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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Miami, Fl.
    Posts
    3,559
    With only a few exceptions, there is no reason for a tech to be out past 10 PM. This leads to tired overworked tech that make costly mistakes. And that is a quote from a man I used to work for. He had his shop for 30 plus years and knew some thing about this industry.

    All you are looking after is your dollars and to hell with the tech. Most service calls are due to neglect. Why should you make a guy drag his ass out of bed between 12 and 5 in the morning to repair someone's POS equipment that hasn't been service in five years.

    Lynn:

    I should have been clearer: I do not work on or do any resi work. It is 100% commercial / industrial, therefor, if one of my customers call for service at anytime, it could be their computer / server room ac down, a hospital blood bank refer down, and one time a morgue refer down, so yes, my techs will haul themselves out at anytime, day or night, holiday or not to repair the problem. I am not looking for the dollars, just keeping my clients happy, and, I have my techs take the neccessary time off if they worked late, or had a call late into the night.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,296
    I first began learning this trade because the central a/c in our house when I was a kid went through a period where it broke down each summer. Until the tech could arrive we'd break out every fan we had and borrow a few more, open the windows, and do little else. One time my dad endured it for two days and finally piled us into the car and checked us into a nearby motel.

    Never at any time did they call up the tech and scream at him to drop everything he was doing and come wait on us hand and foot. He was a bit slow, admittedly, but being he was in his seventies, one could grant him a little leeway. He eventually put in a new condenser and a TXV on the evap and got it running so well and so much better than the builder model that kept taking a dump, those few miserable summers were soon forgotten by many more since that were quite comfortable.

    But I can DEFINITELY relate to bogus apartment complex calls, since I used to do apartment maintenance! And it wasn't just for stupid stuff like the stat not being set low enough. How about the pager going off at two in the morning, calling into the answering service to learn of water dripping into a lower apartment from an upper one, driving fifteen miles to answer the call, only to find you can't get in because the leasing agent gave out the last key and there is no master, so you kick the door in and go find that the new tenant moving in had not bothered to tighten the washing machine hoses before turning on the water. So now you have a flooded apartment upstairs and down and a door with a busted lock and door jamb. All because someone was too lazy to grab a pair of channel locks and give that hose end a good twist!

    Gotta love it!
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    east kansas
    Posts
    8,024
    Originally posted by arpa
    With only a few exceptions, there is no reason for a tech to be out past 10 PM. This leads to tired overworked tech that make costly mistakes. And that is a quote from a man I used to work for. He had his shop for 30 plus years and knew some thing about this industry.

    All you are looking after is your dollars and to hell with the tech. Most service calls are due to neglect. Why should you make a guy drag his ass out of bed between 12 and 5 in the morning to repair someone's POS equipment that hasn't been service in five years.

    Lynn:

    I should have been clearer: I do not work on or do any resi work. It is 100% commercial / industrial, therefor, if one of my customers call for service at anytime, it could be their computer / server room ac down, a hospital blood bank refer down, and one time a morgue refer down, so yes, my techs will haul themselves out at anytime, day or night, holiday or not to repair the problem. I am not looking for the dollars, just keeping my clients happy, and, I have my techs take the neccessary time off if they worked late, or had a call late into the night.
    Yep those are the exceptions. You are probbally a good person to work for. Our exceptions are the jail, nursing home, and hospital.

    My last call at two in the morning was from a drunk that wanted me to fix his furnace in a trailer. I told him our terms and that I would be collecting on the spot. All the sudden it wasn't an emergency.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    east kansas
    Posts
    8,024
    Another favorite, the guy that calls and says I've been trying to fix this thing all day, can you come and help? It being 7:00 PM

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Miami, Fl.
    Posts
    3,559
    One of my worst, but most profitablest accounts is at a large steak house. If one of their refers go down, and they loose product, I buy the product. Needless to say, at antime they call, I meet the tech on these calls personally.

    Always loved the calls, "its an emergency!" when I did do resi, no ac, hot in my house, and the breaker off, or some other stupid thing, and then having to beg and argue to get paid, at 11pm on a Sunday night. One of the many reasons I quit resi and went commercial.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Slacking off right now
    Posts
    7,546
    its a real sore point being on call at a co that does both resid and comm

    As far as I'm concerned personally anyone can call me out BUT you'd better be prepared to pay the bill no exceptions I do not care if I'm just flipping a breaker on or a stat or what ever. You call you pay thats it. If you want to argue then I will call the boss for you and you can argue with him on the phone and I will write up another bill for that time too. no question about it
    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

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    east kansas
    Posts
    8,024
    Originally posted by gruvn
    A\C , is not always a luxury it becomes a necessity when buildings are built that have a high internal gain, they are engineered to deal with that gain with cooling, it many cases A\C is essential tothe proper operation of a building. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
    Some truth to that, but for most of my "emergency" calls it turns out the people are week and don't want to deal with being uncomfortable for a few hours. Some even complain it's cooler outside, but refuse to open a window. Futhermore, as already stated, their emergency is cause by a lack of maintance to begin with. Now they want someone to jump through their ass to fix THEIR problem.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Navarre Florida
    Posts
    131

    Confused

    I agree with all on the emergency call and it's amazing that ignorance and or stupidity on your part constitutes an emergency my part

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    NH & Cebu
    Posts
    1,611
    I absolutely, positively refuse to do a residential A/C call after hours or on weekends. If they can't wait until the next day or Monday if the call on a weekend, they can simply call someone else. Commercial refrigeration and A/C is a different story. I'll go out anytime for that.

