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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    What annoys me as a residential service tech.

    I have been doing service for a few years, ya I know I have not hit the 10 years club....

    You know what annoys me.. My clients.

    I am at a call been there five minutes and the client is asking me so, what is wrong did you figure it out...

    As if I am below doctor status, and instead of a bedside manner I get a street side manner...

    I just dunno what has happened in our field..

    I was taught to take my time and analyze everything on a central air system..

    I just get so annoyed after being at a call 5 mins I am asked what is wrong, and looked at like I am a moron, for not answering...

    takes me about an hour to diagnose and come to a conclusion on what is wrong system normally, especially when it is refrigerant related...

    Does anyone else go thru this?


    how do you deal with it?

    I try not to be rude, but sometimes I just want to say to my client so much...




  2. #2
    newoldtech's Avatar
    newoldtech is offline ARP Committee/Professional Member
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    I'd say over ninety percent of the time I know what the problem is in less than 10 minutes. But its easy to just say to the customer, "I'm still checking, I'll let you know". They are usually just curious since its going to cost them money and they hope it can be fixed Today.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2010
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    Lower mainland bc.
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    how about what is wrong over the phone?

    I get that on the phone BEFORE I head out. I say to them "Does a doctor give you a answer to your ailment before he sees you??" I really do not say that, but that is what it boils down to.

    Just hand them a sheet with 50 possibilities and see if thay can understand "It can take 20 min or longer to find the problem based on that sheet"

    People just need to be patient and let the tech do his job.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2003
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    Not to be a d*ck or anything, but if really takes you an hour to figure out a residential air conditioner, I think your in the wrong kind of work.

    Obviously your boss charges by the hour and is not flat rate because you would have been gone long ago. Around here the flat rate guys are doing 12-14 calls a day and slamming home the cash.
    If you dont stand behind our troops, please feel free...........to stand in front of them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by chillrdude View Post
    Not to be a d*ck or anything, but if really takes you an hour to figure out a residential air conditioner, I think your in the wrong kind of work.

    Obviously your boss charges by the hour and is not flat rate because you would have been gone long ago. Around here the flat rate guys are doing 12-14 calls a day and slamming home the cash.
    Not being a dick here either, but in my company, you are one of the guys I am doing your call backs on...


    If you are fixing a service call in 10 minutes that is not a lame capacitor, or something dumb, you might wanna renig on that comment...

  6. #6
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    Jul 2008
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    Denver, CO
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    Thats one of the reasons I went commercial. I still do some residential work but my passion is commercial work. I am a people person and do really well dealing with home owners. But I hate it, I'm a technican first and a customer rep. second but I do both well I just hate doing the latter. If I happen to be doing residential and I'm confronted with the HO in the middle of my diagonistics I inform the HO that I am currently gathering data on the system performance and I will get back with them when I'm done.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger93rsl View Post
    Thats one of the reasons I went commercial. I still do some residential work but my passion is commercial work. I am a people person and do really well dealing with home owners. But I hate it, I'm a technican first and a customer rep. second but I do both well I just hate doing the latter. If I happen to be doing residential and I'm confronted with the HO in the middle of my diagonistics I inform the HO that I am currently gathering data on the system performance and I will get back with them when I'm done.
    exactly I am not trying to make a quagmire, here but it gets annoying, and I cannot fix a system in 10 mins... That is all I am trying to say.. heck 30 mins at the least... Sometimes its more then one problem... which really puzzles me at one of the earlier posts that states he can do service in less then an hour.. I dont wanna know where or what company that is...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
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    1,022

    Not to be rude ... but

    Quote Originally Posted by Danae12 View Post
    I have been doing service for a few years, ya I know I have not hit the 10 years club....

    You know what annoys me.. My clients.

    I am at a call been there five minutes and the client is asking me so, what is wrong did you figure it out...

    As if I am below doctor status, and instead of a bedside manner I get a street side manner...

    I just dunno what has happened in our field..

    I was taught to take my time and analyze everything on a central air system..

    I just get so annoyed after being at a call 5 mins I am asked what is wrong, and looked at like I am a moron, for not answering...

    takes me about an hour to diagnose and come to a conclusion on what is wrong system normally, especially when it is refrigerant related...

    Does anyone else go thru this?


    how do you deal with it?

    I try not to be rude, but sometimes I just want to say to my client so much...



    Sounds like you might be in the wrong trade. Depending on the time of the year and a short chat with the client on the phone on the way to the call, I have a real good idea on what the problem is before I get out of the van. I am correct about 75% of the time. Most calls are fixed in about an hour or so on the job time.

    Secondly, if it bothers you that a customer stands over or behind you wondering what you are doing and how long this will take, you are most likely in the wrong trade or at least the wrong end of it.

