So, picture this: It’s early March and you’re driving along a back-country road in Wales. The temperature is in the ‘teens (about 15°C warmer than it is back home in Kingston), and all is well in the world! You’re on day three of a two-week vacation and your cell phone rings. It’s the kids at home (both of college age) saying the furnace isn’t working and it’s going to be way below zero that night. What do you do?
Well, I happened to have the telephone number for T.H. Stinson’s Heating & Air Conditioning in my contacts list from when I had them install a new water heater several years before. Taking into account the 5-hour time difference, I called the number and spoke with Tom Sr., telling him where I was and explaining my predicament. I asked him if he would go over to the house and see what was wrong with my furnace, and call me back with a report and some suggestions. I would co-ordinate his visit with the kids.
He said that he would; he did; and he reported back that he was able to get it started, but that my 25-year old furnace had seen better days. He was pretty certain that his short term ‘fix’ wouldn’t last. The cost of more permanent repairs was just over half the cost of a new furnace, installed.
The obvious decision was that the old furnace needed to be replaced, and asap. I asked Tom how soon he could install a new high-efficient furnace. He said in two days. That would be day five of a fifteen-day vacation and I really didn’t want to drop everything and fly back to Canada, so I asked Tom if he would install the furnace in the two days and that I could give him a credit card number to cover at least a portion of the cost.
His response blew me away: “Sure”, he said, “We can install the furnace, but you might as well wait until you get home to settle-up. I’ll just put the invoice in the mail.”
And, that is exactly what happened. Within days of my return I paid the bill, in full.
Tom Stinson saved my vacation. When I asked why he trusted someone calling him from over 3,600 miles away and completed a job worth several thousands of dollars without so much as a deposit to cover materials, he responded that his firm was based on trust and the old-fashioned country ethics of fairness and honesty.
It is my experience both that Tom Stinson and his son Tom Jr. embody this ‘country’ philosophy and it has been a pleasure doing business with them. I hope they flourish.
Ralph Alan Shaw
Our family has used T.H. Stinson's Heating and Air Conditioning for years. We wouldn’t trust anyone else to service our furnace, gas fireplace or central A/C. Stinson’s has always been reliable, friendly, fair, and they stand behind their work. I’d rate them A+.