Anatomy of a service call


1.    When it's 105 out and I've just come out of your attic please do not offer me anything to drink. Us heating and air techs have a special gene that lets us recycle our sweat when licked of off our bodies in a timely manner. Heat stroke is a Zen experience! 2.    By all means tell me that you want to pay my after hours fee and then wait till I'm five minutes from your house and call and cancel. We have a special deal with the gas companies where we only pay half price. 3.    When I tell you that a part costs x dollars, please exclaim as loud as you can "For that!" There are no overhead costs associated with running our business, that's why it's called HVAC. You know, heating, ventilating and charity. 4.    When I tell you the price for a new system, please tell me how Joe down the street just got one for half that price. I'm just curious, did Joe get the Ford model or the Mercedes model or did BillyBobs heating, ventilating and charity install said system? 5.    When I tell you the price of a new system, please tell me how you can get one off of that internet thingy for half price. Those internet models install and warranty themselves I heard. 6.    When I tell you the price of a new system, please tell me that you want to get a quote from 10 other companies and make a decision five years from now. Our business is inflation proof. 7.    When I show you the problem with your system and you're standing right there, please tell me you want to call 5 more companies for a second opinion. All these certifications we have mean absolutely bubkis. 8.    When I ask you who put your system in and you tell me a friend of a friend so your cheap ass could save money, please get mad as hell when I tell you that that's what happens when you hire hacks. Oh wait, that's right, you hired BillyBobs heating, ventilating and charity. So sorry I insulted you, my bad. 9.    When I disable your system because your heat exchanger is cracked, please go completely off and tell me what a crook I am. If I don't hear what a crook I am at least once a day I start getting a complex. Besides, I heard that a little carbon monoxide, in moderation of course, is a Zen experience. 10.    When I have you scheduled for 10:00 and you are not there, please expect me to wait an hour while you do whatever it is you have to do. You are the only customer I have that day and I have nothing better to do anyway. 11.    When you see my van driving down the road, please do everything you can to impede my progress. We all attended the Skip Barber racing school and you are helping us keep our driving skills up to par without having to go back and pay that damn racing school for a refresher course each year. 12.    Please answer your door in the most revealing clothing you have and then offer to pay for the service call by "unconventional" means. Hey, all of us have screwed up marriages anyway, we only married our wives out of charity. 13.    Please argue with me about how much the office said the service charge would be. I've only worked for said company four years anyway, what the hell do I know. 14.    When I am looking at your system, please have your engineer neighbor there so he can make suggestions every 2.5 seconds. After all, all of these certifications we have, well, we had to eat a lot of cracker jacks to get them. 15.    After I have just fixed your system, please fiddle with the thermostat and turn it off. It's ok because we all have ESP and will know that you just turned the thermostat off. Besides, I really didn't want to give you the "complete system evaluation" that you're paying for anyway. 16.    When I tell you that your system is low on refrigerant and will need 5 lbs, please ask me to add only two pounds so you can save some money. You have a special system that will cool without the required amount of refrigerant, all I have to do is throw the kaniflin valve counter clockwise and this will allow the system to run correctly and as an added bonus will seal the leak wherever it is. 17.    When I tell you that your duct work is improperly sized, please ask me why someone would do that. I can surely answer that question because as I said earlier, we all have ESP. 18.    When I ask you to explain what your system is doing or not doing, please start out with "it was working yesterday" with the tone in your voice like you expected it to ring you up and let you know that at exactly 5:04 tomorrow it's going to croak. 19.    Please do everything you can to get me to warranty something that is not covered under your warranty. Remember, I am running a charity, not a business. 20.    When I am diagnosing why your new system does not heat or cool properly, please start out with "well the salesman said" That's why they are called salesmen!
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I enjoyed that, from a customer perspective.
"offer to pay for the service call by "unconventional means."
Would that really happen?
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21. Please ask me to estimate the repair over the phone. With only a sketchy description of the problem, and no clue what the equipment is. Ask for a firm, cast in concrete quote. Don't take no for an answer. And then when I get there, tell me the rest of the problem. 22. After the phone quote, don't accept any hint of possibly saying something else was wrong. HVAC guys are psychic. We can diagnose over the phone. But we do, so, love scewing with you. We get there, and find five other things wrong cause we love to make you squirm. 23. Be sure to call on a weekday about 10 AM, and ask for the quote on fixing the system. Then call back, Sunday night about 9 PM and say that you can't stand it, and want someone out right away. And that you want the quoted price.
--
Christopher A. Young
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