A reader takes the industry to task on the subject of installer responsibility

RE: “Last Words on the Industry’s Need for Installer Training” (Sept./Oct. 1999 FCI)

I was very disappointed to read that Jim Lee would not be addressing the installation issue any longer. That's truly a shame, because installers are really hurting out here. They are the weakest link in this chain of responsibility. They have no voice, no power, no money.

I feel that you have at least as much responsibility to address this issue as anyone else. More, in fact, when you consider that it is the "movers and shakers" of this industry that really set the standard for it, and you have the power and the responsibility to write about it. You HAVE the ability! You HAVE a voice! You HAVE muscle! The kind of muscle that can keep this issue in the face of every segment of this industry until it must sit up and take notice.

The installer can get all the training that there is, and still it is not going to make much of a difference if the retail section of the industry is not held accountable for their business practices, if manufacturers cannot at the very least require certified installers in order to enforce their warranties, and if industry media do not continue to keep this issue alive until it is resolved.

Please think about this, Jim, because I think you are right to say there may be a "wolf" at the door. I believe we installers have been in a life or death struggle with him these past years, and are starting to feel the life being slowly choked out of us. Not only that, but I think that the customer is starting to feel the effects of it, and I can only assume that once the customer suffers too many "bites" then the rest of the industry will finally feel some of the pain as well.

But then again, maybe I'm wrong, maybe the industry is so big and fat that a few bites from a puny "wolf" will only feel like a few gnats annoying one in the evening…and yet, there is that old account in history about a giant named Goliath and puny little guy named David...?

Jim, you could surely make a great stone for the sling shots of installers if you wanted too. Or is it that we all have our excuses?

I hope you change your mind.


Lynda Jewell