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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,407
    Since I live in the town known as "Land of the Newlyweds and Nearly Deads" it is common to have customers die or move away. Quite a few of homeowners I've serviced in the past I've got to know quite well. I just heard on the news that one of my best customers just did a murder/suicide. They were in their 80's and Bob was just diagnosed with cancer. His wife, Rose, was in the early stages of Alzheimer's. It sure is a shame.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,652
    Most of our customer's are elderly folks too. We haven't been impacted by that in anyway though I'm sure that day is coming. The one problem we will face soon is the fact that all but 3 HVAC techs in town are nearing retirement age. At our company, me and another guy are both 25, there is a guy at another company that is 28, other than that all the HVAC guys are in thier 40's, 50's, and 60's. We have a shortage as it is. I guess the good thing is that since all the other companies that don't have young guys don't, they'll just close up shop and we will thrive . It is already happening. About 30 miles west of us 3 one man shops closed down and thier past customers have been calling us, we were recommended by the retired guys, I need to thank them. The only thing that worries me is how the current tech shortage will get horribly worse real fast.


    Sorry to hear about your customer's situation. Life is tough but not worth ending like that, or maybe that was a better ending than the illnesses.
    There are 3 ways to do anything in life; Good, Fast, Slow: You can pick any 2.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,407
    It does suck, the way it happened, but putting myself in his shoes it probably was the best thing. This man was pretty frail in his old age. His wife and him were still after 60 years of marriage madly in love with each other. I guess if I knew I was going to die soon and that the most important person in my life would probably suffer after I was gone I might dothe same. But then again I don't think I could do it either. At least they both left this world without much suffering and with each other.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,159

    I'd go.........

    sky diving, and Rocky Mtn climbing.......... as some would say.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Slacking off right now
    Posts
    7,546
    As far as I'm concerned the looming tech shortage will give some of the less than ideal bosses whats comming to them. for far too long the employeers around here have had it far too good as far as quanty and quality of techs. This has tended to allow some employeers to have the attude "take the crap I dish out or leave there are plenty of techs that can fill your shoes " I can't wait for the day when employeers have to poach the techs from each other cause there are not enough to go around. I will be more than happy to negoiate a special deal that is good for me too!

    As far as the older customers go well thats life and at least they got to live to an old age. The leading edge baby boomer generation is getting to 58-60 now and it won't be long before there is a huge jump in retirements following. therefor an increased base of retired customers to serve well.
    www.vetopropac.com - The best tool bags on the market - The offical tool bag of choice by techs everywhere

    Arguing with some people is like wrestling a pig - eventually you realise the pig actually enjoys it

    Gonads serve a useful purpose but are no substitute for brains

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    9,919
    I have a larger than avg share of older customers for some reason. Now they're dying like flies or moving to assisted living or nursing homes. I only recently figured out that my customer base numbers were shrinking, so I'm kicking the bushes now for sources for new customers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,652
    Here's what I have thought about.

    When I bought my first house I had no idea how important regular maintanence was on my HVAC equipment. I have noticed that this is true for most first time homeoweners.

    My plan is to produce brochures for realators to give to home buyers explaining the improtance of maintanence and I'll also throw in how a new high efficiency system can save them thousands per year.

    As far as the looming tech shortage, I plan to attend career fairs at the high schools and make it known that a position in the HVAC trade is a very rewarding, highly reguarded career, and you don't have to pay for a 4 year education.
    There are 3 ways to do anything in life; Good, Fast, Slow: You can pick any 2.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Colorado flatland native
    Posts
    15,067

    Hey IGOTIDEAS.........

    As those shops close up, call the phone co and find out exactly what day they shut off phone service. Wait exactly 1 year to the day and get that # FOR FREE! Use it as a fax line, rollover line, just stick an answering machine on it, whatever. The still have card in folks rolodex, magnets on fridges, stickers on furnaces, and some folks are still using that old phonebook. All their paid for ads work for you now_ for free!!!!!!
    My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn't pay the bill he gave me six months more.
    Walter Matthau

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    9,919
    Spotts, that idea is even more brilliant than you think. Around here, there are several phonebooks which aren't put out by the phone co. They get their listings from the phone co. at the end of each year, so the listings these non-phone co. books contain, have lots of businesses which have been gone for a while. So people continue to use those phone books and if you have the number, it can generate calls for 2 or 3 years sometimes.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Colorado flatland native
    Posts
    15,067

    Last one I got was near 5 years ago and I still get LOTS of calls off those

    stickers on the furnaces and A/c's. Old owner was mad too! He was going to take that # back or make me pay him for it. Then I never heard from him again. I'd guess he called the phone co. to complain and found I waited a perfect 1 yr. and 1 day and it was all mine. He had no right or claim to the # after 1 year.
    My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn't pay the bill he gave me six months more.
    Walter Matthau

  11. #11
    Hey Workhorse........you ain't taking your shirt off in front of them are you?
    That might be the straw that broke the camels back for some of them geezers.
    Hey cockroach, don't bug me!

    www.AskTheDiceman.com

    www.TheColdConspiracy.com

    www.Pennwood-HVAC.Com

    Bring Em Home....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    51
    When I bought my first house I had no idea how important regular maintanence was on my HVAC equipment. I have noticed that this is true for most first time homeoweners.

    My plan is to produce brochures for realators to give to home buyers explaining the improtance of maintanence and I'll also throw in how a new high efficiency system can save them thousands per year.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    thosands a year?
    I put in my own 90 er, on a cold day when the wife called me of no heat.
    I have not done anything to IT, probobly 8-9 years now, nor touched my OLD ac. short of changing filters). hey, if the units are installed right.. I DO look at my line set alot ( as we all probobly do!), to ensure it sweats good, etc...

    I beleive in P.m. on some dirty commercial accts., but wonder if it REALLY is cost effective on clean residential areas, where if it goes down, it is not business or life threatening?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,407
    No Dice I don't, these folks were actually past customers of mine that became somewhat friends. Went to dinner a couple of times with them before but haven't seen them in a year or so, mainly due to changing jobs.

    Right now I am a maintenance super at an apartment complex. Just this morning I realized I didn't see one of our elderly residents for a few days. Went by his apartment and the newspapers were piling up outside, 4 days worth. Knocked on door a few times and no answer, so I peeked through a window. DAMN IT!! He was home, dead on the toilet. Had sheriff's dept here most of day along with biohazard cleanup and coroner. His daughter lives up in new york so I had to call her, that really sucked. By end of day the resident around his unit started mentioning the odor and the biohazard clean up company did not have another ozone machine available untill tomorrow or monday.

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