It’s May and getting hot again, the phones are ringing with people looking for service and maintenance prices. We give these callers options with prices and hear, “just checking around, I’ll get back to you”, or “don’t you have a Free service call or a $29 maintenance fee?” These calls come from people that do not have a relationship with an HVAC company that they can trust. Our answer is always, “No, we don’t offer that!” Here is why…
Companies like the J.R. Perkins Company do not have commissioned sales agent operating as service techs. Ask your HVAC service provider or the Tech that arrives if they receive a commission on what they sell, and ask it to them exactly that way. You can see that there could be a problem with your “Service Tech/Commissioned Sales Agent” being objective about repairs that may be needed. If the more they sell you, the more take home pay they get…you can see where that could become a problem. Companies that can afford to advertise on TV often operate just that way.
Nothing is free, and people know that but we just can’t help ourselves. “Free Service Call with Repair” gets lots of attention. But, few people ever ask, “How much is the Service Call if there is no repair, or I don’t do the repair?” You may get a “Free” service call, but more than likely the repair is going to be much more money than you’d normally pay.
No company can do a $29 or $39 maintenance service and survive, that would not even pay the vehicle cost much less the cost to pay and insure an EPA certified technician. Unless the tech sells you something the company will lose their shirt. So once again, you are most likely getting someone who is going to push repairs and “options” to increase the bottom line.
You can see how a “good boy can go bad” knowing that they can increase their take home pay by loading up customers with repairs. Managers of companies like these always stress honesty but they also weekly and publically reward the “high earner” to encourage everyone to sell. Those that do not yield high enough tickets get counseled or they get fired.
Most HVAC companies actually do service calls and maintenance calls at a slight loss knowing that repairs or sales may come of it. It helps to keep service techs working in the slow season and handled properly can actually yield some revenue. By doing a good job and not badgering the customer to constantly buy things, you can develop a long and trusting relationship with a customer that will ultimately be satisfying to both. HVAC businesses like that are a dying breed, sad to say.