Furnace inspection scam around Calgary
The so-called ‘furnace inspection scam’ has been an unfortunate new trend in Calgary for a number of years. The Calgary Police Service is now warning residents to be vigilant after various reports of potentially fraudulent and aggressive furnace sales individuals visiting homes around the Calgary area.
These individuals often go from one house to other telling residents that they are professional and authorized heating and cooling (HVAC) inspectors and that they should be allowed to go inside to conduct some inspection on the home’s furnace. In other instances, they claim that due to ‘new legislation’ the current homeowner’s heating system is not up to code and mascarade themselves as city inspectors.
These ‘inspectors’ often follow to warn homeowners that if their inspection is refused, the homeowner will face fines. Once inside, they often claim that they have identified problems or verified the issue at hand with either the hot water tank, furnace or some other appliance and will try to sell a new one to the homeowners aggressively.
What is being done about this?
To protect their fellow Calgarians, several companies, city hall, and the police have been working hard to let homeowners know about these ongoing scams. If you feel you have been victimized by one of these fraudulent inspectors we urge you to contact the Calgary Police Services at (403)266-1234 to report the incident and get help.
Otherwise, we would like to offer you some helpful furnace inspection scam tips and advice that individuals can rely on when faced with such alarming situations.
Some tips and advice to homeowners:
- You are NEVER required to let anyone into your home unless they have a police officer accompanying them or a court order to do so.
- Before allowing inspectors into your home, you need to ensure first that you are dealing with a legitimate company or authorized inspectors who are properly insured, bonded and licensed. ALWAYS ASK FOR CREDENTIALS.
- Ask for any broken or old parts that need to be replaced. Some furnace inspectors and contractors might charge you for particular parts that they do not actually replace. Asking your contractor for the specific parts can be a smart precaution to take.
- BEWARE OF FREE TUNE-UPS. Some inspectors or contractors might offer a free estimate as part of the usual sales process however, some might trick you into providing you this freebie just to get into a high-pressure sales pitch.
- Beware of inspectors asking for large amounts of money.
- It can also help to research on common furnace problems. A quick search about the problem in question can often give you enough information to ask the right questions and fend off any bogus arguments.
- Read ratings and reviews online about the company in question. Good and trusted furnace inspectors should have a good rating and a fair amount of reviews. You can look for honest and unbiased reviews online from trusted review sites such as Homestars.
Be fully aware of bogus tactics of furnace inspectors and technicians for these people do not really intend to help out but rather empty your pockets.
Another important furnace inspection scam tips to keep in mind is to get multiple opinions about the ‘problem’ in question. Do not be content with one opinion or little knowledge about the issue especially if it concerns your furnace system and your need for professional services.
You are part of the solution, scammers will never succeed if individuals are more vigilant and more knowledgeable about the usual process and the ideal practices within the furnace repair industry. And remember if you ever need some professional advice from a trustworthy company you can always give us a call at Alberta Home Services and we will be more than happy to assist you.