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Summer And TV News Stings

Since our company  provides training for HVACR technicians, I’m always interested in the sting operations that local TV news organizations set up at the beginning of every summer to warn consumers about air conditioning service ripoffs. You know the drill….a TV station connects with a local service company to set up a simple problem scenario such as a loose wire in the A/C electrical system, then they call a given number of service companies to see which ones will just repair the loose wire and which ones will claim they needed to replace parts, add refrigerant, etc….in order to pad the bill. And, every year, some of these service companies (for the most part, the majority of them) do nothing but make the simple repair, and some of them don’t just repair the loose wire and test the system operation. Overall, I’m not against the idea of informing the public about what they need to do and which questions they need to ask in order to ensure that they’re getting proper service on their air conditioning equipment at a fair price. What I don’t like about these televised sting operations is that the major focus of the report is on the companies that don’t do the right thing. I’ve seen instances where a total of ten companies were called for service, and seven of them did the right thing. The report then briefly mentions this group of professionals who show up in a lettered vehicle, are dressed neatly, and communicate with their customer before providing proper service, and then make sure that their customer understands that the work they performed is guaranteed and what value they recieved for their money spent….then for the majority of the report, the ripoffs are explained in detail and, in some cases, there are even repeated instant replays of the less-than-professional behavior of the minority. Well, call me picky if you want, but I think that fair reporting on these sting operations should include an interview of every technician who provided proper service (their name and the information about their service company, along with giving them an opportunity to explain why they do things the way they do included).  And, yeah, I know that doing the report this way would take up a lot of time, and that there are only just so many minutes of air time available during a newscast, but the way I see it, the “public’s right to know” includes information on who didn’t rip off a consumer. Learn From Yesterday…..Live For Today…..Look Foward To Tomorrow….. Jim