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AC technicians profit from high demand in sweltering Ho Chi Minh City

AC technicians profit from high demand in sweltering Ho Chi Minh City

Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 10:20 GMT+7
AC technicians profit from high demand in sweltering Ho Chi Minh City
An air conditioner technician provides maintenance services at an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thao Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Technicians are capitalizing on the high demand for air conditioner maintenance services amid the sweltering weather in Ho Chi Minh City.

Currently, the price of air conditioner maintenance in Ho Chi Minh City ranges from VND250,000 (US$10) to VND350,000 ($14) per unit for household machines, while the rates for larger quantities at companies are cheaper. 

Additional costs for gas pumping fluctuate from VND250,000 to VND350,000 per pump.

N.V. Minh, from Quang Ngai Province, central Vietnam, who has been repairing and maintaining air conditioners for nearly five years, noted an unexpected surge in customers this year due to the hot weather. 

Tuesday's temperature in Ho Chi Minh City hovers between 25 and 38 degrees Celsius, with a heat index reaching around 40 degrees Celsius, as reported by the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The average annual temperature in the city is 27 degrees Celsius, according to the Climate Data website.

“Unexpectedly, there are more and more customers calling to book our services,” Minh said. 

“The other day, after finishing one house, I did a tour of five other houses adjacent to it. 

“We send two workers to each house, taking turns disassembling and cleaning. 

“The hotter the weather, the more money we make. 

“Yesterday, minus all expenses, I earned VND5 million [$198].”

Cleaning the condenser, checking the air conditioner, replacing components, refilling gas, and relevant tasks are separate steps in the air conditioner maintenance service, each quoted individually. 

“We rarely refuse package service bookings because the cost can sometimes reach VND1 million [$40] or more,” Minh added.

Nguyen Long Van, from the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, shared that his working day for an employer in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District typically starts at 6:00 am and ends at 10:00 pm.

“The hotter the weather, the more I race against time, as every homeowner urges me to examine their air conditioners,” Van said. 

In online advertisements for air conditioning maintenance services, prices are often lower than the actual costs, he said, but service providers raise their prices when they arrive. 

“The cheap price in online advertisements is just to make it attractive, there is no such price,” he explained. 

“The cheapest service costs VND300,000 [$12].”

Priority is given to severely broken machines, as technicians earn a 30-percent incentive from the total cost, according to Van. 

“Now every month I earn VND30-35 million [$1,190-1,390],” Van said.

Dishonest practices

With 15 years of professional experience, Thanh, who resides on Phung Van Cung Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Thanh District, is the proprietor of an air conditioning maintenance service.

Promoted through social network platforms, his business has afforded him insight into the deceptive practices prevalent in the industry.

“For instance, employees may swap components and equipment for customers’ machines, fabricate stories about broken parts, coerce replacements, and then collect the supposedly damaged but valuable old components,” Thanh said. 

"They may also deceive customers about the length of connecting wires and copper pipes. "Gas leaks or losses present an opportunity for workers to exploit customers by simply adding more gas instead of addressing the leak and then refilling the gas."

He recommended that consumers directly observe the worker, request detailed quotes for replacements or repairs, ensure that replaced components come with appropriate documentation, and even retain the replaced equipment for further examination.

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Bao Anh - Thao Thuong / Tuoi Tre News


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