The vast majority of contractors and companies in the HVAC industry are honest and reputable. In any industry where large amounts of money can potentially change hands, however, the potential for scams and dishonest dealings exists. Here are some ways to identify furnace scams along with suggestions for what to do if you think you’ve been approached by an unscrupulous HVAC contractor.
The Nature of Furnace Scams
Furnace scams usually take the form of urgent appeals to the safety of your family and household. Scammers may approach a homeowner and indicate the immediate need for a furnace or chimney inspection, repair or replacement. These inspections could be presented in terms of preventing exposure to dangerous exhaust gases such as carbon monoxide or preventing fires. The scammer may present his case in the most graphic and fear-inducing terms possible, hoping that the overhyped danger will convince a homeowner to pay for an expensive inspection or repair that may not be necessary.
What to Do If You’ve Been Approached
- Don’t fall for urgent demands. Scammers want you to act immediately and sign orders for services without thinking the issue through. Don’t sign any contracts or make any promises on the spot, especially if you’re being pressured to act quickly.
- Contact another contractor for a second opinion. Turn to the HVAC service providers you’ve used in the past for additional advice, or ask your friends, family and colleagues for references to reliable contractors. Tell them what the potential scammer has suggested and ask them if the inspection or service is really necessary.
- Get proof. Ask to be shown the damage or other problem that the scammer says must be repaired. Get still photographs or video that clearly documents the problem. Don’t accept the presence of debris as proof, since the material could have come from somewhere else.
Meyer’s serves customers in the Indiana communities of Gary, Munster, Highland and Griffith with top-quality HVAC sales, service and installation. Contact us today for more information on avoiding furnace scams and how to detect a potential scam before you lose your money.