Just when you thought you heard it all......

Friday I had a customer call.......... We installed his 90% American Standard furnace, uncased coil and 10 SEER A/C in 1999. I think we've been there 3 times since. Always for problems...never for maintenance. He says its not cooling, suction line frosting. I find the unit low on refrigerant. I search for the longest time at the outdoor unit. I see the oil spot but bubbles just are picking it up but the electronic is going nuts. Finally I find it about a 1/4" from the where the aluminum is covered with spiney fins. About 1" the other way is where the aluminum changes to copper. Right on the aluminum tube is a little black spot (several actually) and that is where the pinhole is. I tell the owner it needs a new condenser coil, or new unit with matching coil. I give him all the options and prices. As I button it all back up he comes out and asks to see the leak. I am happy to show it. Take the door off, spray it with bubbles and show him the leak. This is where the fun begins. He keeps going back and forth as to what to do but keeps repeating the number I gave him for a new A/C system. Then he tells me that is as much as his cruise will be with his wife for his 30 anniversary this year. (Oh, that breaks my heart..........NOT!) Then he tells me he just has to ask. "How much of that price is profit?" Again Im amazed but never shocked. I toss a number out of my as and tell him Im making $1000 on this install. (Its not an actual number but I thought it was my turn to shock HIM). He looks at me and asks, " Do you really need to make that much?". I told him, "Yes, I sure do!" This business isnt inexpensive to run and it costs what it costs. Then he asks me to lower my price by $400 and he will do the replacement although he wont be thrilled. I told him, "Nope, I cant do it". He tells me he has to think about it and to get back with him if I can do a discount and/or when I can do it. I call him back an hour later and he tells me he has an engineer friend that can patch aluminum but he doesnt feel comfortable doing it unless he can get the condensing unit to his shop where he can control the conditions. I told him, "Thats fine but here is my price to come out, leak check it, recover the refrigerant, disconnect the refrigerant lines, line voltage and low voltage. Then the cost to put it all back in running order after his buddy "patches it" and all with absolutely no leak guarantee from me. Needless to say, he is thinking it over for the weekend. Im sure he will find someone cheaper even though its 90 and humid here. It couldnt make me happier. :-) Bubba
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Bubba,
What I've found... in the industrial-commercial sector where customers can be in the range from $2M a year to Fortune 500...
It's tough out there for everybody. You HAVE to work with them....
Offer options; make no-guarantee 'guesses'... whatever. I'm afraid the days of us in the U.S. doing everything RIGHT are over with. If you dont believe me, look up all the factories that did do THINGS RIGHT and ended up with no jobs and cheap-shit knock-offs made in Mexico, Brazil, China or wherever else. I buy my Levi's at Meijer's... a small(er) but growing retail chain because they have REAL U.S. Made, high quality jeans. Most others don't... real Levi's here cost $55.00 a pair but they are worth every penny... something most consumers and retailers will not recognize anymore.
Take a walk through WalMart and see the plethora of crap you can buy for 30 percent of what it should cost. It's a giant International Flea Market for the masses.
... as so is your business, Bubba.... and mine. Get used to it and USE your great AMERICAN entrepreneurial mind to HELP your customers... not belittle them.
It works, my friend. We topped $60M last year... with a 8% AT margin... doing just that.
You do the math.
Jake
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I have been...........for 25 yrs now

I was trained by one of the bigger resi companies. I know all the sales and options training methods. I even offer Goodman to those that just cant see anything but cheap, cheap, cheap. Thats still too expensive for this guy.

interesting reading.

Sorry, but you know as well as I that some customers are just plain tight ass pain in the butts that nothing makes them happy. Fortunately, I have a lot of customers that are a joy to work with.

Sometimes .... 1 + 1 will never equal 3. :-)

Bubba
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Bubba wrote:

Yep... it is interesting. I read it, too. I'm not certain the organization resembles anything close to what Sam thought it would...

Yep.. I agree. I might have been a little to hard-case in my first reply (-;.
I have a policy I call "F*** You Money"...when it comes to folks like that. If I'm gonna have to deal with them... then they pay a premium or find someone else.
There can be a lot of trade-offs in our respective businesses.. as relates to quality and what makes the ultimate best sense. Some customers are not gifted with good sense, however... so we do what they'd like so long as it doesn't compromise safety or our own standards of workmanship...

Ha.... Sometimes 1 + 1 doesn't even equal 2, does it (-;....

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Interesting though..... I drove by Sunday evening. 90 degrees+ still and humidity to match. His windows were all still open. Then I got a call for an older couple that evening about 2 mins from them. No A/C. Turns out, it is his mother and father in law. I got there this Mon AM and had them up and running before they got back from their morning walk. Inexpensive repair, I shut their windows and it was starting to cool. They were happy as pigs in mud. All the while..........the Son-in-law is still trying to figure out if he can use a piece of rubber and a clamp to contain the leak! ( I swear he asked me that). Im goina guess he went another route so I'll send him my bill tomorrow. :-) Bubba
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Bubba, why dontcha try some of that SuperSeal?
Me, I'd offer the customer SuperSeal @ $350-$450 installed & re-charged & no warranty on whether it worked or not. If it didnt work, I'd offer a $350.00 credit toward a new condenser / matching indoor coil, conditional you do the work.
If ya do use it, buy SuperSeal 3 phase. The 3 phase variety contains a little bit more fluid than the regular variety.
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On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 00:03:59 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@gonefishin.net wrote:

Shit! Now you remind me. Actually Ive still got a can of that on the truck (the regular, not the 3phase. I dunno. I hate that hocus pocus stuff but It seems it "MAY" have a use in an instance like this????? I may have to make that decision. Thanks, Bubba
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Bubba Condensor coil has a 10-year warranty
JB

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You missed the part where I said it was a 99 model. They were 5 yr condenser coil warrantys then. ....and Im sure he still wouldnt like the price Id charge him to put in a "warranty" coil. Bubba
wrote:

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This is where I tell him that there is no "profit", that whatever is leftover from the equipment, parts, tools, company overhead, insurances, advertising, etc is my salary. Then I ask him "if our positions were reversed, would he be willing to take a cut in pay to do the job??"

Again the question.... "if our positions were reversed, would he be willing to take a cut in pay to do the job??"

Sorry, I would have told him that I can do it right, or he can call somebody else to get it done cheap.

Yup
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There is nothing worse than "paying" to do the job!
--
Zyp

"Noon-Air" < snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net> wrote in message
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