Reading contracts and signing paperwork for a service agreement or any other contract for that matter is a chore that no one looks forward to. Sadly many people loathe it so much that when they sign contracts such as a gym membership or HVAC service agreement—they sign it without reading it. Maybe you’re one of those few that do take the time to read the paperwork and ultrafine print; does it make you feel uneasy, all the legalese and clauses? That’s natural whenever it involves committing your money to something and it’s a significant source of stress if you have no idea with you’re getting in return. Unfortunately when you are looking for HVAC repair in Houston and want a scheduled maintenance contract; a lot of times you come across some sketchy contracts and companies. Chances are you are not a lawyer if you are reading this.
All jokes aside, since you aren’t likely a lawyer contracts can be unfamiliar and treacherous territory that can cost you a lot more money in the end if you don’t know what you are signing. Take a look at some of these red flags and contract terms that can help you choose the right service agreement.
See These Red Flags? Don’t Sign!
HVAC contracts are detailed about what is included and what is excluded. They should also cover what you can expect from a service call, customer service, and pricing information and any additional fees. There is absolutely no way all of that information can adequately be disclosed on one single page. For your protection and peace of mind, service contracts for HVAC should spell out what’s covered, what’s not included, what you can expect from the vendor and cost information. There’s no way to fit all that on one page.
ABSURDLY SMALL PRINT
Ever watched the car dealership commercials, especially during the holidays. You know, they claim lowest prices ever on new models and offer all these amazingly low prices—and then they hit you with that super-fast talking? Yeah, that is the stuff they don’t want you to hear that essentially means the deal you think you just heard, has a ton of if’s and but’s. Sketchy HVAC repair companies in Houston will pull the same trickery with a print that is so small and squished together; you’d have to have a magnifying glass to read it. Sadly this happens all too often in the HVAC industry, and it’s where they put all the stuff they don’t want you to find out till you…find out. Yeah, excellent customer service, right? Don’t fall for it.
OVERDOSE OF LEGAL JARGON
If the contract reads like something a high-powered attorney would create, it’s going to be something only an attorney could understand likely. Words like “heretofore,” “inferred indemnification,” “force majeure”; and legalese phrases like “notwithstanding clauses to the contrary herein,” are not needed to make a contract enforceable. It’s merely there to make you feel intimidated and not question what it means for fear of seeming uneducated. It is designed to help the sketchy company hide terms advantageous to them in the agreement. If they don’t have a plain-language contract, move on.
PRICING THAT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
Educated homeowners like yourself compare prices and know the ballpark range of how much a service agreement is going to cost. You might come across a company offering an amount that is a fantastic deal, usually undercutting well beneath other companies. Trust us: Cheap is never good and good is never cheap. You will get what you pay for and when someone offers an unrealistically low price, believe that there is a hook behind that bait. Don’t bite.
What You Should See In A Good HVAC Service Contract
Now that you know when a contract is shady or flat-out fraudulent—the good news is, there ARE companies such as Airteam who present fair and transparent contracts and back them up. Things you will find in contracts like these are:
A COMPLETE LISTING OF COVERED ITEMS AND SERVICES –
You won’t have to take their word for it, if you want to know something is covered—it will be in the contract.
SCHEDULE OF TASKS INCLUDED IN A SERVICE CALL –
Preventative maintenance plans vary in their offerings from company to company. A good HVAC repair company in Houston will offer at the minimum standard services that should be included in any service call, but others may also include other additional services.
FREQUENCY OF INSPECTIONS –
Are maintenance calls monthly, yearly or quarterly? Whatever the rate is, it will be listed clearly in your agreement.
TIME FRAME FOR INSPECTIONS –
The hours’ service calls are available will be listed, so make sure the hours are convenient for your schedule. If they aren’t you should inquire about after-hours service options and additional costs.
The contract should list what you get post-inspection in terms of reports that include the work done and issues.
Repairs are typically not included in most preventative service agreements. There may be other exclusions such as trip charge (especially in a large metro area like Houston). Make sure any exclusions are listed clearly and thoroughly.
TERMS FOR REPAIRS OUTSIDE OF COVERAGE –
Your contract should specify how much you’ll pay for repairs, outside of the preventative maintenance agreement. Usually, this is calculated based on parts, materials, and an hourly labor rate.
CONTRACT RENEWAL AND CANCELLATION TERMS –
When your contract term is up, is it auto-renewed? Do you have that option? Is there a cancellation notice needed and is there a charge for canceling past that timeframe? These are all things that should be covered in your contract.
PAYMENT TERMS –
Many HVAC companies in Houston offer flexible options and some prepaid options can save you money.
The Easiest Way To Guarantee A Great HVAC Service Agreement? Go With Airteam!
Skip the confusion and hustle many HVAC companies throw at you and expect you to sign blindly. At Airteam, our service agreements in plain-language format and cover everything you receive with our MVP service plans. Contact us today and see why Houston trusts Airteam for their HVAC needs.