There is a certain refreshing feeling that comes when you see your boiler repair expert when your boiler is on the fritz on a cold winter night. Some unscrupulous individuals can easily take advantage of your need for comfort to make quick and shoddy repairs. Such repairs can easily land you in trouble in the future if you don’t carry out due diligence before hiring a boiler repair professional.
There are some few tips to follow to ensure that you don’t fall prey to scams by repair experts are in it to rip you off. Even as you hope that after the repairs your boiler will shoulder the load, here are few steps to ensure your repair expert does not take advantage of you.
1. Always ask for the broken or old parts that were supposedly repaired or replaced
There are some cases where a boiler repair contractor charges you for parts that he hasn’t replaced. This makes the repair bills to rise. To ensure that you avoid such an instance, it is good practice to always ask your contractor to furnish you with the broken or old parts. Doing this gives you the satisfaction that the old or faulty part was actually replaced.
2. Always keep your boiler in good condition
Making sure that your boiler is in good condition can save you a lot of headaches because you won’t have to call in a contractor every other time to make repairs. This lowers your chances of getting scammed. Furthermore, if you want to sell family home, a boiler that is in good condition can be one of the factors that can help you sell your house fast.
3. Keep an eye out for ‘free’ tune-up offers
It is fine if your gas safe engineer offers you free estimates. Most of the reputable repair experts will always offer you free estimates as a part of a normal sales process. However, you should watch out for individuals who might look to blind you by offering you a free tune-up. In most cases, such offers are geared to make a high-pressure sales pitch. They always find something ‘wrong’ as they continue with their ‘free’ tune-up that always leads to the high cost of repairs. In some cases, they might even call for the replacement of your whole boiler system.
4. Be wary of individuals who ask for exorbitant fees upfront
It is only normal for your gas safe engineer to ask for a down-payment before proceeding to the job. What should make you keep your eyes peeled when your contractor is doing a new boiler installation or just making repairs is when the contractor asks for full payment before getting the job done. In most cases, the fees they charge are exorbitant. This is a red flag and you should run! At this point, just go ahead and look for another repair expert.
5. Listen up for the ‘cracked heat exchanger’ scam
One of the most scams contractors use to take advantage of tricking their clients into making repairs or making a new boiler installation is the ‘cracked heat exchanger’ scam. Many shady technicians will trick you into believing that your boiler’s heat exchanger is leaking or cracked. They will claim that it is releasing dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide into your home. What this does is scaring and pushing you into immediately replacing or fixing the unit.
Although a cracked or leaking heat exchanger is very a very dangerous problem that should be rectified immediately, it rarely happens. Nonetheless, whenever a technician raises this concern, ensure that you see the leak or crack yourself. If you don’t see it, seek a second or third opinion before going ahead to sanction the repair.
6. Shaking hand is not enough
Before your contractor gets to work, ensure that you have written down the contract details and not just relying on a handshake. Such written contracts will save you a lot of headaches while dealing with crafty technicians. The contract details should include:
- The start and completion date.
- List of the materials
- Any penalties if the job is not completed in time.
7. Read reviews online
You can always get reviews and ratings on repair experts online. Good and reliable contractors always get good reviews and ratings on sites like Yelp, BBB rating and Angie’s List. Look out for technicians with good reviews to bring down to work on your boiler to avoid getting scammed.
8. Always troubleshoot first
Before you call in a repair contractor, always run troubleshoot first to find out whether it is something that you can do by yourself. If it is, you reduce the chances of getting scammed because there would be no need to hire a repair technician. Carry out some research on various authoritative sites online on the various symptoms before you hire a contractor.
They always find something ‘wrong’ as they continue with their ‘free’ tune-up that always leads to the high cost of repairs. You might end up paying more than the cost of a new boiler. In some cases, they might even call for the replacement of your whole boiler system.
These are some of the tips to help you not get scammed by unscrupulous technicians while looking to make repairs, especially if you want to do a property sale. You can always contact LS1 Boilers if you want a 24 hour boiler repair service that will cater to your needs regardless of the time of day.
Image Credit: Boiler via Alexander Raths/Shutterstock