The first thing I want to point out is that there are many honest hard-working heating and cooling contractors in Chicago and that it’s just a handful of crooks that give our industry a black eye. That being said, that handful can do a lot of damage if you don’t catch them early on.
If you use the phone book or internet, be careful they are good tools, but you need to look deeper then just looking at an ad. Your access to information is very limited and some unscrupulous people know what to say in their ad to get you to call them.
Take the time to look in the phone book and use the internet to research them. If you have an older phone book as well as a new phone book, look to see if the company you are considering had an ad in the old book as well as the new one. This will give you some idea that they are not a brand new business.
On the internet, check handy resources like yelp.com, yellowpages.com, angieslist.com and the Better Business Bureau. These sites all have ratings from consumers who have used these companies in the past. Yelp and Yellow Pages use the star rating and AngiesList and BBB use a grade rating; F+ – A+.
While on the internet, look up the company’s address and plug it into Google maps. You can often use this to see there building with out driving there. You will be surprised how many of these companies work out of their homes; but have a professional looking website. You can also ask them for an appointment to visit their office or showroom.
Of course, if they work out of their home they will tell you “sorry, we don’t have a showroom”, or they will say, “sorry, we’re out of the office taking care of customers and no one will here.” If they won’t let you see their operations then stay away from them.
I’m sure like most people you are very busy and this sounds like a lot of work when you just want to buy a new furnace, but I’m sure you also work very hard for your money and a furnace is an investment that will be with you for many years to come. A little research into which you’re going to use will go a long way and pay off in the long run.
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Tags: Air conditioning, air conditioning contractor, air conditioning repair, BBB, Choosing, Furnace, furnace contractor, furnace repair, Google Maps, Heating, heating contractor, heating repair, Yellow Pages, Yelp