In the hot Phoenix summer, we depend on our air conditioner to keep us cool and comfortable. When they break down, our decision making process becomes rushed and we don’t have the luxury of time to wait. Even during an emergency A/C service call, watch out for these shady practices from A/C repair techs to avoid being scammed by your air conditioning company.
There are AC inspection scams that mostly stem from a super low cost or worse… free AC inspection. Here’s what you should look out for when a repair technician arrives at your home.
5 Common Air Conditioning Repair Scams (and how to spot them)
1. Claiming your refrigerant needs to be “topped off”
If an AC technician says the refrigerant is low, it is because there is a leak in the refrigerant lines. Your AC technician should give you the option to find and fix the leak, or add more refrigerant to the unit as a temporary fix. Leaks may be small and leak slowly over time depending on how much the system is used and the weather but once the system is depleted of refrigerant, it will continue to leak at a great and greater rate. The priority should be given to identifying and repairing the leak, which takes many AC technicians out of their comfort zone and something that they may try to avoid doing by selling the temporary fix of adding more refrigerant.
Topping off refrigerant or recharging can also be an excuse to charge more for an unneeded service. Ask yourself if you have had any problems heating or cooling the home prior to the AC technician coming out? The service technician at Green ID will not mislead you. We offer you a fair, up front prices in writing and never charge more than we quote.
2. Selling you more refrigerant than you actually received
Inexperienced, lazy or dishonest AC technicians may charge the unit “by feel,” which can easily lead to best guesses as to how much refrigerant was added. Refrigerant should always be weighed in before and after use to know exactly how much was added. The time it actually takes to add refrigerant can vary day-by-day depending on the weather, size of the system, the size of the refrigerant tanks and the hoses and it is impossible to know how much refrigerant was added by looking at a set of gauges. We sugguest to actually watch your AC technician use a scale to measure the refrigerant jug.
3. High pressure sales pitches
Sometimes HVAC technicians use scare tactics to force you into overpaying or purchasing something your home doesn’t need. They likely don’t want you to get a second opinion and want to scare you into buying now. You can prevent this by just requesting some information before of the person coming out to your home. It can go a long way in just making sure you are getting a reputable technician at your house. Get the name and qualifications of everyone who will be in your home. Ask how long they have been in the industry; ask for references and proof of insurance or credentials. Do not trust a AC company who does not provide a written agreement. Verbal agreements should never be done, always insist on a written agreement. Green ID provides you with reputable, background checked, expert air conditioning repair service you need to get your AC unit working once again.
4. Making a repair that could have been by an alternative, more inexpensive repair
Have you ever worked with a great car repair company that found alternative solutions to a problem another company said it would be more expensive to fix? I had a taken my car to the dealership once to get an oil change and was hit with news that I needed a $600 repair done. I almost went forward with it, but held back and took it to my regular mechanic instead and was glad I did. They found that the part they claimed had to be replaced still had about half of its life still good and when it did need replacing, they could just rebuild it for half the cost. Your air conditioner works the same way in that many times a relatively small problem can be fixed via a cheaper alternative to keep the unit running. Having a combination of experience, non-commission based technicians and proper training is what you ideally want in your AC company. It’s also good to make sure that the parts being replaced, actually get replaced by asking to keep the damaged parts.
5. Unplugging the A/C unit
Believe it or not we have seen this done to unsuspecting homeowners. It may be done by a service technician to ensure they get a call back on a repair that wasn’t immediately fixed, or just carelessness. Either way you can stop this scam from ever happening by knowing and trusting your heating and air conditioning service provider, and always seeking a second opinion.
Unfortunately not all Phoenix HVAC companies operate ethically. Green ID can offer you peace of mind. We guarantee your air conditioner will not malfunction during the season we maintain it. If your unit does fail, we will repair it at 50% off.
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