In a perfect world, all HVAC contractors would hold themselves to the utmost honesty and integrity in their business practices. However, not every business is trustworthy, and many are out to rip off the consumer. To exacerbate the problem, these shady businesses also prey on the elderly, people desperate for a low-cost HVAC solution, or communities reeling after a disaster. Even with underhanded contractors on the prowl, you don’t have to fall for their scams. Here are a few tips to help you avoid HVAC maintenance scams in your Garden City, Georgia, neighborhood.
Types of Scams
The first type of scam involves a telemarketing scheme that insists that their affordable services are the best plan of action for the homeowner because they’re a local company. When you agree to their services, they send a “technician” to your home that performs fraudulent inspections. After conducting these inspections, they often advise you to pay for unnecessary maintenance or equipment replacement.
Another form of HVAC scams deal with door-to-door contractors that provide a phony reason for being in your neighborhood. These individuals often take advantage of the elderly or homeowners with no knowledge of HVAC systems. They’ll usually say they were “in the neighborhood,” and noticed that the air conditioner or some other HVAC component looks in need of service. A telltale sign of this scheme is that they often ask for all or part of the money up front, and then promise to return at another date.
Perhaps the most popular deceptive business practice involves upselling or overpricing. For example, a contractor may try to convince you that you need the biggest unit available to heat or cool your home, when in actuality it’s an unnecessary and costly expenditure. These same businesses also tend to over price installation, equipment, labor, and maintenance, letting you hold the bill at the end of the day.
How To Avoid the Scam
Before you sign a contract, agree to a service, or pay a company or individual, it’s important to follow the correct steps to avoid a potential scam. The first step is doing your homework before you decide on a contractor. While you could open up the yellow pages or simply pick the first company you see online, you should check with the Better Business Bureau, friends, family, and online reviews to see how professional and reasonable each business is. To further investigate, you may also want to call the business and talk to a manager about your HVAC problem or inquiry.
Once you’ve received some information from sources you trust, there’s still a chance that you may become the victim of a scam. To avoid mammoth bills or unnecessary maintenance, get an estimate from several businesses. Legitimate contractors will give you a full breakdown of the services and the price of each. If they don’t, it’s a red flag that they are being dishonest. These estimates will allow you to compare pricing to save you money while still receiving quality services.
Even when you’ve come to trust a certain contractor, you may want to ask for the same technician each time you require service on your air conditioner or furnace. Not only do you become familiar with your technician, but you also forge a personal relationship that puts you at ease and provides peace of mind.
Think About Getting a Maintenance Plan
One of the best ways to avoid a scam or overly pricey fees is by getting our scheduled service agreement, also known as a preventive maintenance plan. By obtaining one of these plans, you don’t have to worry about jumping from contractor to contractor, and you get the same quality service on each visit. Perks of our plans include discounts on repairs and special services, no overtime fees, and improved efficiency, which equates to higher comfort and lower utility bills.
Don’t let HVAC scams scare you away from the maintenance your system desperately needs. Instead, stick with Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning. We’re a company you can count on for any problem with your HVAC, and we’ll always give you the best prices, advice, and expert service. Visit our website our give us a call today at 912-373-8447.
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