OKLAHOMA CITY - Rhonda Simpson said her first call after her air conditioning went out last week, left her with a nearly $2,500 estimate and a repair date scheduled for nearly a month later. 

Simpson said she felt stuck, because the heat and air company was the preferred repair provider by her home warranty company.

“He told me I had a major leak in my evaporative coil,” Simpson said.

Temperatures in the house climbed to 86 degrees, according to Simpson.

“Finally. I got frustrated and gave up, and I decided to call another A/C company,” she said.

The second opinion from found fewer issues, a repair that could be made the same day and all of it would come at a fraction of the cost at less than $400.

“Two years after you put in a coil, it’s pretty much going to look the same way as what Rhonda’s did,” Innovative Comfort Solutions owner Jamie Schiermeyer said. “That’s perfectly normal.”

Consumer advocates with the Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma urge homeowners to always get a second opinion and do research online before making a call to a repair company.

“Make sure you have a heat and air company that you work with on a regular basis,” Kitt Lettcher, President and CEO of Central Oklahoma Better Business Bureau said. “This is where people can fall victim to ‘your unit is old, you probably need to buy an entirely new unit,’ when you really probably just need some freon.”

Here are a few more tips from the Better Business Bureau:

  • Have a trusted company preform regular preventative maintained on your unit
  • Avoid high pressure sales tactics
  • Clarify what you will be charged for before you call for a technician to come to your home
  • Get multiple bids
  • Check the company’s rating and reviews on bbb.org

For Simpson, making a second call to get another opinion saved her more than $2,000.

“It makes it really easy for someone who is negligent or dishonest to take advantage of anyone who is in that situation because you a desperate to get you’re A/C back on, you’re almost willing to do whatever,” Simpson said.