Air Conditioining Repairs

There are some air conditioning service calls that, while I’m on the phone, I’m thinking, “uh-oh, what’s going on here, doesn’t sound right….”  Well, starting today I’m going to listen when my inner voice tells me this.  I got burned on an ac service call in Garland, Tx a week ago and I wanted to share a little of what kind of headache it turned out to be.

First of all, understand, that this air conditioning business is very seasonal and very cut-throat.  The seasonal thing is because we, as air conditioning owners are basically required to make enough money in the 4-5 Summer months to last us for the entire year.  People always ask me, “well, don’t you work on heaters too?”  And yes, we do, it’s just that heaters don’t break down as much as air conditioners do.  We don’t have the extreme cold temperatures here in the Dallas area like we have the extreme heat.  It takes several days in a row of extreme temperatures to cause the system to overwork and finally, break down.  Just doesn’t happen in the Winter.  But it sure happens in the Summer.  So, the seasonal nature of this business causes lay-offs in the Summer months, there’s just not enough work to keep people busy, which forces more and more air conditioning technicians to hang out their own shingle.  Which leads to more and more air conditioning companies every year, which means we all just get a little bit.  When you’re only getting a little bit for your VERY seasonal work 4-5 months of the year it gets harder and harder to figure out exactly WHERE and HOW to spend your money to bring in new customers.  We’ve been in business for almost 30 years.  We’re a small air conditioning company and we have customers that have been with us 20+ years.  We grew our business, literally, from the Richardson, Garland, Plano air conditioning pages of the Yellow Pages.  Well, as you know, NOBODY uses the Yellow Pages anymore, there are 100′s of avenues for advertising these days and you could go broke trying to advertise in all the places that are out there now.  We have chosen advertising with the internet and our website, and trying to get our name out there that way.  As the internet is very popular, especially Google.  Our internet SEO person has told us to get more reviews on Google and that will help make your company “relevant”.  This is all pretty Greek to me, which is why I have an internet guy in the first place telling me what to do.  So I contacted some of my customers and asked if they’d be so kind as to leave us a review on Google.  Many came through and wrote some very nice, and heartwarming comments about our little company.  I was very touched.  It was nice to know what your really, really good customers have to say about you.  Which, I know that was a long story to get to my headache service call in Garland, Tx last Friday…..

So, I get this call, she says she saw all my reviews and would like me to come out and check out her air conditioner in Garland which wasn’t cooling.  And I’m not going back into the “he said/she said” of it all, you can read the review and my response back to her on Google.   It was just, as I was saying, one of those calls that I knew better than to take, but we were a little slow, this weather has been awful for our business with the Winter cold dragging on so long so I took it.  She was one that you knew you couldn’t make happy no matter what you did.  She didn’t have any intention of letting me make the necessary repairs to fix her air conditioner the right way, but expected it to last for the rest of her lifetime.  I knew when I walked out the door that I hadn’t heard the last from her, aaand I was right.

What is really the most aggravating is that I worked so hard to get my good customers to leave a review and then her blaring review is right up there in all caps to ruin what all our hard work and nice customers words have done.  As we are finding out, faster and faster, with this air conditioning business, real ac technicians are getting fewer and farther between.  Companies are not hiring air conditioning technicians that actually have knowledge of replacement but knowledge of SALES.  We have had customers tell us that the air conditioning technicians are showing up at their door in a white shirt, not even coming in with a tool bag, and leaving in a white shirt.  We are BLUE collar, not white collar the last time I checked and we have based our air conditioning company on FIX IT FIRST, REPLACE IT SECOND when at all possible.  That’s why our customers trust us.  They know we will only sell them the equipment that they need and give them the advice that they can trust.  For this young girl, who has obviously done all this before, to come in there and tell complete lies about me and say that I don’t know what I’m doing…..  I try to overlook it.  Being in business 30 years, the other nice words of my customers and knowing I’ve been a technician for 16 years and am quite capable of “fixing” an air conditioner is all the motivation I need to know me and my company are doing the right thing.  Thanks for reading.


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