TDCI: Don’t Let Air Conditioning Repair Scams Leave You Hot

Division of Consumer Affairs Offers Tips for Avoiding AC Repair Scams
Friday, July 20, 2018 | 09:42am

NASHVILLE – As temperatures have soared to new heights, most Tennesseans would agree that an air-conditioning unit is a survival staple. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is warning consumers to be on the lookout for scammers trying to make a profit from charging for unnecessary AC repair work.

“Beyond being frustrating, having air conditioner troubles in the heat of summer can lead to health concerns,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “We encourage Tennesseans to do research ahead of time and compile a list of trusted, well-reviewed repair service providers. Keep this list in a handy place so that if an air conditioning emergency strikes, you’re prepared with reliable options.”

As temperatures rise, air conditioning becomes less of a luxury and more of a life safety essential. TDCI encourages consumers to be wary of scammers while also being mindful of their health. The best way to avoid health concerns and scams is to plan ahead.

TDCI offers the following tips to help consumers avoid air-conditioning repair scams:

  • Check your air-conditioner’s warranty, model information, and maintenance history before authorizing any repairs.
  • Always ask for written estimates and statements.
  • Do not accept quotes for repairs of new units over the phone without first being shown the problem by the technician.
  • Beware of ads with quoted prices and offers that seem too cheap or too good to be true.
  • Get multiple quotes.
  • Research the company and make sure the company lists a physical address. Check consumer resources like the Better Business Bureau to read customer reviews and ratings.
  • Never pay upfront.
  • Be wary if you’re told several components need to be replaced at once. In many cases, multiple parts aren’t functioning because only one part is broken.
  • Try to avoid having work done after hours or on weekends to avoid paying for overtime.
  • Beware of ads promising free cleanings or tune-ups. This can lead to recommendations for costly repairs that are not required, high pressure to replace your unit, or significant mark-ups of the price on replacement parts.
  • Closely supervise the repair process to ensure your technician isn’t charging you for work that isn’t performed.              
  • Be on guard if you are told that refrigerant should be added to the air unit every spring. This could be a scam. Any reputable contractor will detect a leak through a pressure test or dye, and will repair the leak. An air conditioning system should never leak refrigerant regularly.

If you think you’ve been treated unfairly by an air-conditioning repair technician or company, consider these complaint filing steps.

For more consumer tips and resources, visit the TDCI Division of Consumer Affairs at