Is the HVAC Industry Still Doing This?

A Contractor Actually Installed This Furnace Exhaust!

A Contractor Actually Installed This Furnace Exhaust!

It was not uncommon in the last century to see a news sting on TV of an HVAC contractor caught in the act of ripping off a customer.  It was a real irritant to everyone who made an honest living in the HVAC industry because it gave us all a black eye.  Manufacturers, distributors and contractor associations such as ACCA made a concerted effort to get rid of this behavior in their midst.  I can’t remember the last time I saw one of these news stories showcased on the local news.  It appeared that perhaps at last, we had as an industry, put this behavior behind us.  Apparently that is not the case.


The most recent issue of the ACH & R news featured a guest article by Butch Welsch, a St. Louis area contractor, where he says he is seeing an increasing and discouraging trend of contractors using unethical tactics.  He cites two of them that are pretty hard to even imagine.


The first was of a lady who called and said that a contractors service technician had condemned her furnace because it had holes in the heat exchanger.  He had red tagged the furnace and told the lady if she ran it it could kill her.  When Butch’s technician went out he found a 17-year-old furnace with a heat exchanger that lacked even a speck of rust.  Although the technician attempted to ensure the lady the furnace was in really good condition, she had been scared to the point where she wanted the furnace replaced.  Following the replacement, the old furnace was returned to Butch’s shop where they had the heat exchanger removed and thoroughly checked out.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with it.  This is

a-typical of the kind of stories you used to see on the local news channel and it is despicable, but if you think that’s bad, read on.


The second story begins when one of Butch’s salespeople showed up at an appointment to give a couple a price on a new furnace.  When they arrived there was a truck from another company in the driveway, so not wanting to be rude the salesperson waited in his car.  After 30 minutes, the salesperson decided he had waited long enough and knocked on the door.  As he attempted to apologize for interrupting, the lady of the house apologized profusely saying “I can’t get rid of him.”  The couple went with Butch’s sales engineer to the basement to inspect the furnace, but the other salesperson refused to leave – sitting on the couple’s living room sofa the whole time.  When Butch’s sales engineer had finished looking at everything, the lady finally got tough with the other salesmen and asked him to leave.  This kind of behavior is not only totally unprofessional, it is downright embarrassing to the industry!


If you know of a contractor in Texas who is exhibiting behaviors such as those described above, report them to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, regardless of whether they are licensed or unlicensed.  The link to their website is below. We should all pledge to drive this kind of behavior out of our industry once and for all!

Courtesy of Contracting Business Magazine