I hope you had a chance to read the recent article in this magazine by Joanna Turpin regarding “Going Against the $29 Tune-up.” I was especially interested in the article and the input Joanna received from a number of contractors. There were mixed opinions from the contractors who responded on the subject. I have to declare that this is not a subject on which I have mixed feelings. In fact, I have very strong feelings that the extremely low price, or even free, “come-on” service call is a bad thing for our industry. As far back as 60 years ago, “furnace companies” would travel door-to-door and offer a “free” furnace check. The unsuspecting consumer would soon find that if there wasn’t something wrong with the furnace when the man arrived, there would be something wrong before he left.
As a result of door-to-door tactics like that, the reputation of our industry was damaged significantly. No individual involved in the industry wanted to admit he was a “furnace man.” That was hard to escape when your company was named Welsch Furnace Co. as ours was then. It took many years and considerable efforts by a great number of industry professionals to change that reputation of the furnace and then furnace and air conditioning business.