CONSUMER ALERT: Air Conditioning Repair Fraud - SanTanValley.com

CONSUMER ALERT: Air Conditioning Repair Fraud

CONSUMER ALERT: Air Conditioning Repair Fraud
CONSUMER ALERT: Air Conditioning Repair Fraud

This summer’s record-breaking temperatures are maxing out air conditioners and putting local families at risk for air conditioning repair scams. Attorney General Mark Brnovich says Arizonans need to search for a reputable service company and follow the tips below to avoid high-pressure sales tactics and unneeded or costly repairs.

“When the air conditioning unit goes out, families are desperate to get it fixed fast,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "Arizonans need to do their homework and know their rights to make sure they don’t get burned by a shady air conditioning repair company.”

AG Brnovich offers the following tips to avoid AC repair scams:

  • Troubleshoot First: Take some time before calling for service to check a few basic things. Is the electrical breaker tripped? Is your thermostat operating? Are the filters on your unit dirty or blocked and need to be cleaned? If it’s minor, you might be able to fix it yourself.
  • Check Warranty Coverage: Your air conditioner might still be under the manufacturer's warranty. Be sure to check your owner's manual or warranty to avoid unnecessarily paying for repairs that might be covered.
  • Do your research: Research contractors with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have a Business Review on file at bbb.org.
  • Verify License: Locally, search the Arizona Registrar of Contractors at https://roc.az.gov/ to find the status of a company’s license and the history of complaints filed against them.
  • Online Reviews: Look up third-party review sites over the company’s own webpage. Give more weight to a company with hundreds of good reviews over a multi-year period.
  • Obtain Multiple Bids for Extensive Repairs: Try to solicit at least two or three bids on large projects. Find out the proper size unit to cool your home and the energy efficiency of a new unit.
  • Get it in writing: Prior to any sale, obtain a written contract of the equipment and services the company is selling and review thoroughly before signing. Don’t sign anything that you don’t agree to.
  • Consider Payment: When buying a unit, avoid paying the entire amount before the unit is installed. It’s common to pay a third to secure the contract, another third when the work is half done and the final third only when the work is completed. Under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, for a contract of more than $5,000, the contractor legally cannot accept a deposit in excess of 1/3 of the contract price, or 1/3 of the contract price plus the cost of special order materials.
  • Know Your Rights: Be wary if a contractor uses a sense of urgency in their selling methods. Some dishonest contractors may use high-pressure tactics to recommend repairs and replacements that are not actually needed.

For more consumer protection tips, visit the Arizona Attorney General’s Office website at www.azag.gov.

If you believe you have been the victim of an air conditioning scam or any other type of consumer fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or outside the metro areas at (800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s website at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer.

Looking for a local air conditioning repair company in San Tan Valley? Visit the San Tan Valley Business Directory - search in "Home Services" or enter 'air conditioning' into the keyword field.

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