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As the summer is in full swing, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is warning people of air conditioning scams.
While air conditioning can be a necessity, not all repairs are legitimate. TDCI offered some tips to help consumers avoid repair fraud.
“Aside from being frustrating, problems with air conditioning in the summer heat can lead to health concerns,” TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak said in a statement. “We encourage Tennesseans to do advance research and compile a list of trusted, well-vetted repair providers. Keep this list in a convenient place so that you are prepared for reliable options in an emergency. “
TDCI recommends that you review your air conditioner’s warranty, model information, and service history before agreeing to repairs. Make sure the company lists a physical address and check for customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau.
Knowing the right price to repair an air conditioner can be difficult. TDCI suggests getting multiple quotes so you can compare prices and make the best decision.
They also suggest not taking any offers over the phone. After you are shown the problem, ask for a written estimate and explanation.
According to TDCI, if you want to keep the repair price lower, try to have the device repaired during business hours rather than on weekends to avoid overtime charges.
You should also avoid adverts with advertised prices that are unrealistic, especially if they seem too cheap.
Never pay for an air conditioner repair service before the unit is repaired.
There are a few things to look out for when discussing repairs with the technician.
If they tell you that refrigerant should be added to the air unit every spring, it could be a scam. According to TDCI, an air conditioning system should never regularly leak refrigerant. If there is a leak, a reputable contractor will fix it instead of telling you that refrigerant needs to be topped up annually.
You should also supervise the contractor during repairs so that you can ensure that they do not charge you for additional work or work that was not performed.
Finally, you may see ads for free cleans and improvements. TDCI recommends staying away from these as it may lead to recommendations for unnecessary repairs, surcharges for replacement parts, or pressure to replace your device.
If you’ve already fixed your air conditioner this summer and you think it might have been a scam, you’re out of luck. TDCI has created a website where you can file a complaint. They also have some tips on their website.