Imagine taking your car in for a simple tune-up and having a mechanic tell you that only a new engine can solve your problem. You'd probably be immediately skeptical; after all, a brand new engine is going to cost you a lot more than an oil change, and the mechanic stands to make more money. If you're wise, at that point you'll turn around and get your car looked at by someone else before you do anything.
Maybe the mechanic isn't lying, but it's always good to double check. Unfortunately, unscrupulous characters are everywhere, trying to make an extra buck by selling their customers something they don't need. From salesmen to mechanics and even air conditioning contractors, it's good to be cautious.
Seeking a second opinion is always the right idea whenever you're facing a large repair bill. "On more than one occasion, I've had customers call us seeking a second opinion because some other air conditioning company told them they needed a whole new system," says Glyn Strickland, the Residential Service Manager at Estes Services. "We'd head out to look at their system for them, and sure enough all they need is a small repair. It happens more often than you think."
When it comes to air conditioning services, high pressure selling often works. When it's super hot outside, all a person wants is their A/C back on. Secondly, when a nice-looking professional in a uniform says something, a lot of people take it as fact. But regardless of how much you're made to sweat, it's recommended that you remove yourself from the situation and take some time before making a major decision.
"Your mother probably always told you to I cautious of strangers, and she's right says Glyn Strickland. "If our customers want a second opinion about the work we do, I'm not offended. Seeking a second opinion about any major repair is a smart idea. Sadly, there are a lot of bad contractors out there who will do anything to make money."
As a consumer, it's your job to take all the necessary steps to protect yourself. For starters, make sure you're only doing business with a company who is licensed. Second, spend a little time researching different contractors; ask your friends who they've used, and search for reviews online. Not getting ripped off starts by making sure any organization you do business with is a reputable one.
When you call a different contractor to get a second opinion, give them the details of the first company's diagnosis so they know exactly what to look for. When it comes to providing customers a second opinion, many contractors will offer their expertise free of charge. So, there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't' get all of the facts before you open your wallet; a good company will support your decision to protect yourself.