Editors Blog

The Latest TV Sting Really Stings

July 18, 2012
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The Today Show on NBC decided the summer heat wave was a great excuse to pull out the old trusty expose of shoddy and dishonest a/c repairmen. The good news is that they asked ACCA and AHRI to participate in the hidden-camera sting and be their industry experts. Kudos is in order for ACCA and Bobby Ring. Six a/c companies were called to a house in New Jersey for service. Another piece of good news was that all six quickly found the minor wiring problem. That’s the end of the good news. All six also found phantom problems and were prepared to charge the homeowner anywhere from $400 to $900 for repairs.

The sting aired on July 10 and it was hard to watch. If you have the stomach for it you can go to www.today.com and search for “Rossen Reports ac.” There weren’t any butt crack video shots but the repairmen were not dressed appropriately. They didn’t try to replace a compressor or an entire unit, but honesty was lacking. What’s the motivation? Are they being pressured by the owners to generate a certain amount of service dollars per day? Are they being paid a percentage of the service bills?

In a real life situation, if the technician had quickly fixed the wiring problem, placed stickers on the outdoor and indoor units, presented a minimum service bill and offered an annual checkup the end result would have been a potential long term service customer. And, if the customer was pleased with the initial service call, that same contractor would get the call when the system needed replacement.

Contractors…show this TV sting to your technicians and all your employees. We are better than this!

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Tina Behnke
July 24, 2012
A great idea for all service techs to watch this video. There ARE hardworking, honest HVAC contractors out there and in the long run, these are the companies who rise to the top. Here are 5 ways to avoid dishonest HVAC contractors -- http://www.airpacinc.com/blog/bid/79745/5-Ways-to-Avoid-Dishonest-HVAC-and-Portable-Air-Conditioning-Companies The climb may not be quick but it will be worth the effort.

Its a Culture Problem

Jim Hughes
July 26, 2012
I agree that technicians should view this but the owners and managers who need to be educated. Technicians don't abitrarily inflate bills unless they are in a culture or environment that promotes that kind of behaviour. It could be their pay structure, bonus system, or they may even face diciplinary action for not meeting certain goals.Whatever the case is, this kind of activity reflects poorly on all of us. I would think that a follow up story on how this sting has impacted those companies, would be a great thing for all owners and managers to see.



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