As a consumer, you have been through all kinds of situations where things didn’t turn out the way they seemed in the beginning. Maybe you’ve been to a car lot, where you were in a buying mood, and made the decision, only to find out that the price of your car was really going to be a lot higher than what showed on the sticker. That is known as “sticker shock,” and it has taken on a meaning that spreads across all kinds of circumstances.
If you have found yourself in the unfortunate situation of seeing your air conditioning break down, you don’t have much choice other than to do some extensive repairs or to replace it completely. Since you are, in all likelihood, not an AC professional yourself, you have to call one. They come and give you an estimate, then at the end of the job you find out that it is 30% more than you were told. Then there are the explanations about this or that running over the anticipated costs.
That becomes a nightmare, especially if you are on a tight budget to begin with. It’s certainly nowhere you want to be. The good news is that you don’t have to wind up there.
In almost every metropolitan area of this country, you’ll be able to find HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) companies who operate with a lot more reputability than that. Their standard of doing the business with the customer is to reveal all the costs up front. You will, after an evaluation of your home, receive a written estimate of everything, before any of the work is done. And they will back it up. Nothing begins until you’ve signed off on it, so you don’t have to hear the dreaded explanation that “It’s too late, we’ve already started.”
Companies who are not operating at high standards have been known to drive the price of a job up by adding on a lot of hidden costs, so that they have already trapped you. Then, if you have a problem with that, it starts a whole quagmire of problems that will just wind up costing you more money before it’s over. You could complain to the Better Business Bureau, but frankly, a lot of companies who engage in such a practice know they’re not going to get a lot of work from people who call the Better Business Bureau anyway.
If you think you’re getting a good price, think again. That might just be the tip of the iceberg. Stick with HVAC companies who will tell you everything up front and don’t minding getting behind what they say.