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Boy, does time fly! Here at Shipton’s, it can sometimes be hard to believe we are actually approaching our 100th anniversary!
While most HVAC companies may not be able to offer you 92 years’ worth of heating and cooling expertise passed down from one generation to the next, they can certainly offer you some kind of guarantee.
Over the years, we have heard our share of HVAC “horror stories,” usually while we are fixing mistakes made by a service technician who was in a hurry, insufficiently trained, or simply less reputable.
We don’t want that to happen to you. Regardless of which company you choose to handle your HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair needs, we want you to have the best possible experience.
In this post, we share our five top tips for making sure the HVAC provider you select is worth your trust, time, and hard-earned funds!
What Do Other Customers Say?
In the HVAC industry today, paid advertising campaigns can only get you so far. Today’s customers don’t really care what companies say about themselves.
What you care about is what your friends, relatives, colleagues, and peers say.
Are the technicians friendly, easy to work with, and highly skilled? Do they fix the problem the first time and go out of their way to offer extra money- and time-saving tips?
Would the people you know feel confident recommending their service to their networks?
Here are some of our favorite tactics to research HVAC service providers:
- Look for a provider that welcomes and encourages customer reviews (here is our review invitation page), complete with how-to instructions and quick-links).
- Read what other customers have said online at third-party review sites such as Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yelp, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and HomeStars.
- Look closely at the star ratings. Do you see lots of positive or negative reviews?
- Ask the provider if they offer past customer references.
Are Technicians Licensed, Certified, Bonded, and Insured?
What do these four terms mean?
- Licensed. “Licensed” means that the technician has applied for and received a licence to practice in a specialty profession. Typically, obtaining a licence requires both passing a test and paying a fee, and it also requires periodic renewal.
- Certified. “Certified” means that the technician has taken and passed one or more exams that indicate a higher degree of expertise in a specialty field.
- Bonded. “Bonded” means the technician’s employer has purchased a special type of insurance called a “surety bond” that will permit you to apply to the bonding company for reimbursement in the event of sub-par work. Often, bonding is a requirement in order to work in specialty industries.
- Insured. “Insured” means that the employer has purchased business insurance that covers both damage to your premises and injury to its employees that might happen during a job.
Do They Offer a Service Guarantee?
A service guarantee is not the same as insurance or bonding. It is the HVAC company’s own in-house guarantee that they stand behind all work performed by any employee of that company.
For example, here at Shipton’s, we offer four guarantees:
- One Year Buy It Back Guarantee for new installations
- $500 No Frustration Guarantee for new system repairs
- Property Protection Guarantee to safeguard your premises and possessions
- Customer Respect Guarantee to ensure our employees always treat you with the utmost respect
The best place to find a HVAC company’s own service guarantees is on their website.
Companies that offer personalized service guarantees tend to be very proud of these and eager to live up to them. So if you don’t see any service guarantees prominently displayed on the company’s website, chances are good they don’t offer any guarantees.
How Long Have They Been in Business?
There is nothing wrong with hiring a newer company to perform your HVAC maintenance or do repairs. Even if the company itself is new, the technicians may still have years or even decades of expertise in the HVAC industry.
But if the company is newer, the other four attributes listed here become that much more important. In particular, you will want to be sure you have the protection of bonding and insurance in the event the work performed is unsatisfactory to you.
What Do Other Businesses Say?
Finally, by “other businesses,” what we mean is independent third-party review businesses. Examples include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Chamber of Commerce, HomeStars, Angie’s List, Yelp, and similar others.
The easiest way we have found to search for these independent reviews is to do a browser search on the HVAC company’s name and the name of the review site. Another good approach is to search the company name and “customer reviews.”
By doing at least a couple of different searches online, you are nearly guaranteed to find some informative independent customer reviews to help you decide whether to give the company a chance.
If you don’t find any reviews during your searches, it could just mean that the company is still too new to have generated any review history online. Here again, this isn’t necessary a strike against hiring that company, so long as you are able to find some type of other assurance using the other four methods listed here.
Give Us a Call
If you have questions about this post or you would like to talk with us about a new installation, maintenance, or repair service call, we’d love to hear from you! You can reach us at 905-549-4616.
And remember, all through the month of May we are offering three great discount deals on end-of-season furnace maintenance. Nab your discount deal today!