Running air conditioning systems are crucial in Arizona homes, and failure of the unit during a heat wave can lead to rash decisions. Most homeowners aren’t familiar with the finer points of AC repairs and rely on the contractor’s expertise. Although you hope that the contractor is honest, it’s unfortunate that many aren’t. Some will try to scam you into believing you need extensive repairs or expensive part replacements, which will result in you paying much more than necessary for repairs. However, you can avoid scams in the Phoenix area by following these tips:
Read Reviews and Ratings
Before you call the first air conditioning service contractor that shows up in your Google search, read their reviews and ratings. Previous customers provide a wealth of information, and if they have been scammed or had an unfortunate experience, you will be able to read about it online. Check multiple review sources before deciding on which contractor to call, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB lists reliable companies that are BBB members and have excellent ratings.
Beware of Paying Upfront
It is normal for a contractor to ask for a deposit for larger AC repairs, but they should never ask for the total cost upfront. If a contractor tells you they need payment in full before they do the work, say “no” and call someone else.
Get It in Writing
Before any work begins, get your AC maintenance contract in writing. Having the details in writing protects you from being told one thing and having a very different end result. Ask your contractor to put the following in writing:
- Start and finish date.
- Detailed list of all materials
- Itemized expenses, including time and labor
Ask for the Broken Parts
Many homeowners never ask for the broken parts after repairs are completed, which opens the door for scammers to take advantage. Scamming companies will find that a repair is simple but tell you that an expensive part is broken and then never replace it. A reliable and trustworthy air conditioning contractor will have no problem handing over the broken parts, while a scammer will not have the parts to give to you.