How to Keep Your Repair Company Honest: Know the Signs of Upselling

Whether you’re shopping for a new system or just scheduling routine maintenance, you may find it tough to assess whether you’re getting the best value possible. As part of this assessment, there can be some subtle indications that you’re being pressured into buying more services than you need. Below, we explain the two main signs you’re being upsold on your HVAC system and explain ways you can avoid being upsold.

A Major Bill on a Routine Maintenance Call

Periodic system maintenance is a good idea to help identify minor issues before they become expensive ones. If you find that your maintenance appointments are generating hefty bills or long lists of expensive recommendations, it’s possible you’re being upsold. You shouldn’t expect a bill for thousands of dollars when you’re just trying to confirm that your HVAC equipment is running smoothly.

If a recommendation seems excessive, get a second opinion. Free second opinions are common in the HVAC industry, and a trustworthy company can often gain a long-term customer simply by providing an honest diagnosis. 

Giving you “Good, Better, Best” Options

There’s a psychological phenomenon that leads people to choose the middle choice whenever they’re given multiple options. In the repair context, the “good” option may be simply to fix the problem. The “better” option adds a few things that aren’t necessary, but also won’t break the bank. The “best” option is a pricey bid that may be played down as not entirely necessary—and in the process, help the “better” option look like the right choice. You may pick the cheaper of two options when only two are presented, but may be more inclined to pick in between three options rather than go with the cheapest choice. 

Remember that simple problems often have simple solutions. A company should not offer three choices every time. It’s not unlikely to be presented with a few choices when larger problems are occurring as there may be a few solutions to choose from. For example, issues like a refrigerant leak can make the repair-or-replace question a tossup—and both repair and replacement can be viable options. If you find yourself being pressured into one option, especially the more expensive one, it’s possible you’re being upsold. 

Combating HVAC Service Upselling 

There are a couple of things you can do to offset the effects of upselling. 

Shop and Schedule Maintenance in the Off-Season

Every industry has a slow season, and the HVAC industry is no exception. In Texas, the off-season spans from late autumn to early spring, when the weather is mild or cold. During this time, prices are more competitive and you may be able to source a new HVAC unit more easily. It can also be easier to schedule a maintenance appointment when technicians aren’t busy servicing units in the heat of summer.

Get a Second (or Third) Opinion

As we mentioned previously, whenever you’re considering hiring an HVAC technician or contractor, it’s always a good idea to get multiple bids. If the bids are all relatively similar, you’ll know that the pricing is accurate and you’re unlikely to get a better price elsewhere. By having different companies assess your HVAC needs, you’ll have a better idea of the scope of your issues, get an estimate of how expensive that job may be, and how it can best be solved before making your final decision.


Whether you find yourself needing HVAC maintenance or would like a second opinion on a repair quote, look no further than North East Air Conditioning, Heating, and Plumbing. Our skilled technicians can quickly identify your issues and explain all the options available to you. 

Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash


Call: 210-658-0111