I just gotta comment on the residential HVAC trade - Page 2
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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    No good excuses, but two lame reasons;

    1. Hottest season in PA in over five years, so everyone had lots of work.

    2. Having to bid against so many others usually turns contractors off. There are easier ways to get jobs.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  2. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    We have a person who fills out permits all day, some places want install info and loads and duct drawings. Some places nothing,it is wild to say the least.I think it is a joke that they POLICE the POLICE. We have lettered trucks,yard signs and they should be chasing MIDNIGHT AIR. But then they would have to work late and weekends,so they can get their man.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    956
    It's not just HVAC, customer service just isn't what it used to be

    Mediocre looks pretty fantastic these days

    missed a word earlier guys

    [Edited by operator on 09-28-2005 at 01:01 PM]

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    Come to think of it; "what permits are needed to pull in PA?"
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  5. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,633
    Originally posted by nathan9999
    Ultimately the consumer will define the standard of customer service,
    Damned right. I feel your pain csj. But the reality is that consumers have demanded exactly what they've gotten.

    Service is NOT a commodity. But most buyers treat HVAC service like it is. I'm not that old, but those in the know say that adjusted for inflation HVAC install prices have stood still for 20 years. Wages for HVAC tradesmen have been pretty stagnant for a long time as well. Consumers demand lower and lower prices and they're getting them. And they're getting the obvious result. Contractors are not innocent. But my opinion is that uneducated price shopping consumers are first to blame. You may not be one of them csj. But you're feeling their effect.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    11,937
    Another point of fact.

    The larger the town, the friendlier the competition.

    This would mean that your house was discussed and questioned several times at the local supply house. Just how many people in your local area sell equipment of the same size with the same job name? It is more than likely to be 2 or 3 not 15 supply houses.

    So I ask, whose time was wasted and who should be disappointed?

    I too would have been counted as a no show.



  7. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Gaylord, Michigan
    Posts
    729
    The only thing that sticks out to me is fifteen contractors?

    That is insane. That means one thing, you are shopping price. That is all.

    Three or four maximum, sometimes you need only one. If you told me you were getting 14 other bids I would have politlely told you that I am booked and cant get to you for months.

    Now that I am done ranting. There is no excuse for not calling someone back, or not meeting an appointment. Unless you call and tell the person you cannot make it. I hear this story from all sorts of trades, not just HVAC. So don't come down so hard on just us.

    Also, the guys that come here to post are generally the cream of the crop. The ones that do what they say, when they say it. Unlike some of the contractors that you talked too.


  8. #21
    Originally posted by 2hot2coolme
    Did you mention to the other contractors you were getting 14 more bids? Maybe they felt like you were wasting their time?
    It's hard to believe there are 15 contractors/Co's that would act that way without reason.
    If, you would have told me that you had 14 other bids... I wouldn't have even come out to your home!

    Now, if you just called these contractors (and didn't tell them), I'd say they are in pretty bad shape.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Memphis
    Posts
    2,502
    Originally posted by csj

    Yeah, your right, I should have kept my mouth shut, made the contractor look up the phone number, and ask about the permit itself. Yup, my fault for being helpful. [/B]
    I think u went a little overboard being helpful. FYI a contractor doesnt have to look up code enforcements phone # in the phone book. Its saved in our cell phone. Not sure about the other guys but I wouldnt even need to call code to get a price of the permit for a job like that. We do enough jobs to know about what its gonna cost & we can put in a number without any help. If my truck has a broken windshield, I dont go to the dealer & say I want a quote on a new windshield & in the quote I want it to show that the windshield costs $200 because I've called around & thats how much it should cost. I would just keep my mouth shut & get a quote & either say do it or no thank you.

    I wasnt trying to be a smart ass, I was just saying most people dont like being told how to do their jobs. And being told how to estimate a job is bout the same thing. I start thinking is this one of those customers that wont be satisfied no matter what I do. Is this the kinda guy thats gonna call every week with something silly. Is he gonna stand over my installers & watch em put every screw in.

