Better Business Bureau warns about unlicensed AC repair

FRESNO, Calif.

The Better Business Bureau wants people to beware of unlicensed contractors taking advantage of people in need.

Air conditioners are working overtime in this heat, and it's pretty common for them to fail, which is why reputable repair shops want you to be careful of people who run bad businesses.

Matt Pittman often flashes his license, even if people don't ask.. He runs a family owned heating and air conditioning business.

He's pretty busy these days and lately a good chunk of his jobs have been fixing shoddy work from unlicensed contractors.

"They get anybody - friends of friends, that don't know what they're doing. They end up making a bigger problem on that unit then if they got somebody that knew exactly what they're supposed to be doing," Pittman said.

He suggests you always check to see if the person you hire is licensed.

Problem is, people are desperate. It's hot and no one wants to wait for repairs.

"They'll pay whatever they got to pay to get it going. They put a simple part on and they charge an arm and a leg for it. Doesn't seem right to me," Pittman said.

The Better Business Bureau says it's absolutely not right. They're happy to report that in June there were more than 900 inquiries about air conditioning companies.

"People wanting to know about the ratings, licensed, complaints in system with us. Checking them out before they contacted that company," Blair Looney, BBB President & CEO, said.

There's also been a few complaints. Looney suggests..you do your homework before you sign yourself up for repairs.

"That they get any estimates in writing and have all contracts reviewed before they sign them.. Make sure they understand the contract before they sign it," Looney said.

Oftentimes people are too embarrassed to report they've been taken advantage of. Looney hopes they'll come forward so others don't make the same mistake.

Pittman hopes you'll think twice before you hire the wrong person for the job.

"I love my job and I want everybody to be happy with the work I do and don't want to take advantage," Pittman said.

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