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Stupid call backs...

heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
I am so sick of these stupid call backs and my techs just don't use common sense to diagnose over the phone...

Friday we installed a Rinnai RU80i in place of an older r53i that I originally installed, Keep in mind there was nothing wrong with the r53, I gave them $300 for it off the price of the new one. The r53 met all their needs but they seen the condensing units on some home show and next thing you know, Im taking out a perfectly functioning 9 year old water heater for no real reason...

But anyway, they call the answering service, which calls my oncall tech, I don't know what they told my tech, but he went out there to find there complaint was it is too quiet, I am paying time and a half plus a $15 bonus and at least 3 gallons of gas because he didn't ask if they had hot water...

They thought something was wrong because the old unit was louder.... But he never asked if they had hot water, I know he must have assumed they did not -since calling in for service that could not wait until normal business hours....

What is wrong with people...

Last week I had a tech go out on a night call for an off stairway switch.... We charged her $55 service fee and she called me flipping out because all my tech did was flip the switch, I tried explaining that I had to pay for gas and pay the tech, even the phone call she made costs me money through the answering service....And I ended up waiving the fee...

I can not win, I am going to type up a questionaire all techs have to ask before going out to the call... Maybe I have to give them $5 for talking their way out of a service call....


  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 858
    I have had

    That top of the stairs switch call many times. I tell the customer that a small problem is better then a big problem like a gas valve or a blower motor and that normally calms them down. And of course there's always the little old lady who wants a programmable thermostat because they save energy and she wants to do her part to help out and one week later she wants her old round Honeywell back.
  • Alan WelchAlan Welch Member Posts: 42
    The other side of the coin

    1:00 am, the phone rings,answering service.Call the customer,try to troubleshoot problem, but they want you there.Get dressed, go there and it is something stupid, like they moved the t.v. right under the thermostat and it is keeping it satisfied.  In and out in 20 minutes, but it ruins your nights sleep.  Be happy you have techs willing to go on night call,it ain't that fun.
  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,668
    edited March 2013

    Last year, I was on call for Christmas. Guess what...Cristmas morning, about 5 minutes after my kids woke up, I get a call. Heat's not working. Okay. I spend about 10 minutes asking questions. Breaker? Tstat? Airbound radiators? No. No. No. Fine, I'll have to go there. I'm in the house for about 2 minutes and find....the breaker tripped!!! Flip it on, everything works. Spend some time checking for shorts. Nothing. Customer tells me they just had their bathroom remodelled, and the contractor may have switched breakers around.

    Point is, this is our industry. This is going to happen. A lot. I would rather show up and find nothing, then never be given the chance to showup at all. A truck on the road is good advertisement, even at night. If you din't want to deal with annoying customers, get rid of your customers. I'll take them. Sometimes, all they need is to know that you care enough to show up.
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    All good points

    I have done my share of night calls, I worked my way up from a helper/garage sweep to a PJF tech in a small oil company to service manager of that company to putting my own truck on the road and working both jobs to quitting the S. Manager job and going full time on my own, to having multiple trucks and employees and building my own office building/garage... So I know how it feels to go out at 1am and change a fuse, or go out and find out the entire house has no electricity because of a car accident rite in front of the house took out the pole...

    I typed up a check list, all my customers have the phone tag on their boiler that, says to hit reset once, check fuses and breaker, check all switches, check oil level, in case of emergency call 911, ect... But the customers aren't the professionals, I just had a talk with everyone {again} and we are going to come up with some other ideas for making sure this stuff doesnt happen as often...

    My service manager brought up a good point the customer should have been shown the Rinnai unit operating, instead they installed it and ran out the door, they should have brought the customer down, showed them the unit seen if they had any questions, and they would have asked "is it always that quiet" and then there would have been no service call...

    I always go over everything with the customer, show them the job and I thought it was that way for all my employees too, but I never told them to do it, so its my fault...

    Winter is almost over and it has been a busy one, so when the smoke clears I will get this straightened out, I guess even after running a company for years there is something to be learned...
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,047
    The other end of the 'phone

    May I just chime in from the other end of the 'phone?  There are very few things more valuable to me in the heating game than a really good operation -- such as all of you are in this thread -- who will answer the 'phone at oh dark hundred some cold night.  The idea of an over the 'phone checklist is an excellent one, though, and for many folks it just could make all the difference in the world to both them -- and you.

    Hang in there guys.  At least some of your clients appreciate what you do!

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
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