    I'm not saying this is how you are. Sorry if I offended you, & I hope you have great success with your installation.
    Life is like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

  10. #23
    Originally posted by csj
    Yeah, your right, I should have kept my mouth shut, made the contractor look up the phone number, and ask about the permit itself. Yup, my fault for being helpful.
    If they are a reliable contractor, they know these people like the rest of their family.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Well, I for one understand the dilema. Customers need to be educated. The problem is, the contractors need to be the one educating them. In this case, he educated himself and comes of as a difficult consumer.

    I agree, 15 other contractors gives me very little priority. I also agree that plenty of work pulls me away from a time consuming duct job when there are smaller, higher margin jobs waiting to be done.

    In a perfect world, one should be able to call a contractor, he comes out, asks all the right questions and offers a solution at a price he can make a little on and the customer gets a system that will perform based on his/her needs.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,597
    What town are you in, I'm in Lancaster.

    Our range is downingtown, and West Chester, Lebonon, Reading, Harrisburg, and once in a while to York.

    Not to talk price, but to do what your asking for, I'll be more then what you posted.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Kearny,NJ
    Posts
    14

    Homeowner's Comments on HVAC Trade

    Sir, I'm sorry that you feel the way you've stated here in this forum. Have you tried contacting a major manufacturer (Carrier,Trane,Lennox,York) and asking them for dealer contact info in your area? If you're a certified HVAC Engineer who is totally competant at designing your home HVAC system, wouldn't you've already had an installer in mind when you spec'd the project? If you are not a certified HVAC Engineer who is totally competant at desiging your new home system, maybe some of the contractors you asked to bid, were not comfortable with your plans. What are your qualifications to design this system? Did you call contractors associated with a particular manufacturer (a higher end manufacturer than you were prepared to pay for and tell them that this manufacturer's equipment was too expensive-just install the cheap stuff)? Going back to one of the posted replies, think about the time of year you were proposing to have the work done, during peak season? Most of us work from 7 or 8 am till 10 or 11 at nite (sometimes later) and have to get up the next day and do it all over again, six and sometimes seven days a week for months on end. This is because we have customers lined up from the season before who just wanted to stretch their system out until the end of last year and have contracted to replace their entire system this year (we provide all specifications). I am not trying to flame you, I need you to understand that for every 10 and sometimes up to 20 full system installs we bid on, we actually will end up doing one install. When you say you want limited flex ducting, two returns, a specific SEER rating- no problem, but were can only install equipment from the manufacturer we represent. Remember, that to do warranty work, we have to abide by the manufacturer's rules that we represent, most manufacturers only want to see that we sell, install and service their brand. These manufacturers that stand behind us when something unexpected breaks down and has to be replaced under warranty (no questions asked) are not the cheep guys. In your $9000 estimated price of the total install, there's the original estimate and bid, the permits, the scheduling, the purchasing, the installation, meeting the building code enforcement official to pass inspection, the adjustments, the follow-ups, all of the overhead-billing, payroll, accounting, vehicle costs,rent, electricity,cell phones, etc. There's a lot going on behind the scenes, just to get someone out to your location. And as I first stated, contact a major manufacturer. Ask them for their dealer in your area, if you have specs, get them to that dealer before he comes to your house. If there were something that needed to be addressed, someone could review your plans and call you to get straightened out beforehand. Some companies estimators are commissioned salespeople. If they don't make the sale they don't get paid. Ask the dealers you speak to if their estimators are commissioned salespeople, or is it that dealer's intention to submit a bid to all who solicit them. Ask them if they will submit a full comprehensive bid including all equipment, SEER ratings,equipment spec sheets, method of installation and complete time frame of job with a "Scope of Work". If you're comfortable with a "50/50" arrangement of payment, make sure the second payment is due upon completion, not some facimile of completion or someone's idea of what the word completion means. Good Luck.

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