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Thread: Commission not Hr pay?

  1. #1
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    Question Commission not Hr pay?

    I hope someone can give me a little advice, should I accept the job offer or pass. I am a 12+year in field HVAC tech, NATE all the good stuff. I have always been paid by the hour, but have a job offer that pays 18% of the total ticket (example $400 ticket I get paid $72). The on call is $40 for the call plus the normal 18% commission total ticket price. If for some reason I have to drive over 70 miles to a call, I get paid $50. There are days I have brought $2500 or more in, that is $450, here is where I start to think something does not seem right. There is also a down side, a $49 tune up is only $8.82 and if you only have three of those to do and can't find anything wrong, that is a $26.46 day. Anyone work like this, know anyone that has?



    There is also no overtime working like this, they could work you as long as they pleased.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like they really plan on you selling stuff the customer probably does not need. I wouldn't work residential either though.
    " Go sell crazy somewhere else,we're all stocked up here.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmytee View Post
    Sounds like they really plan on you selling stuff the customer probably does not need. I wouldn't work residential either though.
    Yes, agree..... if they need it, that is fine, but I will not sale something they do not need. I have always been honest, and never had problems making a decent living.

  4. #4
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    I worked for an outfit like this a few years back. I was completely honest with every customer, never sold a uv light and made 6 figures. I hate residential, and the company changed ownership so I was out of there. There were a few $26 days, but there were also days where I sold three systems at 6%.

  5. #5
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    18% seams really low for flat rate. you need at least 30%. no overtime, call backs paY nothing, slows days pay almost nothing, its very low risk for employer

  6. #6
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    I'm working in a similar pay structure now. And it sucks. Yeah I could hard sell iaq and make a fat payday but I don't hard sell that stuff. I pretty much rely on real repairs and take the 60 dollar days when there are no repairs.

    The bad thing is at least in my area it seems all the shops are going this way. As far as I know there are only a handful of hourly shops left around these parts.


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  7. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by garageink View Post
    I'm working in a similar pay structure now. And it sucks. Yeah I could hard sell iaq and make a fat payday but I don't hard sell that stuff. I pretty much rely on real repairs and take the 60 dollar days when there are no repairs.

    The bad thing is at least in my area it seems all the shops are going this way. As far as I know there are only a handful of hourly shops left around these parts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I did not know it was that common, I am use to a hourly wage, plus a little commission. I am meeting with the company once more, I need to get a better understanding of what they have to offer.

  8. #8
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    If you have 12 years experience, you will be getting all of the call backs. You need to negotiate an hourly rate for those calls.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    If you have 12 years experience, you will be getting all of the call backs. You need to negotiate an hourly rate for those calls.
    That is very good advice, thank you. I am the one that gets the call backs, and also the one that runs to help the other techs when they run into problems. I have not committed to anything yet, I will bring this up when I talk with them.

  10. #10
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    Find out what warranty work pays under this structure too. We get an hourly rate for repairs under warranty. But it ain't much.


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  11. #11
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    i left automotive because of flat rate. sad to hear its becoming common now in hvac. its almost no risk for employer. they dont pay anything when its slow, call backs on you, they keep all the parts mark-up, and when its good and busy for you its great for them. when it slows down, they don't have to pay you an hourly wage. its BS

  12. #12
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    I just left a job that was 20 % commission and that's all it paid no extras at all, not to mention 14 hours a day 6 days a week NO THANK YOU, I like to do an honest days work for a honest day pay but I also like to spend time with my family and some of these owners will work you to death with NO regard for you what so ever.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kklobas View Post
    i left automotive because of flat rate. sad to hear its becoming common now in hvac. its almost no risk for employer. they dont pay anything when its slow, call backs on you, they keep all the parts mark-up, and when its good and busy for you its great for them. when it slows down, they don't have to pay you an hourly wage. its BS
    Who pays the employer when its slow?

