Certification Price Tag

I write in response to James Siegel’s article “Why get Certified? 'It’s Common Sense'” [Sept. 30], not because I disagree with certification as a whole, but rather to point out that there’s more than one side to a coin.

I completed vo-tech schooling in the early 1990s with a 4.0 GPA [grade point average]. I then enrolled in the local community college, and after two years of classes, I earned my college certification in Climate Control Technology with a 3.8 GPA. In doing so, I also took the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] Transition and Recovery certification and earned a Universal Certification.

To this day, I have been unsuccessful at getting anyone to give me the opportunity to start a career in this field. I’ve advertised in The News through “Job Seekers” and posted resumes through several state and Internet job service websites, etc., to no avail. I’m very sure this is not due to my lack of being able to pass a “certification” test, but rather due to my lack of experience.

The EPA certification test cost me $100 to take and all the schooling totalled nearly $6,000. Now you and others in the industry are pushing for more certifications? What do these cost?

There’s certainly nothing wrong with getting an education, but this everybody wanting you to certify through this or that organization is ridiculous! What is wrong with just the EPA certification? I think it’s more of a money and control issue.

Rick Lackey, Independence, MO

Carrier-Sears Partnership

In an effort to “enter new markets,” Carrier has now partnered with Sears. As a 30-year-plus loyal Carrier dealer, I was disappointed in their decision. It translates to me as an effort to “move more boxes.” I find it especially perplexing since they have been telling us how committed they are to the independent dealer since consolidation. I enjoyed Frank Hartman’s comment that Carrier doesn’t expect this agreement to take sales away from traditional Carrier dealers since we rarely compete with Sears. We do now. They offer the same equipment that we do.

I guess manufacturers are figuring out what independent contractors have known all along. Customers don’t buy the equipment based on its name; they buy the equipment the contractor recommends. Carrier believes they will sell more equipment because Sears will market to more people, and they are right. The flip side is the equipment only works well if installed properly. I’m not sure the loyal Carrier dealer will enjoy the benefits of the Sears alliance as much as Carrier. As Carrier dealers, we are now part of a group that includes the Sears subcontractor — the low bidder. While I realize that doesn’t always equate to poor quality, historically it seems to end up there. Carrier better hope their dealers are loyal to a fault.

Now, explain to me a little more slowly how this helps me?

Thomas Scarangello, Scaran Heating and A/C, Staten Island NY

Publication date: 10/28/2002