It was bad enough fighting off these guys when the economy was good. Now that the economy has gone south in many parts of the country, the $19 guys may start coming out of the woodwork.

I’m talking about the HVACR contractors (a term I am using loosely here) who advertise $19 clean and inspect on furnaces. You know the ones - rusting white service vans with at least one hubcap missing, nonuniformed technicians with dirt smudges on their unmatching attire, wearing an old Atlanta Braves baseball cap (no offense Braves fans), and reeking of cigarette smoke.

Yes, some of these $19 guys have the nerve to say they represent the HVACR trade. It’s no wonder the local TV stations want to catch these guys in a sting. It’s fun to pick on them. It’s even more fun when the $19 service call turns into a “major repair” costing hundreds of dollars. Well, not fun for the unsuspecting customers. Heck, the $19 guys have to pad something on to the invoice. Even they have some overhead.

Have you seen the price of gas, I mean cigarettes, these days?

Let’s do our best to ignore these guys and maybe they will go away. But then again, maybe they will keep giving the legitimate contractors some extra service work - cleaning up their mistakes.

Better yet, keep doing what you are doing: quality work at a good price. At least the majority of your customers will appreciate that, even in tough times.