The Great Refrigeration Debate “Why are you guys so expensive?”

These words are heard across the country daily.

What makes some companies expensive and some fairly priced? Let’s look at a couple different scenarios…

Scenario A:

The Chef or GM of a chain restaurant has a refrigeration unit go down during service. He calls for service on that unit and the service company sends a tech out at the earliest time available. The somewhat trained junior tech arrives on site and proceeds to diagnose the unit in an hour with help from remote tech support. He then proceeds to make the repairs to the unit (which he has done only a couple of times with assistance from a senior tech). He takes an hour and a half to finish repairs. The work is complete and the unit is running. The company sends out the bill, which seems abnormally large to the customer.

Scenario B:

The owner of a small restaurant has a small cooler that is not holding temp. He calls in for service. The tech arrives and diagnoses the unit within 15 minutes. The part is available local, or better yet, is on his truck. He completes the repair in under an hour and sends the bill. The unit is up and running and the customer is happy.

In both situations, the units were repaired successfully. Unfortunately one customer was left feeling he was overcharged, while the other was satisfied and will likely recommend the service company to others. What I did not mention is that both techs work for the same company! This discrepancy comes down to the technician performing the work and not so much the company. Even restaurants struggle with this concept. How many times have you gone to lunch and had a good experience only to have a bad one at another location of the same restaurant chain days later? The answer is training. Management struggles with this dilemma on a daily basis in the service business.

So, is it fair to label a service company “Expensive”? No. It very well may be the technician you had at the time. You shouldn’t condemn the company for this. A brief conversation with the service manager might shed light on the charges and/or possibly secure a different technician for next time. When you do receive service from an experienced technician, it might do some good to request him next time you call for service. This will ensure consistent service and billing. Most service companies are competitive in pricing and stay within $5-10/hr of each other.¬†Ultimately, the service company with the best training usually comes out ahead of the rest.