I recently had a first hand, local experience that reminded me that we cannot trust the integrity of many online recommendations or complaints for AC and heating. Especially if the comments are anonymous. The two primary reasons for this are straightforward:
1-Less than ethical A/C and heating service companies (or agencies working for them…) sometimes hire writers to write good stuff about themselves online and, even worse, fabricate rants and complaints about competing HVAC contractors.
Service companies do this for two main reasons: a– to make their website found more easily for searches related to their business. b– to influence potential customers who are doing online research. Of course, these two are connected.
2-Real customers are more inclined to rant when they are unhappy than they are to write a good online recommendation when the work goes well. This is only natural….since they are paying for the work, it is normal to expect that the repair or replacement of their system will go without many problems.
So, how do you know which local company to call when you need to repair or replace your air conditioner?
Here are a few tips that will help you make your own “composite profile” that is more reliable than online rants and raves.
- Don’t wait until your AC system quits to have it serviced. Research and interview several companies for a short list. Use the criteria below to choose one, and get on their scheduled maintenance plan for the spring and fall. In addition to helping prevent emergency AC or heating repairs and replacements, you will avoid the peak demand times and get preferential service.
- Ask your neighbors. If several of them recommend the same company, that’s a good sign
- Check Better Business Bureau Online
- Ask a few direct questions:
- Number of years in business under the same name and ownership.
- Who owns them: equipment manufacturer, franchise, service corporation, independent company, etc.
- Association memberships, such as ACCA
- Training and Certifications
- Do they perform background checks for the technicians who will come to your home or business?
Please write comments about your experiences, so others can learn from them.