Common tactics used by some AC companies.
All air conditioning companies are different.Some of the most widely used tactics in the industry could cost you more then you really needed to pay.
Free or cheap Air Conditioning and Heating Service:
First, all companies need to make money to stay in business. That is what helps you or your friends or someone you many know; business grow and prosper. Sure, you may get out of the service without paying anything or paying the cheap $49 service call fee, but that AC company needs to pay for that technicians’ time somehow. An experienced service tech. costs roughly $30-$35 hour if not more. Throw in overhead and that $49 fee or “free” service call isn’t enough to cover the cost of sending that technician to your home.
So, what does that company do to cover their costs do you ask? One possibility is they send someone that is not a certified technician and does not cost the above hourly rate. No matter what, more often than not, that technician is going to find something wrong; whether it really is or not. Then, they charge somewhere in the realm of $250 an hour PLUS a 500% markup on parts. Second, the hustlers in this trade have studied consumer behavior and have learned how to push your buttons. They know what you want to hear. They promise anything and everything if only you’ll call. Many of them look and act like the all-American guy next door.Same day service or its free, is just one of many things they promise. Quite often it’s a promise they can indeed keep.
Lawrence air conditioning does same day service calls all the time. But naturally, this promise is impossible to keep 100% of the time. When a heat wave or a cold snap hits, there are always going to be backlogs. Sure, they’ll end up paying out on the “same day or it’s free” offer,but to them, that doesn’t really matter; because their only concern is that you’ve made the appointment. They don’t care how they hook you, only that they have hooked you. Then more than likely you’ll pay for the repair they find. And that is what they are looking for as their costs make up for the “free” part of any promise.
Installation is important, NOT Brand:
When it comes to air conditioning and heating, you are buying a service first, and a product second. The most expensive or “best” equipment you can buy will perform horribly if installed by a lousy contractor. Or by a contractor that feels cutting some corners is ok as long as the job looks ok and the system runs. On the other hand, the “cheapest” equipment you can buy will perform well if installed by a good contractor.
The differences between air conditioning brands are largely cosmetic. Most brands source parts from the same suppliers. They use the same technologies. Some brand may offer features that others don’t, but in terms of quality, you simply can’t prove that one brand is better than the other. The contractor is important. A good installation is all about the contractor first and the parts second. Find the best contractor. Then work with the brands that he or she sells.
Technicians on Commission:
We all saw the ABC News sting on AC companies: they rigged a house with a simple broken wire, should have been a simple repair, but sure enough techs from all 6 companies tried to swindle the poor lady out of hundreds of dollars in phony repairs.
Why does this happen in our industry? Problem number one is those techs are on commission. They’re getting 10-12% of every dollar you pay them on that service call, it breeds dishonesty. An even bigger problem is that techs at those commission-based companies are required to generate a certain amount of revenue per call, or they’ll get fired! So they have to do that stuff to keep their jobs!
At Lawrence Air Conditioning we do not pay our techs on commission, nor do we make them hit a quota. Our techs are honest and trustworthy and even though we may not be perfect we work hard to insure our customers only get what they actually need.