North Carolina Attorney General Warns Consumers Against Getting Ripped off by AC Repairs

Do your homework before hiring anyone

North Carolina Attorney General Warns Consumers Against Getting Ripped off by AC Repairs
Image: NCCC
July 28, 2016

Soaring summer temperatures mean that air conditioners are working overtime. If your AC goes out, it may be tempting to get it fixed as quickly as possible—regardless of the cost.

While the desire to hire the first person who comes along may be strong—North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is urging consumers to keep their cool and take the time to research potential AC repair companies prior to hiring anyone.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office says that it receives dozens of consumer complaints every year involving issues with air conditioning and heating repairs.

To avoid problems and make certain that your AC gets fixed properly—the first time—and for a fair price, Attorney General Cooper advises consumers to:

Get recommendations. Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers who they use for repairs.

Check credentials. Contact the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and your local Better Business Bureau to learn about the company's complaint history. To see if the repair person is properly licensed in North Carolina, contact the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors at (919) 875-3612.

Get a written contract. Read the contract carefully before you sign it and make sure that it includes all promises made orally. Remember that state law gives you three business days to cancel if you sign a home repair contract at your home rather than at the company's place of business.

Never pay upfront. Don't pay for the repair service until you're completely satisfied. When you do pay—pay by check or credit card, if possible. Avoid paying in cash.

If you experience problems with an air conditioning repair job, call Attorney General Cooper's office.

To help protect yourself and your family from the extreme heat this summer, learn the warning signs of heat-related illness. If you are without a way to cool off, contact your local Department of Social Services for assistance.