Yesterday we got an email from the Washington State Deputy Communications Director, Dan Sytman, with a newsletter concerning an HVAC company in Washington State. The Washington State General Attorney’s office had received numerous complaints about the company’s business practices described under Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act as “unfair and deceptive.” The Washington State Office of the Attorney General is going after the company for their actions, and also advises anyone looking for the services of an HVAC company to take care in choosing the right company with which to do business.
Sarah Shifley, Assistant Attorney General, says, “Shop around instead of going with the first company you find. Demand estimates in writing and don’t let work begin until you are crystal clear about how much it will cost. Don’t assume that companies that price by the job instead of by the hour are always less expensive. Also, ask if any parts that need to be replaced are under warranty. If not, you can require the old parts be left with you.”
Shifley continues with suggestions about air duct cleaning, saying “You should also be skeptical about health-related claims about air duct cleaning, whether it’s done by an HVAC company or one that specializes in air duct cleaning. Don’t hire duct cleaners who make sweeping claims about the health benefits of their services or recommend duct cleaning as a routine part of your heating and cooling system maintenance. Finally, check out references and reviews, and consider getting a second opinion before hiring anybody.”
This advice from our Attorney General’s office is also good to keep in mind for anyone in any business. Businesses who take part in unfair and deceptive business practices often target the elderly, so be sure to pass on these suggestions to them as well!