As winter approaches you are probably getting ready to fire up your home’s central heating system. Having a trusted professional service technician do a cleaning and tune-up of your furnace, heat pump or hydronic system is an obvious step that we recommend doing each year. But it would also be good to think about being wary of potential scams regarding HVAC repairs and maintenance. There are a lot of good people out there in our industry that provide reliable service. Sadly, there are some unscrupulous people that think only of themselves at the expense of hurting others, and will take advantage of you without blinking an eye. For that reason, we here at GAMA Air want to help our friends and neighbors in the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino area to be on the lookout for some common scams.
An offer too good to be true
Regardless of the type business, any company needs to make a profit. And the same is true of heating and air conditioning businesses like GAMA Air. To do that the right way means serving customers the very best they can, building a long-term relationship that will be mutually beneficial. But some people and even some heating and air businesses will cut corners to turn a dollar. So, if you are suspicious of an offer for “free” service, or a deal that seems too good to be true, then that’s a good thing. Such offers could be scams.
A legitimate HVAC company that wants to remain financially healthy can’t offer anything for free without getting something in return. If that something is your loyalty, then it could be a positive outcome. However, if that ‘something’ is a sketchy attempt to steer you toward buying an expensive item that you had not thought you needed in the first place then “Look Out!”.
What can you do?
Insist that the technician or service provider give you a written agreement. Doing so is a must both for you and a legitimate Heating and Air company. That means any hesitation or hemming and hawing about writing out what they are proposing to do is a warning sign. You don’t need the trouble of figuring out how to deal with a problem later should that company or worker backtrack or mislead you. So, the take away from GAMA Air is: If an offer from a heating and AC service company sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Asking for an up-front cash payment for a repair
All heating and air companies need to get paid for the work they do. However, a professionally run business does not need to ask for payment before repairing your furnace or air conditioner. Sure, we here at GAMA Air don’t want to get short changed when it comes time to collecting on good work we’ve done, any more than the other HVAC businesses around Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino. Remember the point that we mention above about getting a written agreement? That agreement protects us as much as it protects you. So, if a technician is asking for cash before starting, then “Look Out!”
What can you do?
Our suggestion is to simply deny the request and search for a reputable heating and air company. Like we said, there is no legitimate reason to ask for your money up-front unless they are thinking of trying to take the money and run, or are hoping to get away with something.
As a side point, if you are looking into changing out your heating and / or AC units then that’s different. Those are big ticket items and the common practice of professional HVAC companies is to request a partial payment before starting and the remainder that is due upon completion. But again, the written agreement is your protection and theirs.
If you want help with a problem in your home’s heating or cooling system, the call GAMA Air at (310) 651-6936 or use our online form to schedule a visit at a time convenient to you for a service call. Plus, we guarantee your satisfaction 100%.
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