I believe I can speak for most service technicians when I say we all love to talk shop. If you were to listen in you’d hear of harrowing adventures with frog infested crawl spaces, fire breathing furnaces in attics of despair, or miles of windswept tundra at all hours of the night. It doesn’t matter if we have worked together for years of if we have just met, heating & cooling technicians can sure carry on a conversation!
A while ago I met a technician from a local heating company while I was fueling my hvac service van. We starting discussing the weather and the usual small talk. We shared a few stories of tumultuous furnace fixes then began a more serious conversation. I mentioned that were very busy this winter due to the extreme cold. I was surprised when he told me that he had not been busy at all. I began telling him of all the systems that I had repaired in just the last few days, of all the different types and ages of equipment.
That’s when he stopped me. He said they really don’t do that. “Do what?” I asked. He then proudly described himself as a Sales Technician. Now, I’m a Service Technician and I know what service technicians do but I had never heard of a sales technician. So I cautiously asked him to elaborate on what exactly he does. He then, with confidence, began to describe his job description to me in great detail. He said that a Sales Technician at his company will only fix a piece of equipment if it is less than eight or ten years old. Even with simple repairs, if the equipment is older than ten years, the customer is told they have no other option but to completely replace the entire unit. Sales technicians will also strongly recommend replacing units that are less than ten years old instead of fixing them. He explained that this is made easier because his company has very high repair prices to make replacement seem like the best option.
It is hard to describe how I felt as I drove away. I kept thinking of the customers that I have worked with over the years and how many of them I would have lost if I had treated them this way. I have been a technician for over fifteen years and have repaired many heating and cooling systems which were much older than ten years. No matter how old the system is, I always tell my customer that it can be fixed. Sometimes that’s not always the best plan of action, but nearly any furnace can be fixed. Almost always the price to repair something is less expensive than the cost of total replacement. I want to educate my customers to make an informed decision, not coerce them into a decision they will regret.
Maybe this is why we were busier that cold day than the sales technicians. Customer can tell when they’re being pressured or overcharged. When you call for a service call, you probably want your furnace or air conditioner repaired, not condemned. While the sales technicians may be more profitable in the short run, we still believe that honesty is the best policy and that our reputation is worth more than a fast buck..
The Sales Technician philosophy is becoming more and more common all over Dayton and Cincinnati. Please consider getting a second opinion on a large or pricey repair on your heating & cooling system. If it is less than 10 years old, it may still be under some kind of warranty. You should also get a second opinion if you are being told that your newer system is not repairable and must be replaced.
If you enjoy being pressured into buying something, go shopping for a used car. If you want great people, honest pricing, and Real Service Technicians, call Watkins!