I’ve recently received an after hours call from a long-time customer. He was very upset, a little embarrassed and quite frankly, scared. What had happened was he was sitting at home when the phone rang. It was an air conditioning company that was going to be in his area on such and such a date and they where prepared to offer him a great deal on an air conditioning check-up. Sound familiar? A while back, I had written an article about the practices of some air conditioning companies who offer $29.95 a/c check-ups. The point of the article was: You cannot send out a fully-trained technician in a $20,000 truck with $5,000 worth of parts on board and only charge $29.95, and stay in business. These technicians are instructed by their boss to make a certain dollar amount on each call, and that is how this scam works. This is just wrong.
In the case of my long-time customer, he was told that there was mold in his duct work and air handler that was so bad, that the house was a health risk. The “technician,” and I use that word loosely, went on to say that either the customer spend about $6000 to clean everything up, or face serious health issues.
In defense of this very nice customer, I totally understand how the $29.95 price tag was very appealing, especially during these difficult economic times. With that said, let me state that we don’t find the system in perfect order each time we do an a/c check – this is simply not possible. There are times when we’ll discover that parts or services are going to be needed, but not every time a technician comes to your house to do some preventative maintenance.
So, next time the phone rings and you get an offer promising you the deal of a lifetime, you need to remember: “IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.