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Top ten Questions to Ask the Service Tech...

don_52 Member Posts: 199
... for the yearly clean and check, don't stop now
guys your on a roll... the favorites, maybe?
venting, flue condition, make-up / combustion air, gas pressure, combustion analysis, carbon monoxide, test safties, pull and inspect probe lwco, water heater too? post test doc etc.


  • Robert O'Connor_7
    Robert O'Connor_7 Member Posts: 688

    Are ya done yet? Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • don_62
    don_62 Member Posts: 2
    Mr. O'Conner

    the community at large ( the wall ) has done much
    to express their concerns over "lack of proper
    maintenance", the items i mentioned are but a
    few, however cleaning is the first, hence 10.

    are there variations on this for different types
    of installations? of course.

    my post was offered in the spirit of the install
    checklist, i wasn't attempting to "crack wise"
    with anyone.

    in that regard it "might be" a good thing to
    have a checklist.

    the "food for thought" might be, revealing additional
    work that was i.e.; never done or needs to be done,
    hence a "softer sell". ( opportunity )

    perhaps as important, if something is found out of
    spec or plain flat wrong AND the client elects NOT to
    have the work proformed there is "documentary evidence"
    of that fact. ( liability )

    this original post was, in my opinion, was in keeping with
    the "intent and spirit" of this formum, a "suggestion"if you will, any input, addition or changes by yourself and
    the community will only "add value".

    kindest regards,
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    I think

    Don I can understand your question, and agree that a homeowner should be involved in some manor as to the upkeep of his system. I think that the only thing that really need's to be asked is "will you do a complete annual service of my system and notify me of any issue's so that I can have them addressed."
    I have no issue's with a homeowner watching as I service their system and actually recommend it. But to go to every annual service and answer multiple question's would make it very difficult for me to get work done, which is why I have them watch.
    Another point is, I have found way to many system's where the homeowner paid for a service, asked a bunch of questions, recieved all the right answer's and recieved poor work. If they watch, they know what I am doing, and can ask for a reason as to why. When I leave most folk's have a clear understanding of what should be done next year and don't have to ask....I also recommend to my customer's to purchase a service contract through our company, I make no money off this and feel it benifit's my customer's only. Once they have purchased it I can replace any part of the system and do not have to hem and haw as to price!! That way I do not recieve 2 a.m. phone call's for something they should have, could have but didn't do.
  • don_52
    don_52 Member Posts: 199

    thanks for your input, i do agree with your view
    on the "taking up time to explain", yeah, thats a
    problem, i guess that's a good reason to have
    a menu of "checks" pre-printed form that explains
    all this, say 33 points covers gas to oil to water
    and steam, most flavors.

    the customer can read it and agree, "before the fact",
    the client usally says; "the other guys never did this"
    the reply being; "yes that's correct sir/madam, and that
    is why your having this issue ( they never did ).

    hence the need, it can also help sell service contracts
    ( a good thing )

    folks need to "get it" before they really "get it".

    see threads; Kaboom! and High Gas Bills JohnNY

    the case for comprehensive maintenace can and
    needs to be made before the "case makes itself"
    as in the two threads i mentioned above.

    how that's accomplished is up to each individual
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    yes but

    That also involves each system. If I were to write up a 33 point check list and give it to my customer, I would go nut's trying to explain why I could not check a low water cut-off that they do not have. Or replace the strainer on a clean cut pump.. How would a customer take to a list of thing's that he doesn't have and then get's a bill for a service? Why should I pay the same as the next guy? I don't have as many thing's to check? I can hear it now......I do everything possible on a system service, I do not want to return at 2 a.m. But to add to my list explaining why or why not it's on a list is not something that would make anything any better. That's why I have them pull up a chair and watch.

    As to the other thread, I have sat with customer's on my own time to explain the benifit's of a new system. Written, drawn, verbally...And when it goes poof they call and say "well he didn't explain it well enough!!" When the billing slip say's "highly recommending replacement due to age and condition" what else do I do. Also read the other post where the tech red tagged the unit and the gentleman called the fire dept looking for a second opinion? Hello the fire department???? I know they understand fire but come on...If they don't want to hear it they wont'...
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Would you mind explaining the pre heater to me in clear

    scientific numbers so i can calculate the molecular density of the oil prior to atomization?
  • don_52
    don_52 Member Posts: 199

    didn't say it was going to be easy, Mr.Hall sent out
    a 33 point install checklist, it's for a book of his
    (attachment) it's for air.

    the challenge of making someone see your "service"
    as having more value than those who would just
    "vacuum, light off and scram" is difficult.
    some folks don't understand no matter what, some
    folks play games too! expecting something for nothing,
    even when it's clear in writing. ( fire the client! )

    the "suggestion" could be a simple narrative in plain
    english stressing that the "comprehensive check" is
    part and parcel to having a safe, economical and
    comfortable system.

    this all has been discussed here before, the points
    made are "harped on" constantly, how is the average
    customer supposed to know, unless their informed of
    these important facts, how can they tell the difference
    between contractors when their looking in the phonebook.

    there's got to be something that sets your good work
    above the rest? ignorance is how the knuckleheads
    can get away with what they do?

    difficult yes, impossible no.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    word of mouth

    My work I allow to speak for itself. That's why even though I changed companies earlier this year alot of my customer's followed me. I agree that their need's to be something to set the good above the rest. I think that is through action's not paper. I can completely understand your wanting to put down in paper what your company does, and say go for it. I just don't feel the need to add more paperwork and time explaining it to my customer's. I just feel it would take longer to try and explain the piece of paper then it would to show them what I do. As to making myself or the company look better, I think that is accomplished by backing up the work. If I screw up I fix it, no charge. I would like to see the attachment's but my system cannot open them.....

    And as to the point, when they are looking in the phone book, they won't know. But if they ask around about the different companies they will hear the good and bad of all of us...
This discussion has been closed.