Air conditioners are a necessity in the Californian heat to keep cool. Northern California homeowners generally trust local AC service technicians for repair and maintenance issues when they break down. Unfortunately, all technicians are not ethical. These are a few common scams employed by HVAC companies for tricking customers into spending more money than necessary.
Unnecessary Parts Replacement
It is easy for a service technician to claim a part requires replacement when the part is working just fine. The cost of replacing the part can be really high. You should ask the technician to stop work right away if they claim multiple parts are faulty. This is very rare. There is usually only one defective part in the majority of air conditioner failures. A single defective part may compromise the integrity of the entire unit. The best defense against such scams is to have multiple opinions.
Offer Made is Too Good to be True
Offers that seem too good to be true generally are. Companies are in the business of making profit. The majority will do this by serving their customers in the best possible way. However, there are certain others that try to cut corners to make a quick buck. You should maintain a healthy suspicion of deals that seem too good to be true. Be wary of the ‘catch’ if a telemarketer calls you and promises a massive discount or free service. Odds are they are just trying to steer you towards purchasing something you never intended to get.
Ask for a Written Agreement
Never trust a service provider that doesn’t provide a written agreement. Verbal agreements are a big no in the AC repair industry. You should demand for written proof so that you have something to fall back upon. Use your good judgment to protect yourself.
Claiming the Refrigerant Needs Recharging
This is the oldest scam in the book. The technician will only bill you for the refrigerant you don’t need. A unit that is short on refrigerant is leaking. You cannot recharge the refrigerant without taking care of the leak first.
The technician is probably just kicking the can down the road if they merely suggest filling the unit with the refrigerant. You would have the same problem again in a few weeks or months depending on the size of the leak.
Selling More Refrigerant
This is another common refrigerant related scam. The air conditioning service provider will bill you for the full refrigerant. Pertaining to this, you would probably be short charged during installation. The air conditioner won’t run efficiently and you would call them back for a service.
Pay close attention to the AC service professional that comes for installation. Refrigerant is measured in weight. You should have the can holding the refrigerant weighed before the technician starts to fill the unit. They should have a clear recording of the amount. Closely supervise the technician if you don’t want to be deceived.
High Pressure Sales
You may be misled about the condition of the AC by scammy HVAC technicians. They may even try to scare you into purchasing services you don’t need or get you to pay too much for their services. Never work with an AC repair technician that uses scar tactics for selling something.