Avoid Heating Repair Scams in Havertown, PA: Four Tips

How to Avoid Heating Repair Scams This Winter in Havertown, PA

How to Avoid Heating Repair Scams This Winter in Havertown, PA

Your furnace is crucial for a comfortable home in the winter. And, unfortunately, scammers know this. As a result, people out to cheat you start showing up in the cold weather with various heater repair scams.

They can end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. And, many times, they’re impossible to catch once they’ve left your home.

And, trusted HVAC companies don’t like them either. They give us an undeserved bad reputation when people lump us all together.

That’s why we’re addressing the problem head-on.

In this post, we’ll look at four easy ways you can avoid getting ripped off this winter. And, if you’re looking for a heating repair company you can trust, give us a call here at John Cipollone.
We’ve served families for generations in the Delaware Valley.

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Four Tips to Avoid Winter Heating Repair Scams

  1. Work With Trusted Companies
  2. Do Your Research
  3. Ask a Lot of Questions
  4. Get Everything in Writing

Work with Trusted Companies

It’s easier than you may realize to get roped in with a contractor that’s less than honest. That could be someone local who doesn’t do good work. Or, it’s a fly-by-night company that’s not even close to legitimate.

White Repair & Service Van In Havertown, PA

 

Fly-By-Night Operations

First, let’s get rid of the straight-up scammers: The people who show up, take your money, and never do the work. There a few warning signs to watch for.

First, can you find them online? Zero digital footprint is a reason to be suspicious. Even the smallest or youngest, companies should at least have a directory entry somewhere.

Next is if they have a physical address. You should be able to stop in and see their office.

Finally, and this is an older trick: Do they have permanent decals on their work trucks?

A common trick is rolling up to your house on a van that looks “official. But, the decals are just magnets they can peel on and off in seconds.

That’s a sign they’re going to swap out all their information once they leave. The name and phone number are fakes, and you’ll never be able to find them.

For these reasons, you want to work with someone that’s been in your area for a while.

Cold-Call Scams

Another sign that something’s up is when an HVAC company calls you out of the blue. You may hear from someone you’ve never worked with before saying it’s time for your annual furnace check-up.

Or, they’re offering a free duct-cleaning, inspection, or similar offer.

It may sound like a great deal. But it’s likely not. The workers will come in and then tell you they found a bigger problem.

If you agree to let them repair it, they’ll likely do a lousy job (or nothing at all). Or, they’ll take a deposit and never return.

Do Your Research

Man Searching For Holiday Home

We covered a little of this already, but let’s look at this a little more: Make sure you do your research if you’re working with

A little trickier are legitimate companies that are not that good. Sometimes they’re scammy. Other times, they just stink. Fortunately, you can spot both the same way.

And you can do it all online.

First, check out their Better Business Bureau profile. Is it an A+? Do they have a lot of red-flag issues on there?

Those concerns would be things like not finishing work or getting caught not doing what they said they would.

Then, poke around for other reviews on Google or Yelp. If you see a lot of ad reviews, you’ll know something’s up.

Next, look for the company’s responses. Sometimes, things go wrong, even with the best contractors. But, they’ll do their best to address those problems.

If you see a bunch of negative reviews and comments with no replies from the company, then you can expect to be the next person leaving them a frustrated, one-star review.

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Ask a Lot of Questions

Builder Answers Questions

Next, some of that research should result in some questions for a new contractor. And, they should be about the company itself and also any work they’re proposing.

First is asking for their office location, as we mentioned earlier. Next, ask if they’re licensed and certified to work on your furnace’s brand.

Then, there are questions about the job itself. Some of these depend on exactly what work they’re saying needs to be done. But, there are a few common points to hit no matter what.

First of all, if you’re using this company for the first time, ask to see any damaged parts once they remove them.

And, in general, make sure you understand anything they’re about to do.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed or Intimidated

Here’s why those questions are especially important: They’re like kryptonite for scammers. A con artist relies on you not knowing what’s going on. Otherwise, you could sniff them out.

So, once you start asking a lot of questions, they’ll try to shut you down.

If the tech or contractor is trying to overwhelm you, make you feel like you don’t understand what’s happening, or is rushing you to sign on for something, don’t be afraid to show them the door.

Any good HVAC company wants to build a relationship with a homeowner. So, they’ll take the time to build trust, especially by making sure you’re comfortable with everything that’s going on.

Get Everything in Writing

Get Everything in Writing To Avoid Heating Repair Scams

If you’re confident in letting a new HVAC contractor do some work in your home, make sure you get everything in writing.

That means an estimate outlining what they’ll do, what parts they’re replacing — and what each item costs.

There are quite a few advantages to this.

First, you’ll avoid any confusion about exactly what they were supposed to do if there’s a problem when they’re done.

And, you’ll have a paper trail if you need to dispute anything later.

Finally, it’s especially useful if you want a second opinion. And, for a larger job, you should get a second opinion.

There’s nothing wrong with getting another company to tell you how much they’d charge for whatever the first company is proposing. It’s in your best interest, particularly if it’s going to cost you a lot of money.

This way, you can compare the estimates line-by-line and see if one company is proposing to do something the other is not.

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Avoid Heater Repair Scams With a Trusted HVAC Company

You can make sure your heater is working well all winter without running the risk of a repair scam. John Cipollone has been serving Havertown, the Main Line, and other towns in DelCo and Montgomery County for decades.

You can visit us at our office, find us online, and read our five-star reviews and A+ BBB rating. Call or email us today.

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