One fact of homeownership are inevitable repairs. During the summer, this usually ends up being some kind of AC repair, and it usually comes during the hottest days. The risk is that you will be the victim an air conditioning scam. Fortunately, you can identify some of the most common and avoid them.
The Common Scams
The following are some of the most common variations you will see. Not all mean the person will not provide service. Rather, they may include tactics that will end up costing you more in the long run.
The Broker Repair Company Scam
A broker is a shell company that does not actually hire technicians and limits their own liability for repairs. These are easy to spot with someone who shows up in either an unmarked vehicle or a vehicle with a different name. While some of these technicians are great, you have no way of knowing their skill level, if they are certified, or even background checked. Proceed with these with caution. (continue below)
No Equipment Brochures to Leave With You
If someone is trying to sell you a new air conditioning system, they should have brochures from the manufacturer. If they do not, it means they likely are not an authorized dealer for that manufacturer. That alone should be a red flag because it means they have not gone dealer specific training to ensure the manufacturer warranty may be invalidated by a faulty install.
High-Pressure Sales Scam
No one wants to be pushed into an expensive repair. Professional technicians will give you time to research and make your decision. Unfortunately, people who are looking to scam someone out of money will push hard. Some of the tactics include rushing a decision, making it sound like they will not be available in the future. They may even tell you the price will increase if you do not lock it in now. Avoid these kinds of service providers at all costs.
Asking for Payment Before Rendering Service
Professional AC repair companies will give you an estimate for an install or repair. If a technician comes and attempts to collect money before any work has been done, be warned it may not end well. The reason most companies bill after is that the estimate is exactly that, and the repair may be more complex or even more simple than originally thought.
Pushing for a System Replacement Without a Second Opinion
We already talked about the pushy technician, and this goes right with that. Some people recommend a whole system replacement as the answer to everything. Even on older systems, a replacement may not be needed. If one component fails, it will put a strain on all of the other components, but does not mean all of the components are bad. Find the one that has truly failed, and you fix them all. Someone who is not honest will push you to a decision without seeking a second opinion.
The Simple Recharge Repair
Some people will recommend that you may just need a recharge. Your air conditioner is not a rechargeable battery and is a sealed system. That means there is no such thing as a recharge. Rather, there is a leak, even if it is a small one. You can add more coolant to the system, but without fixing the leak, it will only continue to leak. Sure, it may not leak quickly, but you have not actually solved your problem. Any technician who claims you just need a “recharge” without addressing the problem aims to keep you coming back for more.
How To Avoid A Scam
Here are some of the best ways to avoid being taken advantage of or costing yourself more in future repairs.
#1: Do your research.
The best thing you can do is do research on the company before committing to any repairs. A key part of the research is to check references. Use sites like Google, Yelp, and especially Angie’s List or Home Advisor. These sites will allow you to see what people think about the service and that the company is trustworthy.
#2: Get multiple estimates.
It may be a pain to have multiple technicians come out and evaluate your system. However, it may be important when it comes to complex repairs. Simple repairs like a capacitor, you may be able to sign off without a second opinion. Anything complex or expensive is worth seeking another evaluation.
#3: Ask lots of questions.
Questions are your friend and a professional technician will not mind answering them for you. This is especially important with complex repairs or if something does not feel right. Trust your gut, and ask more questions until you feel comfortable, or find another company.
Call an Experienced Professional if Your System is Malfunctioning
Do you have an extremely old system? Are you seeing or hearing things that weren’t there before? If you suspect that the system is not working properly, you should call a professional as soon as possible.
A few signs that the system is in trouble include abnormal noises or smells, an extremely cold home, expensive bills, and frequent shutoffs. Regardless of the concern, an experienced professional can solve the problem and perform the necessary repairs before an emergency occurs.
Prevention and AC Tune-up costs are much more reasonable than having a costly repair later. Whether you live in Clarksville, TN or somewhere close by, the professionals at DOC Heating and Cooling are ready to help. The highly-trained technicians are available 24/7 for emergency calls and for regular maintenance to help keep your heating & cooling system running smoothly.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Whether you live in Clarksville, TN or somewhere close by we are ready to help. Our highly trained technicians are available 24/7 to keep your heating & cooling system running smoothly.