage pipe plus there’s always the extra “chai-pani”.
It is understandable that the customer will bear the cost of extra copper pipe if the outdoor -indoor area is placed too far from the indoor unit of a split AC. But how can brands justify not providing power plugs? Not to forget, you will also have to bear the cost of fixing the outdoor unit to a wall by getting it mounted.
Here is the list of hidden costs that you get to know about after buying a split AC.
1) Delivery charge: Around Rs 500 if you buy from any shop. For online, it may be free.
2) Installation charge: Rs 1,500+ 18% GST. Some brands offer it at Rs 1100 + 18%GST.
3) Cost of wall mount for outdoor unit: Rs 850. This is essential if you want to fix the outdoor unit to a wall.
4) Copper pipe with insulation: It’s free up to 3 metres. Beyond that every set of 3 metres costs Rs 4,500
5) Water drainage pipe: Rs 500.
6) Power plug: Rs 100
Considering that you do not require extra copper pipe, you will have to pay the installation charge plus water pipe, plug and wall mount. The total price to pay comes to around Rs 3,200. If you decide to fix the outdoor unit on the floor then you may skip the wall mount and the cost will come down to around Rs 2,400. Most consumers opt for brand installation as they fear that the warranty will become void if they get their new AC installed from local vendors.
[Brands have stopped providing a power plug in-the-box with new ACs and you need to purchase it separately.]
Talking about new models with cooling capacities, it is very hard to differentiate between an AC with capacity of 1.5 Ton and 1.4 Ton or 1 Ton vs 1.2 Ton. The cooling will be very similar and the only reason brands have launched such models is to simply increase the price of popular capacities like 1.5 Ton or 1 Ton. In other words, some brands are now giving 1.4 Ton capacity for the same price of 1.5 Ton. This is how “shrinkflation” is working in the AC market.
There was a time when servicing a split AC became very easy. In fact, many people opted to buy self-cleaning kits to save the yearly servicing costs. To encash on this opportunity, brands have redesigned their newer models to make it difficult for regular electricians or customers themselves to clean their ACs.
In newer models from some brands the air filter is placed on the top part of the AC indoor unit instead of the front. Also, the entire front portion of the indoor module needs to be dismantled in order to reach the air fins. These types of designs increase the hassles and in a way is meant to push consumers towards branded services that would cost double.
Every industry is evolving after covid. If smartphone brands can get away with not providing chargers then why can’t AC brands try the same?
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