The Risks of Buying Air Conditioners Online

Posted on April 18, 2018

It’s a question we never used to hear, but now we hear it quite often. Someone will call General Air Conditioning & Plumbing to ask, “How much do you charge to install an air conditioner if I buy it online?” The answer is simple, The General won’t do it. We do not install air conditioners unless it’s a unit we have purchased directly from a manufacturer that we deal with. To some, that may sound harsh, but our reasons are simple.

Issues with retailer’s warranty:

The General wants no part of a business transaction where we have no control over whether or not you are going to be satisfied. We’ve heard and seen too many situations where the warranty promised online isn’t worth the paper you printed it on after you didn’t read the fine print on the website. So, what happens when the online retailer doesn’t keep its promises? The buyer is left holding the bag, and we’re stuck in the middle with no ability to influence the retailer because we don’t have a relationship with them.

Manufacturer warranty not valid:

Then there is the issue of the manufacturer’s warranty. Many HVAC companies clearly state they will not provide warranty coverage when their products are sold online. Even if they honor the warranty, there are still too many things that can go wrong. If the General was not part of the process to determine the proper sizing, correct airflow, and project design, why would we want to take the blame if there are problems in those areas? This is not like a stove or refrigerator; air conditioning systems are not plug and play. They have to be carefully designed to fit your home’s needs.

Damage or return issues:

Let’s say hypothetically the General decides to do the installation for you (we won’t). We set a date, clear our schedule, and send the install team to your home. When they arrive, they discover the air conditioner was damaged during shipment, has parts missing, or simply doesn’t work after it’s installed. Are you going to pay us for our time even though you still don’t have a working air conditioner? Once again, we are stuck in the middle of a fight between you and the online retailer.

Listen, we’re not naive. Online retailing and shopping are here to stay. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that buying a cheap air conditioner directly from a website is like buying a book, phone or even television. When it comes to an appliance this complex, and yes, expensive, our opinion is that it’s not worth the risk.

When you deal with General Air Conditioning & Plumbing it’s one-stop shopping. We provide air conditioning service and offer a full line of central and ductless air conditioners that we buy directly from leading manufacturers. Best of all, every one of them comes with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. In the first year after installation, we will correct anything you are not satisfied with. If the equipment is still not operating correctly, and the problem is confirmed by the manufacturer’s representative, we will remove the system and give you a 100% refund. Try getting that guarantee from an online retailer!

The General and his troops have been serving the A/C needs for folks in Palm Desert and the entire Coachella Valley for decades. It’s why they call us “the best little air conditioning and plumbing company in the desert.”