Using a friend may not be a good idea.  We just received a call from a home owner who had his friend, who previously worked for us, put in a system.  We let the guy go because of ethical and honesty problems and I can tell he has not changed.  The new equipment is having trouble after only 2 months.  The friend probably gave him a good deal but now the homeowner can not get the warranty part repaired.  He has been waiting, trying to get back in touch with his friend, but he may have to pay someone else to fix his new ‘good deal’ unit.  This is just one of the stories we here at least 10 times a year.

What could happen now?  By hiring the unlicensed friend, the home owner is not protected by the state held bond all HVACR contractor must post with the state of Alabama.  The city did not inspect the job as no city license or permit was obtained.

This spells out the bad that could happen to the homeowner, but what could happen to the friend?  Friends mean well, but you could be putting a friendship at risk.  It is against the law if he is not licensed in the appropriate trade.  Also consider these problems:

  • He probably will not have liability insurance to protect your home in the event there is a problem.  What if he cuts corners and causes a fire?  Are you sure he has the money to rebuild your house for you?
  • You could also cost him his job as doing ‘side work’ is against most company policies.  We have to terminate someone every year due to ‘side work’.
  • Workers compensation law states that if a worker is injured while working on your property, you will be liable for his medical bills and weekly pay until he is able to work again.  Homeowners insurance does not cover workers compensation issues usually.

In this case, the state will also investigate and if the contractor was not appropriately certified and licensed, he could pay a state fine and if it is a serious offense he could face jail time.  How is the friendship going to be when your work cost a friend a huge penalty and jail time.  Don’t expect to be invited to next years Christmas party!

Why do we choose a friend over a legitimate company?  Trust!  We use a friend because of the trust factor.  I have a guy I prefer to use for my carpentry work.  I will use him for anything I need around the house.  Its not about getting a cheap price.  Its because I trust him since I have used him.  Most people use a friend for trust reasons but only a few use a friend to cheat the system and win by getting something for nothing.  But are you?  Quality can suffer with cheap prices and you have very little retribution against cheap work even with a friend.  It is easier to use someone we know over a stranger.  But how can you trust a company if have not used them before?

See our article, HVAC, How To Find A GREAT Local Company?



[tech_pro post_id=”7611″ profile_view=”horizontal” show_excerpt=”yes” show_name=”yes” show_title=”yes” show_img=”yes” show_email=”yes” show_phone=”yes”]