    This summer I had a woman in a newer mobile home call me. I had put in A/C 2 years before. She called in the middle of a heat wave, late in the afternoon and demanded I go there because she had water on her floor, and it had already cost her $100+ for a plumber to go out and blame it on the A/C. Then she said I hadn't installed it properly. And that it was a warranty problem.

    I assured it I had installed it properly, as I had done many of these in the past, and it is a pretty basic install. She was nasty as hell, demanding to speak to the boss. I informed her she was already speaking to him, and that I would not go out at all - ever. I had offered to go out the next day, but she kept ratcheting up the nastiness. I hung up on her.

    The nerve of some people. If she had been decent from the beginning, I may have done things differently. But right away, she's accusatory and demanding. Screw her.

    She called back days later to say it was a cracked drain pan. I don't suppose failing to change her air filter for the past 2 years had anything to do with it. "What filter?" , she asked.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    2,089
    Originally posted by arpa
    Maybe I'm missing something here, and I'm not posting this to get into an arguement with anyone, but...

    When I hire a tech, and all of my techs know that they are on call 24/7 when their rotation is up. 8 techs now, one week apiece, so that means from Monday thru Sunday, once every two months they are on call. They get $150.00 extra, cash, for this, plus overtime pay added to their paycheck.

    The reason I have to have this service is I advertise it to my customer base, at an overtime rate, no price breaks for anything, PM plan or not. All of my commercial clients also request it of my company.
    I tell my techs, you have to go on the call if they call, no arguing with them, it is their money, they know what it'll cost them, and if the customer wants to pay for this service, its their money.

    Reason for the answer to this thread...so what if a customer calls at 6pm on a Saturday night, you accepted the employment, and where told the conditions of employment before hiring, I hope.

    I do understand, it is a pain in the a** to wait around, not planning anything on your rotation, then get a call at 11pm on Sunday night, only to find out that the thermostat was off.......
    For tying up over two days of one of your employees time yuo give $150. That is not even one days pay. Give your employee 1/2 time pay for every hour he has to be on call then you have a right to be offended if he complains. As someone else said you are only worried about your pocket book.
    Old snipes don't die they just loose their steam

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Miami, Fl.
    Posts
    3,559
    For tying up over two days of one of your employees time yuo give $150. That is not even one days pay. Give your employee 1/2 time pay for every hour he has to be on call then you have a right to be offended if he complains. As someone else said you are only worried about your pocket book.
    __________________
    Hmm, if I wasn't worried about my pocket book, I wouldn't need any techs, as I wouldn't have any work for them.

    Re-read my answer, I pay them $150.00 in cash, and if they go out on a call after hours, I pay them time and a half, no matter how many hours they have.

    As others have stated, owner wise, it is my business, I assume all the risks, I gaurentee all my techs 40 hours a week, I pay the bills, etc, etc.
    All my techs are happy with this arrangement, if not, they do not work for me, and they can start their own company.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    347
    we have a ansering service that screens the after hrs./week end calls and thay call the tech on call. only the customer with service pollicy gets service aft 10pm. a company i worked for in the past did hvac, roofing, plumbing and electrcal. i was the only person on call. i had a pager that all four departments calls went to. some week end i got calls all day long for stuff i dont do. waiting fo a hvac call some times never geting one. all for no compensation. i see my former boss every once in a while and he asks why i ever left? go figure

  13. #26
    Originally posted by workhorse
    The real issue in this case is with the maintenance staff at that apartment complex. To call out a professional on an emergency weekend call without even looking at it is pure laziness and negleable. If he worked for my company he would be gone. He should have looked at it first and determined the problem, and from it sounds like it could have been something he could of taking care by himself in a matter of 30 minutes and then called out for complete PM during the week.
    I agree 100%!!!


    The other call I received last night... the one when I returned to town ... I rolled on that one this morning.

    The tenant had phoned my boss TEN TIMES last night he told me on the radio.
    TEN TIMES!!!


    Now is that considered obcessive/ compulsive or what???


    anyway, I got to her place this morning. Yes, it was hot in there. It was 80/ 80.
    She had the windows open all nightso the place had plenty of extra heat added.

    She told me what the problem was. She said it needed a shot of freon! LOL
    So I went to the truck and got my gages. When I returned she had pulled ALL THE COVERS OFF THE AIR HANDLER!
    Guess she was trying to "help me".

    ya wanna know what I found??
    the breaker was turned off to the RTU!

    Yep ... the breaker was off.


    The bill I turn in tomorrow at the office will read:

    A/C fixed.

    $250

    $50 for driving to Austin.
    $200 for knowing what to do when I got there!


    LOL



    maitenance had been there that same afternoon while she had an electrical outage.
    Unfortunately he turned off and on all of the breakers while fiddling with the problem.

    And he accidently left off the one breaker which would send this tenant over the edge.


    I bet he gets a nasty phone call from his supervisor in the morning.

    can we say; "woooooops"?




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