It’s well-accepted that regular inspection and maintenance of your home heating system can protect you and your loved ones. Yet, you should also be aware that there have been issues related to furnace maintenance fraud, where scam artists try to scare you into believing that you will be subject to dangerous situations, such as a house fire, carbon monoxide leak or loss of heat or cooling. Here, we outline some general guidelines to help you spot shysters and protect yourself from being the victim of furnace maintenance fraud.
One early warning bell that could signal furnace maintenance fraud is an unusually high overall sense of urgency – without providing you any credible proof of an immediate, serious problem. Ask the individual to show you the “problem” personally or provide contextual photos or videos. A disingenuous person may also pressure you act immediately on an “exceptionally low” bid to resolve some threatening or “dangerous” issue, oftentimes requiring you to invest a substantial sum of money the same day. In these cases, consider obtaining a second opinion from a trustworthy source.
Find a Trustworthy Source
- A good start in protecting from furnace maintenance fraud is to verify whether the individual actually represents a bonafide business. This means the company should be licensed through the State. So obtain the company’s contractor license number and then search the state’s database to ensure the company does, in fact, hold the appropriate contractor’s license.
- Check that the company carries insurance for liability in case of damage to your property.
- Confirm valid worker’s disability or death insurance and remember to visually inspect the documents.
- Ask if the representative can point you to a company web site where you can verify customer referrals and confirm any affiliation with organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau.
Sherlock Plumbing Heating & Air has been providing verifiable trustworthy HVAC services in the North County and San Diego area for over 30 years. For 15 percent off of our preventative maintenance plan, which includes an initial free service visit, please call (760) 206-4167 or contact us online.