Homeowners and tenants alike rely on air conditioners to keep them comfortable during hot weather. However, comfort isn’t the only thing that is worrisome about the temperature reaching distressing levels. Many have concerns about their health and safety. Exposure to excessive temperatures can bring forth ill-effects. So, when an air conditioner breaks down, calling a repair technician becomes a priority.
Unfortunately, not everyone who claims to provide excellent service does so. Some air conditioner repair “professionals” engage in scams to take people’s money. Avoiding these underhanded scammers should also become a priority. Not everyone knows how to avoid them, though.
Here are a few tips and insights from The Cooling Company that might help you avoid falling victim to a scam in your Las Vegas home.
Cash or Credit Card Payments Before Work Gets Done
Repair professionals deserve fair payment for the work they perform. Customers should expect to be treated and charged honestly, too. A contractor might request an upfront cash payment before any work gets done. Making a deposit on a new HVAC system with a reputable company seems fair. When someone shows up for an inspection, suggests a minor repair job, and then wants cash before setting a formal time for the repair work, red flags might go up.
Some companies might ask for a credit card payment over the phone before even visiting to check out the problem. Such dubious practices also raise concerns, and deservedly so.
Not Providing an Estimate
An estimate details the precise work the repair professional will perform. The estimate also presents a breakdown of what everything costs. Giving a customer an estimate before starting the job affords ample time to secure funding. Maybe the homeowner needs to take a personal loan to cover things. Perhaps he/she wants to cash a bond.
Most importantly, the estimate lets the homeowner think about what to do. Maybe he/she wants to field other estimates and gather a second opinion. That’s fine. What might not be so acceptable would be someone performing work without any indication of costs and then delivering an incredibly expensive bill for services rendered. When not given an estimate, take the lack of paperwork as a big warning sign.
Suggestions About Using Recycled or Used Parts
Putting used parts inside an air conditioning unit is likely to be a terrible idea. The parts could wear out quickly, or they may present safety hazards. Why would a reputable company want to push used parts? Driving the price down might make the repair pro seem preferable. Quality, however, may suffer tremendously with used parts. And the HVAC company’s management should realize such things.
Over-Servicing the System
Cleaning an HVAC system helps it run better while also clearing out the unit and ducts of debris. A once-a-year cleaning seems beneficial. Maybe performing cleaning and a tune-up twice a year would be worthwhile. Quarterly cleanings and tune-ups, however, might be a bit extreme. Is the company trying to charge customers to do additional, unnecessary work? The possibility exists.
Be wary of companies with intentions of over-servicing the unit. Such dubious business practices might extend to other areas of operation. Homeowners should resist attempts to pressure them into accepting extensive service agreements. Doing so could cost far more money for unnecessary work. That won’t benefit a budget or an air conditioning system.
Over-Charging for Work
Not every company charges the same fee for seemingly identical work. An established company with a strong track record may ask for higher costs. That said, there comes the point when the prices are outrageous. Even quality work comes with a reasonable ceiling. Homeowners benefit from researching the average costs for specific types of jobs. If it appears the asking price is far more than what is fair, perhaps fielding an estimate from another company proves wise.
Take that as another reason why it is best to see estimates and not pay upfront, too. Estimates make it possible to better comparison shop. Las Vegas and nearby residents could ask for estimates from The Cooling Company for AC system installation, repair, and maintenance service inquiries. We also handle heating work, as well as servicing commercial clients, too.
Trying to Sell an Inappropriate AC Unit
An HVAC unit requires proper sizing for a home. Installing one that is too small could lead to an overworked system that runs up utility bills. The system might not last very long, either. An oversized unit could cycle on and off too frequently, and it would not be an appropriate unit to purchase. An HVAC company, however, might attempt to push an oversized system because the unit comes with a higher sales price.
Inexperience once again presents a problem for homeowners. They often take the word of an HVAC company representative on size suggestions. No rule states a homeowner can’t perform consumer research to determine the “right-size” unit.
Waiting until the last minute to upgrade to a new HVAC system might turn out to be self-defeating, too. For one, when you must have an AC system installed because summer is arriving soon, you could reduce the time needed for the necessary research. Homeowners benefit from educating themselves about their HVAC systems. Otherwise, they leave themselves open to scams.
Advanced knowledge helps, too. What happens when the system breaks down in the middle of a summer heatwave? Hopefully, the homeowners have an idea about what size to expect with the replacement. Find out what size units fits the size of a particular home. Keep the information on hand when the time comes to replace the HVAC system. Sometimes, you may find yourself replacing it sooner rather than later. A professional can perform a heat load test to determine the proper size AC unit for your unique home.
Worries About Phantom Scams
Not every inappropriate action sets off warning bells. When a repair professional states that a part requires replacing, most homeowners have to take the technician’s word for it. Also, the customer must assume that someone did the work. Sadly, there are reports about home repair technicians and other professionals that either performed unnecessary work or charged for work that was never performed. The customer might not realize the situation until many months or even years pass. Ironically, some might assume a part degraded due to normal wear and tear when it wasn’t in good condition originally.
How can a homeowner know when such things occur? Well, there might not be any way to 100% figure out when “phantom” scams take place. That doesn’t mean you can’t be mindful and take action when necessary.
One way to, hopefully, avoid regrettable instances involves reading reviews and testimonials about the company. A dishonest HVAC company might have a track record for leaving unhappy and complaining customers. Thanks to online review resources, customers can present their consumer complaints. When reviewers highlight dishonesty instances, then maybe the target of their ire is a company worth avoiding.
A representative at The Cooling Company waits for your call. Request a service visit today. Besides cooling and heating service, we offer ductwork services, too. We look forward to serving your unique climate comfort needs.