A majority of contractors are honest people running legitimate businesses. However, occasionally homeowners or office managers get swindled by phony con artists and scammers claiming to be a skilled, licensed contractor.
Especially at this time of year, when families and businesses are getting their air conditioning unit serviced after being dormant all winter, HVAC scammers start coming out of the woodwork. And unfortunately, lots of people get sweet-talked by these unskilled or unethical contractors.
No doubt you’ve seen stories of this happening on your local news: a shocked homeowner says the handyman or air conditioning repairman seemed trustworthy, but then the contractor skipped out as soon as they paid him in advance.
Obviously, giving a contractor money before the work is done is mistake number one. Most people know that if a repairman or contractor asks to be paid up front, it’s a telltale sign that they are trying to scam you.
But there are some other, lesser known indicators that you may be dealing with an unscrupulous contractor. Fortunately, with the accessibility to the internet that we have today, it is easier to do research about a contractor before you let them into your home or business.
Some warning signs that an HVAC contractor may be dishonest or inexperienced are:
- They have little to no brochures or other informational material about their products and services, certifications and warranties.
- There is limited information about the company—for example, they have no web site or just a one page site that looks unprofessional and hastily put together.
- You can find no proof of insurance or bonding.
- They aren’t HVAC certified or similarly accredited.
- The company hasn’t been around for that long.
Another tip to make sure you are dealing with an experienced HVAC contractor is to check and see if they are certified with a professional organization like the North American Technician Excellence, or NATE.
At Gagne Air Conditioning & Heating in Alpharetta, Georgia, our HVAC-certified technicians are highly-trained in installing and servicing all major brands, including Carrier, Trane, Honeywell and others. We provide warranties on parts and labor for all of our products, and we are licensed, insured and bonded.
And since we’ve helping Georgia families and businesses for over 20 years, you are sure to get the best quality service from an experienced contractor you can trust.
If you’re in the Atlanta area, give us a call anytime at (678) 221-4328 for a preseason checkup or any other air conditioning and heating questions you may have. Click here to learn more about A/C maintenance, or visit our blog and knowledge center for actionable tips for maintaining your unit.
And if you’ve been affected by an unscrupulous contractor of any guide, be sure to report the incident to your local Better Business Bureau and relevant state agencies today.