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  1. #14
    Originally posted by airconman
    I always thought the better business bureau was a joke. nobody reports anybody. and second they call once a year and for $xxx we can make ya a member and blow sunshine up your dress. I'd say references make a difference.
    Or they call you up because the a customer says he was over charged.

    They seem to have evoloved in to a self serving entity.

    They even telemarket for new memebers around.

    They call up with the pretext that they have been getting inquires about your business and you know you haven't even done as many bids as the BBB callers infers.

  2. #15
    Speaking in general (and not as a business owner), the BBB is a JOKE!

  3. #16
    Thanks, guys. I'm beginning to realize that's true.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    88
    Jacquelynn, I think your first post shows you're already going about it the only way that really works: learn enough about the work on your own, independently, that you will be able to evaluate the contractor's work and ensure that what you're paying for is really being done.

    HVAC is one of a lot of fields, like auto repair or even medicine, where many customers can't be bothered to become at least conversant in the basics of what they are hiring someone to do. The trouble with that is even if you do a reference check with a prior customer, even what that customer tells you positive or negative won't be an evaluation on the technical quality of the work but on whatever else the customer happened to notice; it might be negative because a very competent install was marred by some sample defect or oddball problem, or positive because a new crummy install worked a lot better than the broken system coming out, or because the contractor had a shiny van or talked a good game. The result, whenever customers aren't really measuring quality, and what isn't measured isn't managed, is average standards of quality in a profession can start to droop, and it can get harder and harder to find a professional as competent as you hope to find. And nothing turns it around unless customers really start thinking it's worth their while to learn a little about the work they want to hire out, even if it feels a little geeky.

    Good to see you seem to be doing that.

    btw, there's another thread somewhere below about 'recognizing a quality install' you might want to look at.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Originally posted by jacquelynn
    Thanks, guys. I'm beginning to realize that's true.

    Look for BBB members that have agreeded to "binding" arbitration,there's a difference.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,311
    Originally posted by jacquelynn
    How does a consumer know if an installer is knowledgeable or not? I just had the most expensive company in town tell me something about sealing ducts that is factually inaccurate, and indicates that they'd do an inferior job. They have an AAA rating with the Better Business Bureau, no consumer complaints, and they've been around since 1970.
    You've asked the million dollar question. I can't speak for all areas, but around here if a person speaks of Manual D and Manual J is one good indication. Most HVAC guys around here learned from their bosses who learned from their bosses who learned... you get the idea. Those that know Manual D and Manual J are generally those that are interested enough in doing the job right that they'll take the time to learn and take the time to do the calculations. If they are going to cut corners the first corner they'll usually cut is on the Manual J and Manual D calculations.

    I've heard one company claim a superior product because they use 3/8" long screws rather than 1/2" screws, thus less air turbulence in the pipes. I've also heard a company advertising that installing a 90%+ furnace is like paying for 10 gallons of fuel yet spilling one gallon on the ground whereas geothermal heat pumps are like paying for one gallon of fuel but getting 4. Both claims are misleading yet the normal person would not know it. All companies want you to believe they know what they are doing; But like they say, a person doesn't know what he doesn't know.

    Simply put, I don't even know of a sure test for a consumer in detecting the best of the crowd. If I weren't in the trade I'd look for those that are the most code compliant.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Soside Chicago
    Posts
    377
    In Chicago most guys who advertise BBB are bad actors!In other words they are scumbag thiefs!

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bartlett, IL
    Posts
    6,619
    Originally posted by clangmiester
    Company size has nothing to do with quality.
    No it don't, but it does have somthing to do with price...ever hear of OVERHEAD?

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,323

    Talking Define Heights:

    Originally posted by 2hot2coolme
    Originally posted by clangmiester
    Company size has nothing to do with quality.
    No it doesn't, but it does have somthing to do with price...ever hear of OVERHEAD?
    OVER UR HEAD:
    the reality of a situation
    where the concept is really only understood by a few.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  10. #23
    Thank you chapmanf -- I agree with your points.
    dash -- I've never heard of binding arbitration.
    sadlier, thanks. I've called ten companies and only one does the manual J prior to making a sale -- and one said they'll do it after I pay them. All the others said they don't need to do it -- they base size on insulation, sq. footage, etc.
    I'm wondering how would a consumer know how code compliant a contractor is going to be?

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    88
    All the others said they don't need to do it -- they base size on insulation, sq. footage, etc.
    Oh yeah, and on the size of the one coming out, like the 165k one above. Yup, that's gotta be right.

    I'm wondering how would a consumer know how code compliant a contractor is going to be?
    Hmm, well, the contractor who is willing to pull a permit before starting the work is at least planning to be inspected on compliance at the end of the job.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    27
    Having the work inspected still gives you no gaurantees of quality work. Most inspectors don't know how to size ductwork or systems. Nor do they care about quality. It's all about meeting minimum specifications to them. I had one onspector tell me it was OK to run #10 wire on a 40 amp breaker.

  13. #26

    warrity

    Who ever provide the most warrity will get the job along with teh cheap price..

    regards,
    Kelvin

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