The E.L. Payne Difference

Customer-focused Service Technician Compensation


Our Difference

Your Benefit

E.L. Payne Company pays no incentives to Service Technicians You only purchase what’s best for you.

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Common industry practice is to provide cash perks or other incentives to technicians encouraging them to push new equipment or accessories. These companies put on sales training programs to teach their technicians to “close” the sale. We find this practice to be distasteful, and not in the best interest of the customer.

Another common industry practice is “commission-only” compensation for technicians. When the technician replaces a defective blower motor for $400.00 he is paid not for the time spent, but a percentage of the “sale.” It would not be uncommon for the commission to be 25% of the billed amount, or in this case $100.00 for 2 hours of his time. As such, it is in the best interest of this technician to sell repairs, sometimes unnecessarily.

The Payne Company compensates its technicians with an hourly wage commiserate with technical ability, experience, and years with Payne, as well as their success in caring for our customers. In addition to their hourly compensation, Payne employees enjoy generous holiday and vacation pay, superior health, dental, eye care and life insurance benefits, and a 410k retirement program. No perks, commissions or other incentives of any kind are paid to Payne Company technicians.


No Pushy New Air Conditioning System Sales


Our Difference

Your Benefit

The Payne Company employs no sales people and gives no sales “pitch”Your comfort guaranteed.

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There are literally thousands of small heating and air conditioning companies throughout Southern California. Most are one or two-truck companies, and most do not maintain service operations. They survive on the installation of new furnaces and air conditioners. Typically, the owner of the company meets with the homeowners or business manager to sell the new system. The dilemma for the homeowner is that although these companies have lower pricing, they have no service operations to respond when there are problems.

The larger companies that have service operations employ professional sales people to meet with homeowners and business managers to assess their needs and to present Proposals and Contracts to complete the work. Unfortunately, almost without exception these salesmen are paid “commission-only.” Our experience tells us that as such, the salesman’s first interest is in himself and his income, not in the interests of his customer. His system design, product selection and pricing are all tailored to the result of “the sale.” The industry education and training programs for these individuals is not in system design, but is overcoming price objections and “closing the deal.”

The Payne Company employs no sales people. Experience technicians meet with the homeowner or business manager, complete a comprehensive survey, and send that survey to Mr. Payne for review, system design, product selection and pricing. A formal Proposal is drafted and sent to the customer, and Mr. Payne personally follows up to answer any questions and/or to discuss details of the Installation. He is also available to meet with the customer should the customer feel that meeting is necessary before starting the job.


Fair Service Repair and Maintenance Charges


Our Difference

Your Benefit

E.L. Payne Company states its labor rate and parts costs upfront.You’re peace of mind.

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The most common industry practice in charging for service repair work is “flat-rate pricing.” With flat-rate pricing the homeowner or business manager never knows what he or she pays for the parts used or at what hourly rate he or she is being charged. The technician determines what repairs are needed, and then quotes a flat-rate for the repair. The flat-rate includes labor charges, parts cost, sales tax and supplies. It is common to base these charge on labor rates of $200.00 per hour or more.

The Payne Company has a specific charge to drive to the house and diagnose the problem. The technician then presents a detailed estimate on the cost to complete the repair based on our stated hourly labor charge, the price of the parts to be used, and the sales tax on those parts. We believe that hiding costs in not in the best interest of our customers.


Original Ownership


Our Difference

Your Benefit

E.L. Payne Company has hands-on owner management.Our passionate commitment to excellence.

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On July 4, 2009 E.L. Payne Company celebrates our 95th year in business. In all those years there has only been a member of the Payne family in a day-to-day, hands-on management position running the business.

The Payne Company has a specific charge to drive to the house and diagnose the problem. The technician then presents a detailed estimate on the cost to complete the repair based on our stated hourly labor charge, the price of the parts to be used, and the sales tax on those parts. We believe that hiding costs in not in the best interest of our customers.

1914 – 1944Daniel W. Payne 1985 – PresentGordon L. Payne, Jr.
1944 – 1963Elroy L. Payne 2003 – PresentCaitlin J. Payne
1963 – 1985Gordon L. Payne, Sr. 

Our largest competitor sold his company in 1997 to a “consolidator” and was immediately merged with several hundred small heating and air conditioning companies across the country. The original owner of that company retired that same year. In 2004 the utility company (located in South Dakota) that owned these consolidated heating and cooling service companies filed bankruptcy and sold our competitor to two individuals from Arizona. They have never involved themselves in the day-to-day operations.

Without an owner’s personal investment, passion, and commitment to excellence a company cannot hope to provide its customers with the kind of quality service driven by the hands-on business owner and his family.


Green Service Vehicles


Our Difference

Your Benefit

E.L. Payne Company drives fuel-efficient service vehiclesLowers Your Carbon Footprint

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In 2004 Gordon Payne sold all gas-guzzling service vans (10 mpg) and purchased a dozen Toyota Scions. The Scions were converted for service parts and average 28 mpg in the city. We estimate that in five years we have used 55,000 gallons less gasoline that a competitor still using service vans, and saved the environment an equivalent percentage of carbon emissions.


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Taylor

3 Years of Experience

Installer & Service Technician


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