Mistakes will happen while servicing refrigeration equipment. A technician may install the wrong part on a system, or may misdiagnose a system’s problem, or may cause damage to another system component, or may even damage a customer’s property.

How a technician and the contracting company handle the mistake is critical to retaining the trust of the customer. If a mistake made by a technician is not handled properly, the service company could easily lose that customer. Depending on the severity of the problem, it could also lead to lost revenue or, in extreme situations, legal action by the customer.


The technician should quickly resolve small mistakes and should let the office know what happened when calling in.

When a large mistake happens, the first thing a technician should do is notify the supervisor before speaking with the customer. This is extremely important.

The technician should not call the office in front of the customer. It is best to go outside the premises to make the call, either from the truck using a cell phone, or at a local pay phone. The technician should explain the problem to the supervisor and let that person decide how to best handle the problem after taking into account all of the necessary factors.

A technician should never try to hide a mistake from the supervisor; this will surely lead to other problems. Although it is embarrassing, mistakes happen and a technician needs to own up to them. Even the most seasoned veteran will make a mistake at least occasionally. It just happens.

It is usually best for the service manager or supervisor to explain to the customer what has happened. They are somewhat removed from the actual job and may be able to explain the problem and what has happened more effectively.

If a technician is unable to call the office or if there is no one at the office to speak with, the technician will then need to use his/her best judgment on how to handle the problem and the customer. Most importantly, the tech should remember to treat the customer fairly and with the same respect s/he would expect in return.


Once the customer has been told the nature of the problem, the technician and the service company should make every effort to resolve the problem in an efficient and expeditious manner.

Never prolong resolving the problem longer than necessary. Normally, customers will be understanding if they see that they are being treated fairly. If they start to feel they are being left by the wayside, that’s when they will become angry and start to complain.

Applying a basic sense of fairness, honesty, and respect is the best way to resolve mistakes.

Publication date: 01/01/2002