The Michigan City Police Department is reminding residents to use diligence when selecting a company for home improvements.
The department said in a Facebook post that it was recently made aware of a heating and air conditioning company displaying signage and advertising for expert and cost-effective repairs on A/C units. Police said the company has apparently made appointments and sent service technicians to evaluate and diagnose these A/C units. The technicians would advise homeowners that their units were going to fail soon, or that the entire unit would need to be replaced.
Police said this company offered quotes to repair/replace the A/C units for a significant amount of money. After technicians left appointments, one homeowner reported that their A/C unit stopped working. Seeking a second opinion, the homeowner called another well-known local company. The homeowner was then advised by a second company that the A/C unit had just been shut off, and that their unit was not as efficient as newer units but did not need to be replaced. The second technician turned the A/C unit back on and it appeared to be working as normal.
The Michigan City Police Department said it wants to remind all their residents to do their own research when hiring contractors for home improvement.
The Michigan City Police Department said on their Facebook post that following a few of these steps can help protect yourself from being a victim:
1. Don’t allow anyone to rush you into a “Deal” or signing a contract.
2. Shop around. Get more than one quote and ask trusted family or friends to review options with you.
3. Make final payment when work is completed to satisfaction.
4. Keep it local.
5. Ask for references from previous jobs.
6. Check with Better Business Bureau for their rating and complaints against them.
7. Verify their license and that they’re insured.
The Michigan City Police Department stated, “We would also like to remind the public that you can contact us via Facebook Messenger, through our crime tip hotline number of 219-873-1488, or you can also call the WeTip Hotline for General Crime (800) 78-CRIME and possibly receive a reward upon an arrest and conviction. All WeTip call information is sent directly to the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office. You can always request to remain anonymous!”