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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    N Metro Atlanta GA
    Posts
    70

    Confused

    There are way too many HVAC contractors in the Atlanta area. I want to try to eliminate most of them before I start calling. So I have three questions about what seems to be a manufacturer "rating" of contractors.

    Bryant's Factory Authorized Dealer
    Carrier's Factory Authorized Dealer
    Lennox's Dave Lennox Premier Dealer
    Rheem Team Top Contractor

    Do these and any of the other manufacturer's "factory certified" logos really indicate that the contractor is a first-class, do-it-right company with well trained techs? Some of the manufacturer's web sites display the logo for a few of their dealers and some contractors use them for their web page and advertising.

    Does being listed in the manufacturer's web site "Find your local dealer" relate to the quality of the contractor?

    How about North American Technician Excellence, Inc. logo? How many of the employees must be certified to earn the NATE logo posted by the contractor?

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    I don't know about some of the other manufacturers, but to remain a Trane Comfort Specialist dealer, we must have a minimum of 2 NATE certified techs/installers. There is also a minimum reuirement for participating in the training classes Trane has.
    Just because a contractor is part of a manufacturers program doesn't guarantee they are any good, in fact, some are very bad, but it is an indicator that at least some of thier staff has been exposed to some training, and those contractors usually have better support from the manufacturor and/or distributor.
    I know of a couple of large contractors in my area that only send service and installation supervisors to the training classes...

    We are a 2 man shop though, so 100% of our field staff are NATE certified, and have both taken just about every class Trane has offered.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    283
    Have you ever wondered why every Ford dealer has been awarded the Ford Motor Company's Customer Excellency Award? No manufactory will tell you one of their HVAC dealerships should be avoided. If a company has a "Factory Representative" come out and give all the techs a 15 minute class then that company has Factory Trained Technicians.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    19
    Interesting question.

    Question 1 of 2:
    What are the requirements for the Carrier designations "distinguished" and "factory authorized" dealers etc? Other brands welcome to comment too :-).

    Up in my area (Ontario) there are 6 local dealers promoting Carrier with thier logos etc yet none have any designation from the Find-a-dealer links.

    IMO the designation (and to some extent) and firms reputation becomes meaningless as the same of the firm increases. If you are dealing with a largish 40+ employee firm chances are they dont all have the same training, certification, and call-back records.

    Question 2 of 2:
    How can a customer arrange for their installation to be completed by staff that have the low call-back records, the best training on the related equipment etc? The stock answer from any firm will be that all are staff are good.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    68
    Carrier requires the same as Trane. Minimum of 2 NATE certified techs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Philadleplhia, ms
    Posts
    24

    Red face JUST GET KY JELLY

    THESE DEALERS MAY MAY NOT BE BETTER BUT WITH LIST BETTER HAVE KY JELLY READY

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Contact a certified Goodman "goody two shoes" Dealer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    296
    As the old saying goes, what do you call the student who graduated at the very bottom of his/her class in medical school? “DOCTOR”

    That said, my service manager finally got off my case for promoting NATE after he took (and passed) a NATE exam. He said, without doubt the NATE exam was more a technical challenge than his state professional licensing exam, enough said.

    Please understand that I totally agree that hands-on field experience is absolutely priceless, there is no meaningful substitute for the aforementioned. However those who understand the theory behind the method climb the learning curve far quicker than those who struggle on hearsay.

    I would personally suggest you ask that the installer of your system be NATE certified. Get it is writing, then ask the Technician for their NATE Certification number when they arrive, sound like a plan? BTW: My shop prints each Technician’s NATE Certification number on their respective business card. If the contractor bulks at guarantying (in writing) that your unit will be installed by a NATE Certified professional (or degrades; demeans; or debases NATE’s program) do you really want to do business with that caliber individual?

    As for vendors, we’re a TRANE shop, and a “TRANE Comfort Specialist.” What happens here is TRANE contacts each end consumer with a QA courtesy call… Too many bad reports and you’re no longer a TRANE Comfort Specialist. TRANE has invested heavily in marketing dollars and is looking to maximize its return on investment, can you blame them?

    Final thought. Does specific vendor equipment bashing really help this industry?

    Take care

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    19
    Thanks for the good advice "faith".

    A little bit of searching on this site it appears that in Ontario the equivalent of NATE is the TSSA(technical standards safety authority).

    Requirements for TSSA certification are less clear. It appears to be 1yr college + exam for heating license. For A/C license it appears that some additional *practical* time has to be spent out in the field thus eliminating those who get by on theory only. (in theory of course ...)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Originally posted by wayner211
    Carrier requires the same as Trane. Minimum of 2 NATE certified techs.

    In our area ,it's a minimum of 50% of service techs and Installers that work with the refrigeration irciut,so doesn't include duct installers.

    Carrier backed ,100% satisfaction or your money back,during the first year,now that means If you have a problem,you will be a priority.It costs the dealer and the contractor ,if you have it taken out.

    [Edited by dash on 10-14-2005 at 02:21 PM]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    19
    [QUOTE]Question posted by eeh
    Question 1 of 2:
    What are the requirements for the Carrier designations "distinguished" and "factory authorized" dealers etc? Other brands welcome to comment too :-).
    Up in my area (Ontario) there are 6 local dealers promoting Carrier with thier logos etc yet none have any designation from the Find-a-dealer links.

    Answer posted by dash
    Carrier backed ,100% satisfaction or your money back,during the first year
    I am sorry if this message sounds more cynical then I intend it too but ...
    Does Carrier have any factory authorized dealers in Ontario?
    Their website lists none in major cities like Hamilton/Toronto/Ottawa.
    Is this a way of avoiding the 100% satisfaction guarantee in Canada?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    My guess would be ,the dealer/contractors in the area didn't want to become CFAD or the distributer in the area is not inteested in the program.

    The Distinguished Dealer Program,is open to all dealers,I think,and since the mid 1990's 75 have qualified to date.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    N Metro Atlanta GA
    Posts
    70

    Good Information Here

    Thanks for the input guys. I have called only "factory top-dealer" contractors listed on the manufacturers web site.

    The first two estimators came today. Number one was here less then 30 minutes. He asked 3 questions: where is the heater, where is the A/C, what SEER do you want (I told him I am more interested in the HSPF). He then wrote an estimate that had no model numbers or manufacturer names. So that company is off the list. As you guys said, being on the web list and having the manufacturers "great company" logo does not guarantee quality.

    Estimator number two was here for 90 minutes. We sat and talked about HVAC and my house for about an hour. He covered many things I had already read on this forum and answered all my questions. He then measured the house (but not the windows) and checked out the heater & ductwork in the attic and the condenser. I asked about Manual J and he said he would do one if I wanted, but his experience made it unnecessary since I do not have vaulted ceilings, sunroom or large areas of glass (Hmmm). BUT he said the most important thing was taking time to do the installation right. Don't just hook it up and leave without measuring/testing and adjusting as necessary. They take two days. Then he said he would have an estimate in a couple of days. Some of his people are NATE so I asked if I could have only NATE installers. He said at least one would be. So he stays on the list.

    Your input is right on the money! Thanks again.

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