By Lydia Nusbaum
June 21, 2022 Updated 2:43 P.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody warned Floridians about HVAC scams while trying to repair, replace or service air conditioning units.
The Attorney General released a resource called Scams at a Glance: Keep Your Cool.
“Floridians, especially our seniors, could not endure the hot Florida summer without air conditioning. So, when an HVAC unit malfunctions, they rush to have their units fixed. Bad actors may attempt to take advantage of the situation to sell unneeded repairs—or entire new systems,” Moody said.
Common air-conditioning related schemes include:
–Replacing Functional Parts: Claiming that HVAC parts need to be replaced when nothing is wrong—often quoting high prices for part replacements in an attempt to steer customers to purchase a new HVAC system as a better option;
–Selling Unnecessary Amounts of Refrigerant: Tricking consumers into buying more than is necessary to maintain a system, even hitting victims with this scam multiple times when the company is called to fix the next problem with the same AC unit;
–Recharge Scam: Saying that a refrigerant recharge is a solution to AC problems. This is a ploy to sell an unneeded service—know that AC does not need to be recharged;
–Starting Work Too Soon: Starting to perform work before consumers understand or have agreed to terms of a contract. Sometimes one technician will distract the consumer while another technician removes or dismantles the AC unit; and
–Too-Good-to-Be-True Prices: Offering repairs or quotes at incredibly low prices, or throwing in “freebies.” Companies could be cutting corners to deliver on the too-good-to-be-true prices, creating cause for further repairs and expenses.
Moody suggests people become familiar with how HVAC systems work, get a second opinion on repairs and sale quotes, be wary of high-pressure sales tactics, and insist on a written agreement.
Floridians can report scams to Attorney General Moody’s office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM, or by filing a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.
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