You have decided to replace your furnace and purchase a new one. You opened up your phone book or looked on the internet and find over 5000 heating and cooling companies. Who is good, who is not, etc., etc.? Your guess is as good as mine. It is going to take some leg work and investigating to find out who you should call.
- The first thing you should do is ask friends, family or co-workers who they have used and if they had a good or bad experience with them.
- Check the Better Business Bureau. See if they are a member and what their letter grade is, A – F. Also, check to see how long they have been a member of the BBB. (here is Four Seasons BBB page as an example)
- Sign up to be a member of AngiesList. The cost is around $60 to join and you will see actual reports, good and bad on companies people have used in the past. AngiesList also uses a letter grade system F – A. You will also find money saving coupons on the site for members only. This will more than cover your membership fees. (you need to be a member to read it, but you can find Four Seasons on Angies List here)
- Check the on-line community websites such as Google Maps for reviews as well as Yahoo Local, Yelp.com, etc. Those have actual ratings from consumers who have used the companies for service repairs or installation.
- Ask the contractor for referrals from previous customers in your neighborhood and contact these customers to see what they have to say.
I’m sure you’re thinking, wow this sounds like a lot of work to purchase a furnace and air conditioner and you’re right it will take some effort; but you will be glad you did your homework. The average person buys 4 homes in their lifetime, 11 TV’s, 7 cars, 32 cell phones, 12 computers and yes 1, that’s correct 1 furnace and air conditioner. So be sure to do your homework and you will be happy with your choices.
One thing I want to add is never tell an estimator, salesman, service tech, home comfort specialist or whatever they call themselves what the price of the other quotes were! If you do you may end up with a higher price then what they were going to charge you.
If they ask you if you are getting any other quotes, say yes. If they ask from whom, say other heating and cooling companies and don’t offer any other info. It’s really none of their business unless they are going to help you pay for it.
The other tactic is that some sales guys (snakes) will say or do anything to get your money. If you tell them you like a specific brand, some guys will say anything they can think of to change your mind away from that brand. For example, they will tell you it’s hard to fix, noisy, cheap, poorly made, etc. Ask for proof from a third party like consumer reports, etc. Don’t just take there word at this. Just asking this question will usually catch them off guard and they will move on.
Consumer reports state that the company that installs the equipment is far more important that the brand.
Last but not least, don’t let some fast talking sales guy tell you that the other company you called out is no good. This happens to us all of the time. Some contractors come up with the craziest stories to try and convince you to spend your money with them; not the other guy. You have to remember that if he can convince you to he gets thousands of dollars of your money. People have done crazier things for a lot less cash, take it into account, and do your homework so you know.
If you follow these simple rules your buying experience will be a good one and you will have received a fair price and a high quality heating and cooling system.
I hope this article was helpful and happy shopping.
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