You schedule your yearly furnace or boiler maintenance check from the coupon referral you got in the mail. The technician arrives and after knocking about in the furnace for a bit, the man informs you that you have a bad heat exchanger and that the unit needs to be replaced. He tells you it’s too hard to see the crack without taking the entire system apart, but emphasizes the fact that a cracked heat exchanger allows carbon monoxide to leak into the home. You hear the words “carbon monoxide,” and the next thing you know you have your checkbook in hand. Before you hand over thousands of dollars to pay for a new system, take the time to get a second opinion.
- Low Priced Coupon: Attractively low priced coupons are just one of the ways that scam artists get into your home. Once inside, the coupon price goes out the window and it is almost impossible to get them to leave without handing over more many that expected. Some of these “technicians” will even deliberately break the unit by loosening wires or unplugging certain components. To the untrained eye the system appears to be broken, and you could pay hundreds for a replacement part of repair that the unit never needed.
- Fear Tactics: Fear is a great motivator, and salesmen in many industries play upon this human emotion in order to make a sale. The challenge for the homeowner is to keep a level head. Give yourself a reality check and realize that you don’t have to hand over thousands of dollars without double checking the salesman’s claim.
When you suggest getting a second opinion on your furnace’s supposed problem, odds are the true colors of the scam artist will show. They know that they are operating a scam, and they may even become more aggressive in their tactics. Don’t settle, keep your money, and call a real professional to do a second assessment. Many companies will even provide this service free of charge, and the BBB is a great resource to help you find a contractor you can truly trust.