The pitfalls of a large contracting company

Why you should ALWAYS use a small Contractor

I have been in the sales and service industry for a long time (around 35 years).

Given this as a fact, one could hope that seeing what works and what does not work not just in my own business, but I get asked many times for a referral to another trade. Here in AZ one of the top areas of concern is the Heating and Cooling business. Why you may ask? Well because things like Air Conditioning in one’s home here in Phoenix in the summertime is not a luxury. It is a necessity. This is not like my business which, for most people, if there is a problem with a TV or system, there probably is another way to entertain one’s self in another room of their home. So clearly the urgency should be less.

RULE # 1
If possible, always search out a company which is owner operated. Make sure you will talk on the phone to the same person who will come and fix your problem.

Rule #2
Do not ask this person for a bid. Ask them how much will it cost to come out and tell you: What the problem is, how it can be repaired, and your willingness to pay for his or her expertise. You see the flip side of this is getting three big contractors to come in with under educated sales people (for FREE) to serve you. Generally, here is what will happen: All three may well come to the same conclusion: REPLACE THIS UNIT will be heard, and after speaking to these three individuals you are ready to agree with the proposal, generally the least expensive of the three (probably overinflated) bids.

Now sometimes replacing the unit is absolutely the right idea. If a client who is trying to run a 10-year-old surround receiver which does not switch HDMI input and is insistent to use their old unit, I will try very hard to convince them of the need for a new $300 receiver up to $600 or so.

Now take an AC unit which has stopped cooling, you get your three big contractors to come in and give you bids for $6,500-$7,500. After hearing the arguments from the big three you are sold. My friend who did this asked me what to do. I referred him to a small contractor who actually cares about doing the right thing. The AC contractor replaced the run capacitor on the package AC unit and fixed the problem for $150.
So use the small contractors who your trusted friends have used or simply ask if the owner is the same person who comes to the job site. This is what you will get when you call James Electronics for your Commercial/Residential Audio Video needs.