Choosing The Right HVAC Company: Be Aware Of Misleading Tactics
For you to recognize which Toronto HVAC company you should confide, there are a few misleading tactics we want to share that a number of practicing Heating and Cooling contractor companies make use of to close a deal with you. So next time you come across an advertisement or run into an HVAC sales representative, hopefully you can apply these tips to decide on whom you can rely.
1. Is the potential contractor an Accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, with a decent BBB rating?
Nowadays, with many quick money-making scams in every business, it is always recommended by authorities to deal with businesses that are accredited members of the Better Business Bureau, so that the company would have a transparent record of interactions with previous clients. This is especially recommended when dealing with contractors. In fact, being a BBB member, brings about a unique sense of responsibility for the company to try and put its best foot forward in all endeavours.
2. Are you offered a mind-blowing complimentary giveaway?
It is a reasonable and definitely a good deal to be offered a free programmable thermostat, per say, with the installation of an air conditioner or a furnace system. However, the promise of a ‘complimentary’ A/C with the installation of a heating system, etc. is a sign you are going to be scammed. You could be sure of this by calling the company in advance to request for a ballpark quote after the complete installation! A countless number of these irrational heating and cooling offers provided on flyers, web sites, etc. are merely an approach for the sales representatives to enter your residence and mislead you into purchasing products and services for which you will be obligated to pay much more after the installation is complete.
3. Please watch for unrealistic claims in marketing campaigns!
Try and keep an eye out for false claims. Below, are two of these examples that I have personally encountered:
a. Saving $500 on your gas bill annually, by replacing your hot water tank with a tankless model
This statement has no logic behind it and is only an eye-catching marketing strategy overly exaggerating the benefits of tankless water heaters. An average household's annual gas consumption for heating water using a conventional hot water tank could hardly exceed $400. How could one then save $500, if one currently doesn't pay more than $400? Please visit the Tankless Water Heaters reviews under the tips section to discover why replacing your hot water tank with a tankless unit may not be a smart investment, afterall.
b. "120% efficient furnaces"
It was perhaps one of the very first concepts concerning scientific laws of nature: Energy is neither created nor destroyed - the Law of Conservation of Energy - it can only be transformed into one state from another. Referring to such a thing as a 120% efficiency furnace, implies that for every dollar paid towards heating your home, another 20 cents worth of energy magically appears. This is perhaps even more outrageous than the previous statement.
4. Are you being offered 100% "satisfaction guarantee"?
First of all, be positive that this claim is clearly outlined in your contract and with absolutely no strings attached. Second, make all or at least a considerable percentage of the payment after the job is done. If a company is confident enough to guarantee 100% of your satisfaction, it should have no problem receiving your payment after completion.
5. Does the company own a legitimate office?
It is a necessity for a credible heating and air conditioning business to have an administrative office, a showroom and a warehouse to appropriately function and serve its new and existing clientele. If you wish to make a deal with a reliable firm, do a background-research to learn more about the company. Please be aware that a few "companies", that have in fact infested the market, provide location information of that of the owner's residence. When you are paying thousands of dollars to replace or newly install an equipment in your home, would you not rather giving your business to a contractor that has established a proper work environment and does not try to maximize profit by eliminating vital overhead costs?
6. Do they provide phone numbers in all the possible area codes you can imagine?
I am certain that in a few of the ads or sites with which you have come across, you have been provided numerous phone numbers in the north, south, east and west suburbs of our Great Toronto neighbourhoods. Not in all, but in some cases, if you simply take the time to make a call to each of the presented numbers, you will realize the same person will answer all calls.
Some of these folks forward all the phone numbers to their cell or home phone. In fact, you would be startled when I disclose to you that the person answering the call is most likely the only person running and working in the ‘company’. This is obviously done to be noticed as a pro-longed and developed business. So again, please do try to take the time to do some background-research and do not be fooled!
7. Are the employed HVAC technicians fully licensed?
I know of company owners who employ unlicensed technicians to avoid the obligation of paying higher salaries and to ultimately maximize the business profits. Always request for a licensed technician and make sure to check his licence and check to see whether he has legitimately tagged the equipment you have purchased.
8. Are they offering a very low service and maintenance fee?
In some cases, this may be more than a sincere promotion. Most of such proposals are to force you into purchasing much more expensive services. I have heard a countless number of stories where the technician enters your residence, magnifies and over exaggerates or even completely fabricates a false issue, leading you to believe your furnace or air conditioner needs to be replaced and ultimately charges you a relatively high price. Imagine this scenario happen in the midst of a very cold winter day, when you are told by a maintenance technician that your furnace heat exchanger is cracked, who further shuts down your gas and leads you to believe that you are exposed to danger and that you need a new furnace system to avoid any hazard. Unfortunately, our cold Canadian winters or even our humid summer season makes it difficult for most consumers to get a number of other professional opinions and perform a thorough 'shopping around' and these scare tactics are unfortunately sometimes used to make a quick buck. You can check out this article published by the Better Business Bureau: Don't Get Burned by Furnace Fraud
In order to make an informed decision in selecting the right heating and cooling firm for YOU, my recommendation is to shop around, obtain at least 3 valid free in-home estimates, and sign a contract with a company that along with a suitable and reasonable final quote,
1) would be able to offer you legitimate referrals,
2) has a genuine work environment,
3) has a business insurance and is WSIB insured, so that in case of any damage to your property or any injuries is able to make compensations, (make note in the gas business, such damages can be quite severe,
4) is registered with or is a member of such organizations as TSSA (Technical Standards and Safety Authority) and HRAI (the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada),
5) is a member of BBB (Better Business Bureaus) to render its past interactions with its previous customers (And be aware that BBB always tries to take sides with consumers)