HVACR contracting is an admirable trade. In fact, the comfort delivered by HVACR technicians is often necessary to live, especially for those in the northern U.S.
Technicians spend countless hours, often through the graveyard shift, to ensure our homes and businesses remain comfortable.
However, HVACR contracting often fails to gain the respect it deserves. More often than not, whenever HVACR is mentioned in mainstream news, it’s portrayed in a negative light.
For example, ABC 7 (KATV-TV) in Little Rock, Arkansas, recently ran a report of an HVACR contractor accused of disconnecting a wire within an elderly man’s air conditioning system and then demanding money upfront for a new unit. Leery of the technician’s behavior, the homeowner sought a second opinion and was told that the original tech had simply pulled a wire in hopes of scamming the elderly man out of money. The second, more reputable contractor simply reconnected the wire and assured the man that his air conditioner was operating as it should.
Luckily, the elderly man stubbed out this scam before it reached his wallet.
That said, perhaps the most problematic aspect of this report is the news anchor’s lead in:
“We have done numerous news reports on HVACR contractors targeting the elderly, the disabled, and even the blind. Tonight, we hear from another victim ... one who is elderly and hard of hearing.”
Yet another news report from ABC NEWS 5 in Cleveland examined a number of robberies occurring in new construction homes in and around Ohio City and Tremont, Ohio. The report cites one victim who attributes the thefts to “rogue HVACR contractors” because the robbers did not steal any tools or other scraps — just his $2,500 furnace.
And, while it occurred six years ago now, Jeff Rosen’s Dateline NBC investigation into HVACR contractor stings still lingers (if you haven’t seen this, Google it).
Undoubtedly, bad contractors exist. Criminals are evident in every profession, from car mechanics to lawyers to politicians. Unfortunately, HVACR contracting often seems to find itself vilified in the 5 o’clock news. When was the last time your local news broadcast devoted five minutes to a story on a contractor who donated and installed a system on behalf of an elderly individual in need? I’m sure such charitable endeavors happen as often, if not more frequently, than the more widely publicized hit pieces do.
SHARE YOUR GOOD DEEDS
Since 1926, The NEWS has remained committed to placing HVACR contracting on the pedestal it deserves to stand upon. Every week, we celebrate the latest and greatest achievements occurring in the field in the pages of this magazine and on our website. Every month, we honor the outstanding efforts of an HVACR technician through our Tech of the Month feature. And every year, we honor a handful of contractors from across the U.S. who’ve gone above and beyond in our Best Contractor to Work For contest.
While we’re happy to publicize your news item online or in print, you owe it to yourself and the industry to share your good deeds with your local media. This is an exceptional way to demonstrate your commitment to your community. Additionally, any form of news coverage allows you to keep your company name top of mind without paying for an advertisement. When randomly selecting an HVACR contractor, John Smith is much more apt to support the company that donated an air conditioner to Bev down the block than a random company he runs across on Google or Yelp.
Prior to my time with The NEWS, I spent several years working as an editor of a community newspaper. In that world, I would have loved to run a recurring column examining the dos and don’ts of consumer HVACR. Perhaps your local newspaper editor would, too.
You owe it to your company, community, and the industry to ask.
Publication date: 5/14/2018