  14. #14
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    Your employer is lucky to net 10% of the ticket, so 20% and "no skin in the game" isnt bad, imo.

  15. #15
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    My first job in Hvac was similarly paid.
    There are A LOT of $26 dollar days if the company you work for has a weak customer base and the owner has family (son, nephew etc.) working in the field.
    You basically become a salesman who pretends to "wrench", at least thats how I felt...

    Anyways, you could make a decent living depending how you view service calls and pm's. A lot will depend on your sales training too. I would check out the company on Angies list, yelp, google reviews etc.
    spend a few dollars and do some thorough research into your next employer, if feedback focuses a lot on hard sales tactics, problem techs, constant problems, recurring problems etc. run a mile my friend.
    You cannot cheat an honest man. But that doesn't stop people trying!

  16. #16
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    I worked for "performance pay" once. I made it three months before telling them to come and get their truck out of my driveway. The bosses all pushed hard for you to SELL SELL SELL. I remember being in a meeting and the owner says "Are you really helping the customer by cleaning their flame sensor? You should be replacing it". They never paid travel or OT, and I ended up averaging $9/hr before quitting. I refuse to sell people stuff they don't need and because I wouldn't put on the hard sell I didn't make money.

    One of the local piece rate shops here got sued over the "no OT" thing and lost, he has to pay them time and a half based on some calculation. The owner was telling me about it as I was interviewing for a job, he kept badmouthing guys as "ingrates". As soon as he said "performance pay" I was looking for an excuse to leave anyway.
    Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun.

    Statements made by me are strictly my opinions and do not reflect the opinions of my employer. I am not authorized to make any official statements on behalf of my employer.
    Any technical advice offered by me is for educational purposes only, all HVAC related repairs should only be attempted by qualified personnel.

  17. #17
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    I've always worked commercial/industrial." Performance pay" has never been in the equation. The company I work for has established, through service, a sense of integrity with their customers and a value that is more than just the bottom line. We've all seen the "lowest bid" results. Our company keeps tight records of gross and net profits as any company should. The value of seasoned techs paid appropriately for their time is established in those figures and the company's reputation. Customers are not easy to get and should be catered to with this knowledge in mind. My work stays vary stable, but if work would slow down, I suppose I'd be sitting home, no cost to my employer other than my employer makes money when I'm in that truck.
    " Go sell crazy somewhere else,we're all stocked up here.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    Who pays the employer when its slow?
    That is the risk of being a business owner, the cost of doing business, gains and losses. You cant keep your techs busy, you lay off and risk not being able to get a possibly highly qualified tech back when you need him. Why should any employee work for free or with low wages under any circumstance? These sales oriented companies have done nothing but tarnished the reputation of HVAC field and created a whole new tech that only knows how to condemn and sale, in my opinion.

  19. #19
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    Let me give you an example of why I dislike "performance pay". (This is a real situation)

    Tech X gets paid commission pay. He goes out for a call and sells a blower cleaning. After he's done he somehow mounts the wheel incorrectly and leaves.
    Tech Y gets sent back when the customer complains about the blower noise. He also gets commission pay. After less than 5 minutes, he tells them the motor is bad and it's too expensive to fix, then pushes them into a furnace replacement.
    Overnight the customer has second thoughts and calls another company whose techs are paid hourly. They remount the blower correctly and check the furnace, and recommend against the replacement,
    Customer calls back the next day and cancels the install and demands a refund.

    So, how does the company do better with "sales techs"?
    Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun.

    Statements made by me are strictly my opinions and do not reflect the opinions of my employer. I am not authorized to make any official statements on behalf of my employer.
    Any technical advice offered by me is for educational purposes only, all HVAC related repairs should only be attempted by qualified personnel.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by morepower7701 View Post
    I did not know it was that common, I am use to a hourly wage, plus a little commission. I am meeting with the company once more, I need to get a better understanding of what they have to offer.
    If you find yourself with that gut feeling you should go with it.

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