But Beware of Telemarketing Scam Artists

As spring approaches so does the warm weather and the need to use our air conditioning system. It is wise to have your air conditioner system serviced to help avoid unnecessary breakdowns, extend its useful service life, and reduce energy consumption, but beware!!

As the temperature increases so does the barrage of unsolicited telemarketing calls and questionable advertising claims. These marketing methods tend to promote low cost or even no cost service inspections on your air conditioning system.

Telemarketing fraud robs U.S. Citizens of an estimated $40 billion every year. AARP surveys indicate that more than half of the victims are age 50 or older.

If you are contacted by a telemarketer, know who you are speaking to and verify any claims or statements made before agreeing to anything. Unscrupulous telemarketers will say anything to set up an appointment. If you tell the telemarketer you “use ABC company for your air conditioning service needs” they may say, “We are doing all the service work for company ABC” or “Company ABC no longer is in business or no longer does residential service calls”.

If the telemarketer says he is from Progress Energy or Florida Power and Light this should be a red flag. Progress Energy may call between 8:00 am -5:00 pm to follow up on a program you have participated in or a flyer recently sent. They do not come out to sell you air conditioning. Florida Power and Light will only be calling to respond to an inquiry made by you.

Before you consider buying anything over the telephone or setting an appointment make sure you are familiar with the company, insist on receiving written material about any offer, take time making a decision and don’t let yourself be pressured. Never give out any personal information to anyone unless you initiated the call.

Be wary of advertisements that tout low cost service inspections. The cost to do business by a reputable legally licensed contractor includes labor, insurances, licensing, business, truck, and advertising expenses. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Many times low price labor results in high priced, unnecessary parts or service. Dealing with a reputable air conditioning contractor who is state certified is a consumer’s best option for fair and honest dealings when taking care of their air conditioning or heating needs.

A consumer can sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry by calling 1-888-382-1222 or online at www.donotcall.gov. This consumer awareness information is provided by the Volusia County Air Conditioning Contractors Association (VACCAFL.org) who wants you to be informed. Visit our website to learn more.