You know the drill — you’re having a problem with brand X equipment, so you place a call to their technical support group. You wait on hold for 30 minutes, then when they finally pick up you’re hit with a barrage of questions:

“May I have your name, company name, phone number, model and serial number of the equipment, and (finally) the nature of the problem?”

You explain the problem: “The burners light and the unit shuts down 10 seconds later (or something like that). What’s wrong with it?”

Then the yahoo on the other end of the conversation starts asking you questions!

“What are the inlet gas pressure, manifold pressure, and flame signal?” You respond that, “It’s all good.”

Then the guy starts insisting on some answers saying he doesn’t know what “good” means.

Right around this time you start letting him know just what you think of his “support,” the quality of his product, and that you want someone from the factory to come out to the job, because after all, “there’s a problem with your equipment.”

Let’s get a few things straight

  • First: it’s not “his” equipment, but it is “your” problem.
  • Second: if everything was “good” the equipment would be working, and you wouldn’t be calling.
  • Third: he can’t see through a phone line, so help him help you by answering the questions.
  • Fourth: he may not know you from Adam; he has no idea if you know what you’re doing. Many technicians’ version of “good” is “bad.”
  • Fifth: show some respect. You’re the one calling for help, so either put your pride aside and let them help you, or put on your “Big Technician Panties” and figure it out yourself.

I know, right now you’re seeing red, thinking that I’m one of “them,” that I have no clue what it’s like out there.  Well, you’re right and wrong. I used to be both. I was you, and I was “him.”  I’ve seen it from both sides, and I can tell you I’ve met some questionable technicians, and I’ve spoken to some equally poor technical support people. It doesn’t mean you’re bad technician, and it doesn’t mean he’s a terrible technical support person.  It does mean that you should both respect each other’s position and responsibilities. He needs to respect the fact that you work on many brands of equipment and don’t have intimate knowledge of all of them. You need to understand that although you’ve been working on this for the past two hours, he just stepped into it cold, and you are his eyes on the job.

Give each other a break. Drop the attitudes.

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ABOUT Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson of ZenHVAC has seen the HVAC industry from all angles, serving as a technician, manufacturer’s tech rep, salesman, technical trainer and business owner.