The HVAC system is among the most important investments in your home and ensures the comfort of your family during hot or cold seasons. That is why you need to find a licensed HVAC contractor when you need a furnace or air conditioner repair in your Winnipeg home.
However, with so many HVAC companies in Winnipeg, it can be quite challenging to find someone you can trust for your home’s heating and cooling needs. Unfortunately, if you have not done your research, there can be a possibility of hiring an unscrupulous contractor.
To protect your home, property, safety, and finances from shady HVAC service companies, it is crucial to look out for these common signs of fraudulent business practices.
Watch out for these 8 red flags to avoid being scammed.
1.Little or No Online Presence
Before, people flipped through the yellow pages to search for local HVAC companies. However, today’s businesses have listings online so you can simply look them up on Google, Yelp, or even on Facebook. You can check through the list of results to see if they have a website.
Businesses that do not have an online presence could be a red flag sign. Even startup companies have an online listing and provide their potential customers with basic information about their business. Be alert when you come across an HVAC contractor without solid information. Be sure to do some research before hiring them.
2.No Established Reputation
Customers need assurance that a company will be there whenever they need their services.
An HVAC contractor without an established reputation can mean that you have no guarantee of their reliability or trustworthiness.
Choose companies with years of providing quality HVAC services. You can always depend on reputable companies to be there for you every time you need them.
3.Asking for Money Upfront
If a company suddenly reaches out to you out of the blue—whether through email, phone, or face-to-face and is asking for an upfront payment—be careful!
Many professional HVAC companies do research and marketing to potential customers that they have not dealt with before.
Before hiring, your first question may be “How do you evaluate an HVAC contractor?” To protect yourself from phony contractors, check their official website, contact the number provided on their site, and request their proper credentials and licensing.
4.Too Many Negative Reviews
All businesses, even the most reputable ones, receive negative feedback now and then. However, if you find too many negative reviews, it can indicate issues with the quality of service the company provides. Watch out for negative reviews that mention the same issues.
Also, check out if the company responded to negative feedback. If so, notice how they respond. Were they polite, understanding, and offering a solution, or were they confrontational or dismissive?
If ever the company has too many negative customer reviews, do not hesitate to bring it up when you speak with them. They may have addressed the issues and made improvements to their services.
5.Lack of Insurance
Accidents can strike without a warning. If the HVAC company does not carry insurance, you could face costly consequences. When an uninsured HVAC technician gets injured while doing their job at your property, you could face a lawsuit and will be responsible for all the medical bills, as well.
When choosing an HVAC company, be sure to ask for their certificate of insurance before hiring them. If they refuse to provide or say they do not have insurance, move on to the next potential company.
6.Unbelievably Cheap Rates
We understand how people work hard to earn money, and they want to make the most out of what they are paying.
However, if an HVAC company offers you a price that is too good to be true, listen to your instinct. Ads may entice you with big deals, but as soon as they provide you with the fine print, they will reveal additional fees and add-ons.
Also, abysmal rates may indicate low-quality service that excludes warranties or service arrangements. You may be surprised how a great deal can quickly turn expensive. Take time to shop around and compare the service fees for each company. If the rate is dramatically lower than the others, ask yourself why.
7.High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Stay away from a company that pressures you into buying something. Shady contractors often operate on high-pressure sales tactics. When customers feel pressured, they may be forced to say yes to end the stressful situation.
Here are some of the most common high-pressure tactics to watch out for:
- Limited time offers
- Endless chatter
- Emotional manipulation
If a potential HVAC contractor uses any of these tactics to make you purchase their services, be wary.
When it comes to fixing your HVAC issues, there are several ways to address them. Do not get yourself pressured and tricked by a shady company. Take time to explore other options and determine what works best for your heating and cooling needs.
8.Inability to Answer Questions
A reliable and experienced HVAC technician has enough knowledge about HVAC due to their years of work.
In case you encounter an HVAC professional who has little knowledge about the system or their work, you should be concerned. A reliable HVAC technician can give you clear answers to all your questions.
9.Business Website is Not Secured
Sham HVAC companies usually use fake websites to fool customers. They create emails that look official and websites that use logos from legitimate companies.
When checking the website of a potential company, be sure that it has a secure link. The website URL should start with an “https://” rather than an “http://”. The letter S stands for secure, and the company uses an SSL certificate to ensure the security of its website.
Abundant Air offers a full suite of HVAC services to our potential Winnipeg customers. Our furnace and AC experts maintain a good track record in providing exceptional HVAC services and after-sales feedback from our satisfied clients. We only employ qualified, licensed, and regularly trained HVAC technicians to work with you.