While certain HVAC issues in your home may require immediate attention from an HVAC technician, it’s important not to just hire anyone for this need. While we wish it were not the case, not all HVAC experts are created equal — and in the worst cases, there are even some out there whose primary goal is not to provide robust HVAC services, but rather to take advantage of unsuspecting clients using fraudulent or scamming techniques.
At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re here to help steer you clear of these risks for any HVAC need your home may have, from an AC or furnace installation to many repair and upkeep needs. Our HVAC technicians boast years of robust services and satisfied clients, and we’re happy to see our services and reputation compared to our competitors — both because we want you to get the very best in HVAC services, and because we’re supremely confident we’re the ones best-suited to provide these services. What are some of the most common HVAC repair scams out there today, and how can you spot and avoid these before you fall victim to one of them? Here are some basics.
Limited Company Information Available
When you begin your research for an HVAC repair partner, one of the key areas you’ll be looking into is the company’s basic information and history. You want to know what the company is about, how their past clients have felt about their services, and several related themes.
If you find that this information simply isn’t available for an HVAC company you’re considering, this is a major red flag. Especially when it comes to larger, well-established HVAC companies, you should be able to find detailed information about their history available online. If not, this shows that either the company is hiding something from you, or they’re very new.
This is especially true if a company representative can’t provide you with basic information about services or pricing over the phone. In addition, if your research shows that an HVAC company has had complaints from clients, or has made a name for itself in the press for not honoring its commitments to clients, this is also a good sign that you need to keep looking.
Too Good To Be True
When it comes to HVAC repair services, the sky can be the limit when it comes to what’s possible — and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be all too easy to fall prey to a company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind. When you first meet with an HVAC repair representative , ask about the total cost of all services the company will be providing your home — and understand the specifics behind this cost.
If at any point you feel like the company is trying to set the cost of services too low, this could be a red flag. You want to hire HVAC repair professionals who have your best interests at heart — not those who are hoping that by charging you little-to-nothing up front, they’ll get more cash from you later later on when things inevitably go wrong following their shoddy work. The only thing worse than paying a lot for HVAC repair services is paying less for shoddy work, then seeing charges piled on afterwards.
Asking for Payment Before Carrying Out Service
Another major red flag of an untrustworthy HVAC professional is one who demands payment before any work has been done. Any reputable HVAC expert should be happy, and even eager, to prove themselves by providing you with a free estimate before they begin any work, and no customer payment should be taken until the full job has been completed.
If an HVAC repair professional simply demands payment up front, no questions asked, this could be cause for concern. If you don’t have a clear idea of cost before any work begins, you’re only setting yourself up to be taken advantage of.
Prompting Unnecessary Repairs
In many cases, an issue somewhere in your HVAC system is due to just a single faulty part or component that might need to be replaced — this will often be a simple, affordable process. Scammers, however, will try to fool you by recommending a much larger and more expensive fix than is actually necessary, or will bill you for greater services than they actually carried out.
Tips for Avoiding HVAC Scams
Here are some basic tips for avoiding these kinds of HVAC scams:
- Do quality research on HVAC partners: Whether you plan to hire an HVAC expert from a well-established company or a private contractor, do your research. Look for basic information, such as the length of time the company has been in business and certain available details about their history and methods. Read client reviews online as well.
- Ask about work before any agreements: Any reputable HVAC professional should be happy to provide you with an estimate and walk you through what they’ll do in any work agreement. If a company representative demands payment before this happens, this is a bad sign.
- Don’t accept curious behavior: If you notice any of the signs we’ve gone over above, or even if the entire situation just feels off to you, there’s no rule saying you have to proceed. Be honest with the technician in question, and inform them that you aren’t comfortable with what they’re telling you and you’re going to go in another direction. Scammers will often succeed by pressuring their victims into making poor decisions; if you just remember that you’re in control of this situation, this will not be a risk for you.
For more on how to avoid common HVAC scam attempts, or to learn about any of our plumbing or heating and air services, speak to the team at My Buddy the Plumber in Salt Lake City today.