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6 Tips To Finding The Right Air Conditioning Contractor For Service

Aug 17, 2007
It is hot outside. Real hot. You can hardly wait to get home and relax in you air conditioned home.

You get home from work and just want to settle into your daily routine. Suddenly, you realize that the air conditioner isn't running and it is very hot. Now what? Always try to go back to the installing air conditioning contractor whenever possible, but what if you do not know who installed it? Do you open the phone book and hope to get a well-trained, honest air condtioning repairman? Or do you just pray that you don't get ripped off?

Try using these six tips to get the service you need without getting taken to the cleaners.

1. Write down the make and model of your outdoor condenser and a brief description of the problem (a single paragraph will do) before you pick up the phone. This information will not only help the service company diagnose the problem; it also makes you look like a smart consumer. Remember, knowledge is power.

2. Try to find a factory authorized repair center first. This is a must if your air conditioner is still under warranty. Factory authorized means that the manufacturer stands behind the repair and will usually mediate in any disputes. With stiff competition in the service market, the last thing the manufacturer wants is an unsatisfied customer who purchases a different brand. Many times you can look under the heading of Air Conditioning Equipment and get the manufacturer listed and contact them directly.

3. Ask people you know for referrals. Okay, this one is pretty basic. But, with all of the appliances we use every day, someone you know has needed to have one of them fixed. Benefit from their experience, good or bad.

4. Check the yellow pages for an air conditioning company who take credit cards. Credit cards offer an extra layer of protection for you. If you are not satisfied with the fix and the repairman refuses to address your concerns, you can contact your credit card company and request a charge back to the merchant. This will involve more paperwork on your part, but can give you a better position when negotiating a dispute. Be aware, though, that using this tactic too often can leave you in bad standing with your credit card company. Check their policies on charge backs first.

5. While you have the yellow pages open, compare the ads. Yellow page ads are not cheap. Only the most successful or competitive companies can afford the big display ads. While this doesn't indicate the level of service you get, it does show which companies invest in advertising and which expect to still be in business in a year or two.

6. When you do start making calls, ask the same questions of each company. A good start would be:

How long have you been in business?
Do you use factory parts?
Are you insured for any damages the appliance may cause after the repair?
Do you offer a written guarantee on parts and labor?
Do you have any corporate references?
Have your repairmen received any factory training?
Has your company ever been taken to small claims court to settle a dispute?

Using these six tips will help you to weed out the dishonest, incompetent, or just plain bad air conditioning servicemen. They will also help identify the good servicemen that you can count on for a long time to come.
About the Author
Jeff Schuman invites you to visit his heating and air conditioning website for useful air conditioning and furnace tips.
http://www.airconditioningandfurnaces.info
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