    When they quiz me on whether I have found the problem yet, I let them know that I will tell them as soon as I find out. If they want to watch me to see what I am doing, I suggest that they get a comfortable chair as this may take a while. If they ask whether it bothers me if they watch while I work on their equipment, I tell them that I would prefer that they do so that next time mabe they can fix it and I won't have to do it for them.

    After a minute or 2 they will get up and leave me alone.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by joemach View Post
    Sounds like you might be in the wrong trade. Depending on the time of the year and a short chat with the client on the phone on the way to the call, I have a real good idea on what the problem is before I get out of the van. I am correct about 75% of the time. Most calls are fixed in about an hour or so on the job time.

    Secondly, if it bothers you that a customer stands over or behind you wondering what you are doing and how long this will take, you are most likely in the wrong trade or at least the wrong end of it.

    When they quiz me on whether I have found the problem yet, I let them know that I will tell them as soon as I find out. If they want to watch me to see what I am doing, I suggest that they get a comfortable chair as this may take a while. If they ask whether it bothers me if they watch while I work on their equipment, I tell them that I would prefer that they do so that next time mabe they can fix it and I won't have to do it for them.

    After a minute or 2 they will get up and leave me alone.
    no I like my job, I am just saying sometimes its frustrating, I dont get to call them, and I am talking about the complicated calls. The ones where maintenance has not been done in years, when you find just everything all wrong... I love my job... Most times it does not come down to that... Never enough time to do it right, always enough time to do it wrong...

    That is all I am saying...

    Hell most my service calls are easy but sometimes they are hard, and I need time....

  10. #10
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    Jul 2008
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    Denver, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danae12 View Post
    exactly I am not trying to make a quagmire, here but it gets annoying, and I cannot fix a system in 10 mins... That is all I am trying to say.. heck 30 mins at the least... Sometimes its more then one problem... which really puzzles me at one of the earlier posts that states he can do service in less then an hour.. I dont wanna know where or what company that is...
    Don't worry about time! I've been in this trade for 16 years. I usally work on 200+ ton chillers. Two moths ago I spent 8 hours total in diagonstics and replacing a TXV in a 5 ton residential unit. I was mad at myself for the time it took. But I got it right the HO was happy and haven't heard back. Thats the key take your time and do it well it all will be good. It even takes us guys thats been in the feild for a long time longer than we thought on jobs we should have been done with in an hour. It all come with the trade. Just do the job right the first time that is the key no matter how long it takes. If you don't have the time to do it right the first time, you don't have the time to do it wrong and go back.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    117
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger93rsl View Post
    Don't worry about time! I've been in this trade for 16 years. I usally work on 200+ ton chillers. Two moths ago I spent 8 hours total in diagonstics and replacing a TXV in a 5 ton residential unit. I was mad at myself for the time it took. But I got it right the HO was happy and haven't heard back. Thats the key take your time and do it well it all will be good. It even takes us guys thats been in the feild for a long time longer than we thought on jobs we should have been done with in an hour. It all come with the trade. Just do the job right the first time that is the key no matter how long it takes. If you don't have the time to do it right the first time, you don't have the time to do it wrong and go back.
    thanks bro,

    all I needed was some understanding..

    freaking just doing it right is so dang hard... Getting the customer to understand is so hard sometimes...

    anyhow I dont wanna get picked on anymore.. I am outta here...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
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    I hear you ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Danae12 View Post
    no I like my job, I am just saying sometimes its frustrating, I dont get to call them, and I am talking about the complicated calls. The ones where maintenance has not been done in years, when you find just everything all wrong... I love my job... Most times it does not come down to that... Never enough time to do it right, always enough time to do it wrong...

    That is all I am saying...

    Hell most my service calls are easy but sometimes they are hard, and I need time....


    Some times the calls are a pain. You take the good with the bad. I never let the office rush me. I don't let the customer rush me. I don't like call backs.

    My slogan is "Never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice."

    When I get to a poorly maintained system and it is near 10 years old, I do let the client know that it may be time for an upgrade. They are the ones that did not care for their stuff, why should you suffer. It is on them. If it is a POS let them know (not in those words though).

    As far as the client wanting to know what is wrong within a few minutes of arriving ...
    Just relax and very calmly let them know that an a/c system has many moving parts and that as soon as you find out which one is not functioning correctly, you will let them know.

    Jeez dude, take it easy, it's not that serious.

    Part of being a good residential tech is excellent people skills. It may have more to do with that then your technical ability.

    If you think it is tough in residential, just try restaurants. Then you will pull your hair out.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by chillrdude View Post

    Obviously your boss charges by the hour and is not flat rate because you would have been gone long ago. Around here the flat rate guys are doing 12-14 calls a day and slamming home the cash.
    as he stated, I am usually following these guys myself.

    most of the time it is a fairly simple diagnosis, 10-30 minutes, but then there are those that can be problem fixed another pops up, fixed, another and so on.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
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