HOW TO HIRE A SERVICE CONTRACTOR
Tips on Contractor Services from Premier Comfort
Nobody likes to have a negative experience with a service contractor when they need new equipment or repair work done on their home. However, it’s a fact that tens of thousands of homeowners every year file complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and other local business authorities because of negative experiences they had with a local service contractor. Too many homeowners have suffered needlessly because they did not know what you are about to learn here.
This guide was put together to help ensure a positive experience when hiring a heating and air contractor. In this guide, you will learn exactly what to expect from your contractor, what to avoid, and what questions to ask before you hire a company. Finally, you will be provided with a quick checklist that you can use before you make a final decision and hire a contractor for your home.
Problems with Heating and Air Contractors
Negative experiences with heating and air contractors usually occur in one of these three areas:
- Problems with money or costs.
- Problems with the quality of work performed.
- Problems with the actual company employees who came to the house.
Let’s go over these three areas really quickly so that you are equipped with the knowledge of “what goes on out there,” and so you can be better prepared to hire the right company.
Problems with Money or Costs
The majority of heating and air contractors prepare their order forms with legal jargon that protects them and puts the homeowner at risk. For example, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to pay money upfront (i.e. a down payment) and then never have the job completed. If the company is not licensed and insured, then you’ll never get your money back. Furthermore, if you are not completely satisfied with the work done, or the equipment that was installed, you’ll probably never get your money back because the company is protected with legal loopholes in the order form that you signed. In order to protect yourself from these problems, you must do the following:
- Never hire a company that requires any payment upfront.
- Never hire a company that is not licensed and insured.
- Never hire a company who has a long list of “fine print” on their order forms
Problems with the Work Performed
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a service contractor to service
your home while still leaving you unsatisfied. Usually, the problem is that
the necessary repair goes unfixed, new equipment doesn’t live up to
expectations, or it simply takes too long to make the repair. These problems typically come as a result of poor training, a lack of expertise, and the unavailability of parts. To avoid these problems, be sure to ask your contractor
the following questions:
- What type of training do you give your employees?
- How many years of experience does your average technician have?
- Do you have your own parts warehouse?
Training is the most important responsibility of a quality service company. A respectable heating and air contractor will usually spend more than $12,000 per technician on expert training that continues on a monthly basis to ensure that their technicians live up to quality standards. Additionally, a technician should have at least 3 years of experience or more before they are allowed to work on your home. Finally, it’s critical that a company has their own parts warehouse so that they can finish your job as quickly as possible, even if you call late at night or on the weekends (when many parts suppliers are closed).
Problems with the Actual Employees Who Come to Your House
It’s a statistical fact that heating and air conditioning service and repair is the second most widely taught trade in prisons across the country (plumbing is number 1). What this means is that a huge percentage of service contractors who are entering into people’s homes are actually ex-cons who learned their trade while serving time in prison. As a homeowner, you need to not only protect your home, but also your family. Common complaints in the industry include technicians having bad hygiene, being inappropriately dressed, using profanity while working, leaving a mess in the house, and just plain making the homeowner feel uncomfortable.
To avoid these problems, you must only work with a company who does a criminal background check and drug test on all employees. A reputable company will also have a standardized dress code and profanity ban to ensure that a peaceful and respectable environment remains in your home.