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The NBC “Today Show” segment this week on dishonest air-conditioning contractors has the ACCA reminding homeowners about the importance of finding qualified HVAC companies.
On Tuesday, the morning TV news show aired the results of an undercover investigation on air-conditioning contractors. With a hidden camera recording them, six contractors visited a New Jersey home to fix an air-conditioning problem. Producers said they designed the problem to be an easy, inexpensive fix. But if the companies misled the homeowners about the situation or tried to sell them expensive, unnecessary equipment, a reporter confronted the service technicians.
All of the contractors wanted to perform work that was unnecessary, according to Robert C. Ring, the president of New Jersey HVAC business Meyer & Depew Co., who served as the show’s consultant for the segment.
Ring is a member of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s board of directors.
“I was very disappointed by those contractors who did not seem to be doing the right thing,” Ring said. “Overall I think this segment was an important reminder to homeowners that they need to do their homework before they call a contractor. But I also believe it is important to remember that upgrade options are sometimes about improving comfort, lowering energy bills, or solving a long-term problem, not just about increasing the size of the bill.”
The ACCA recommends homeowners ensure the HVAC company they are hiring uses certified, licensed technicians, and ask neighbors who they use to fix their system.
“When choosing a contractor, it should not be about which company buys the most prominent search engine link, or has the flashiest website, or has the biggest Yellow Page ad,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, the ACCA’s president and chief executive. “While there are thousands of professional contractors who do outstanding service and care about their customers first, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to find them, and that takes a little work.”
Video of the “Today Show” investigation is available here .