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If you’re shopping around, either through advertisements, the local phone book, or the internet to find an HVAC company to service your air conditioner, you may occasionally come across a company that refers to itself as a “factory authorized” dealer of a certain product. You will see the seal of the authorization prominently, because it is naturally in their interest to display it.
Exactly what does that mean? Does that imply an extra level of credibility?
Well, to a certain extent, it does. A factory authorized dealer is one that has a relationship with a company that manufactures AC systems and parts, and certainly they are going to be pushing that company’s product. But they have the relationship for a reason; usually, it is because they have been in business long enough, and have built enough of a reputation, that they can be trusted to know what to do with that product, and do it at a high level.
The manufacturer (the “factory,” in this case) has imposed standards when it comes to this kind of authorization, and not everybody gets it. In fact, it is an endorsement of sorts, and as such the service company uses it in their marketing and advertising materials.
A company that is factory authorized is one that has demonstrated that it has met certain customer satisfaction standards and objectives, and these must be quantified through customer surveys that are filled out after the company’s service people perform their tasks at the customer’s location.  Quite obviously the factory has an interest in associating itself and its products with people who are satisfied with their experience.
Yes, the manufacturer’s products are generally the ones that are used, but that also translates into something else that is important. Your service people are going to know an awful lot about those products, and that theoretically puts them in a position to offer the best service any company possibly can. In that sense, there should be a lot more confidence on the part of the customer.
Also, since a customer knows that a service company carries the “factory authorized” label, they are also dealing with people who have put sufficient warranty and guarantee policies in place; have technicians who have achieved a certain level of training and certification, and have met any insurance requirements that are necessary. So this is not an empty designation, but instead a real credential that you can use when deciding where to go with your business.