(Editor’s Note: The following was written in response to John R. Hall’s editorial “Ad Fans Flames of Hvacr Stereotypes” in the 6/19 issue.)The problem is that the radio announcer (quoted in the editorial) is right.

Until we behave as professionals; until we, as an industry, start treating issues such as drug testing, criminal background checks, and driving background checks; until we quit making excuses about how tough it is to hire people; and until we stop comparing ourselves to the unskilled laborer and compare ourselves to the IBMs of the world; we will always put fear in the hearts of the consumer.

When our industry is tested by the TV stings, we lose. We need to hire honest, clean people, put them in clean uniforms and trucks, and treat them with dignity and respect — which includes benefits and a career path with a livable wage. And we haven’t even mentioned the industry’s failure to properly train service techs and the customer service representatives.

It is critical to remember that advertising is a waste of money if you have not trained the people who answer the phone for your business. They must be pleasant, courteous, and highly motivated.

The bottom line is this: We must always be able to support what we advertise and stay consistent and professional.