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Ron's Ramblings

Of Climate Change and Service Agreements

Why do you sell service and maintenance agreements to your customers? Because they make sense. Spending a little bit of money now to take care of the little things in a heating or air conditioning unit can head off the need to spend big money later in the event of a system breakdown.

To me, it’s not that difficult to transfer the logic behind service and maintenance agreements to the climate change debate. Here’s how:

What if the climate change deniers are right? They say there’s no such thing as climate change and it’s a waste of tax dollars to address a problem that doesn’t exist. “The planet is fine! Why do we need to spend money on it?”

Hmmm . . . that sounds suspiciously like the argument you might hear from a customer who doesn’t see the value of a service and maintenance agreement. “My furnace and air conditioner are running fine! Why do I need to spend money on them?”

On the other side of the coin, what if the climate change believers are right? They say we are risking a catastrophic — and incalculably expensive — breakdown of our planet’s heating and cooling system because we didn’t see the value of taking care of it along the way.

Picture the customer who listens to your explanation of your company’s service and maintenance agreement program and says, “OK, I understand that my comfort system is complex and valuable. I think spending a little bit every year to keep it in top shape is a great idea.”

Our planet is complex and valuable, too. We should support policies and behaviors that keep it in good shape. And that’s not even taking into account all the opportunities and jobs that environmentally conscious “green” programs — and, yes, regulations — have created in our industry.

It’s true that sometimes a furnace or air conditioner might run fine for years without any service or maintenance. But is that what you’d truly recommend to customers? Would you ever tell a customer, “Don’t worry about it and hope you get lucky”? No way.

There’s too much at stake. The wise move in both service agreements and climate policy is to spend a little along the way to reduce the chance of a catastrophic breakdown later.

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