Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
Many air conditioning companies offer a variety of incentives for buying a maintenance contract to help maintain your investment and keep the unit running smoothly. Once you are comfortable with your company selection; here are a few things to consider if you plan to choose a service contract:
- If your system is new, it probably comes with a warranty. Review the terms and coverage of the warranty before you purchase a service contract to make sure you are not duplicating coverage and be sure to keep all information and contacts regarding warranties available. The majority of manufacturer warranties will require yearly scheduled maintenance that isn’t included in a warranty so keep that top of mind.
- Maintenance contracts can vary in coverage so compare several different options before making the investment. Exercise caution and read the fine print. Be cautious of any company offering one time only deals and ensure that all manufacturer requirements are met by reviewing your owner’s manual.
- If you sign a service contract, make sure it includes and you understand what parts and services are covered, and that it explains how long the contract will last.
- Contemplate the future before purchasing service contracts paid in full that last over 3 years. Will you move? Will the company go out of business? BBB receives many complaints regarding maintenance contracts when a company goes out of business.
- (Consider the following) and ask for it in writing; what happens if they go out of business? What happens to your contract if they merge with another company or come under different ownership? If you are solicited by a company who claims to have purchased your contract, consider contacting your company, BBB and the ROC before agreeing to have them out.
As with any contract BBB recommends that consumers ask questions of the company to help them understand or ask the company if you can keep a copy of the contract to review with a trusted resource before buying.About the Author: Catherine Ralls for BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona.