How many times have you called a repairman to your home to do routine work, only to find that what should be simple housekeeping has suddenly turned into a multi-thousand dollar investment? This scenario can leave you feeling helpless, forcing you to trust someone who may not have the best intentions.
Because homeowner scamming by technicians is an endemic problem, our friends at Inside Edition decided to take matters into their own hands by stopping these bad guys before they had a chance to take advantage of them.
Today’s video is part of a series of clips featuring the “House of Shame”, a fictional house set up by Inside Edition. The house is equipped with hidden cameras that record every action of the technician, including inspection and repair – think “To Catch a Predator”, but with repairmen!
This particular clip from “House of Shame” focuses on air duct cleaning, a job that is usually done by air conditioning and heating companies. Inside Edition reporter Lisa Guerrero and two air duct experts secretly watch as two technicians are called into the home for consultations.
The first repairman barely glances at the ducts; instead, he does a whole lot of THIS:
Yep, that’s him going through the owner’s pool cue bag. Oops!
After an exceptionally lazy inspection, he informs the reporter that cleaning his air ducts will cost a whopping 700 BUCKS. This diagnosis is particularly disturbing because the experts who have just observed his every move know that the house only needs a simple cleaning.
The second technician manages to do some work, but only when the “owner” is in the room. Once she is out of sight, her work ethic disappears. The nerve of some people!
How to avoid air conditioning and heating scams
With scams like these unfortunately being fairly common, it’s important that you do your due diligence before spending hard-earned money on a potentially non-existent problem.
The Better Business Bureau advises air conditioner repair customers to only hire technicians who are highly recommended or have positive online reviews. In addition, they insist that you get everything in writing BEFORE the technician begins work. Ask for a copy of his license and, if you feel something is wrong, always ask for a second opinion.
Even if the repairer has many 5-star reviews on Angie’s List and you are happy with the price, let him know in advance that you want to keep the broken parts he has promised to replace. This simple gesture forces the technician to be honest, which helps avoid pitfalls before they even have a chance to do so.
We’ve heard stories about repairmen doing a lazy job, but these guys are really the best. To see the worthy confrontations between Guerrero and the cornered technicians…