Every year there is at least a couple of news stories about air conditioning companies preying on SWFL residents. These companies are like the wolf at the door. You don’t want to let them in! We even made up a fictional company, Predat-Air, with a sly wolf technician, to draw attention to their practices. How do you protect yourself? We give 7 tips to guard against air conditioning repair rip off.
Tip 1 – Be Smarter than the Wolf
Educate yourself! Homeowners can be easy targets because they are uneducated on the subject matter of air conditioning repair. If a repairman tells you about a broken part, and the name of the part doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t. Make sure he shows you the part. Go online and research the name of the part and the needed repair.
Tip 2 – Wolves Run in Packs for a Reason
There is a lot of power in having a lot of close friends around you. Wolves cooperate and work together when making a kill. Be like the wolf and go to your friends and neighbors for advice. Band together. Ask a friend! Who do they use? Friends are more than willing to recommend an air conditioning repair company that is reliable. Put a request out there on your Facebook feed or Twitter feed and see what comes back. And . . . Google it. Google reviews are a great way to learn the true nature of any local company.
Tip 3 – Be Wary if it Sounds TOO Good to be True
Don’t go on a quest for the cheapest price! There’s always a catch. Providing in-home service is costly. A company like Predat-Air might lure consumers with very low maintenance offers or air conditioning repair service calls ($19.95, $29.95, etc.) Do not fall for it! These tactics are designed specifically to get a repairman into your home. Once in the door they can add costs to the bill or estimate. There are many stories of companies telling customers they need to replace their whole system when only a simple repair was needed.
Tip 4 – The Wolf Howl Coming from Your Phone
If your phone rings and you hear, “Hey, we’re in your neighborhood today and could stop by and do your AC maintenance for a ridiculously low price,” you can bet that’s a wolf howling away. Many companies hire phone solicitors to make annoying calls to drum up business. Why do they do this? Because they know that a person who will accept their phone offer will be easy prey.
Tip 5 – Even Wolves Have a Den
No Address – No Deal! They have your address. Shouldn’t you have theirs? Any business that does not list an address should cause you to wonder WHY? Why are they hiding their location? A reputable service business will always list their address in publications and online.
Tip 6 – Dig Up the Dirt
Research the service company! There are so many sources for online reviews now given by real customers just like you. You can also call your local County Clerk’s office to check for past lawsuits. Check in with your local Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development organizations or ask your Home Owners Association. Make sure the company is licensed and NATE Certified.
Tip 7 – There Should be Some Grey Hair on the Muzzle
Years in business do matter! There are a lot of young pups out there, guys with an unmarked trucks and nothing else to speak of. Find a company that has weathered many economical storms and maintained a good reputation. Select a company, like Home-Tech, who realizes the mutual benefits of supporting the communities it serves. Companies like ours will never be the cheapest, but will charge a fair price for services.
Employee owned, Home-Tech’s President and CEO, Steve Marino, is quoted saying, “Air conditioning repair and major appliance service has come a long way since the unregulated, unlicensed days of old. However, like any business, there remain unscrupulous and unethical individuals that plague our industry. I am proud of our company, Home-Tech, and our ability to stand out for our exceptional customer service since 1981. You can go online any time and read our positive Google and BBB reviews.”