Deceptive Service Practices
I received a telephone solicitation to have my air conditioning unit inspected by AAA Cooling & Heating at a cost of $60.00 for 2 units. On Thursday, July 1, 2010 two men arrived from AAA and proceeded to examine the first unit; and within several minutes I was informed that the unit, both the air handler and the compressor needed to be replaced. I was surprised at this since prior to the arrival of the two men the air conditioning was working just fine. I was informed that the reason for the replacement is that there was water leaking from the unit, that it had overflowed and the insulation and wood was soaked. He also told me that eventually the water would leak into the ceiling and that the ceiling would be damaged and need to be replaced. I was told that the cost for the replacement would be approximately $6,000; but, they had a unit that they used for trade shows, it was never connected and they could probably get me good deal on it and save about $3,000. At this time there was no evidence of any water leak in the ceiling. The air conditioning equipment is located in the attic over the garage and it wasn't possible for me to examine it. I informed the salesperson that I wanted to contact the contractor who did work on the house before I made a decision especially since I could not examine the equipment myself and had no understanding or knowledge of the issue. He said fine, I won't charge you for the call and walked out of the house and back into the garage. I assumed that he was then going to check the second unit but when I went to the garage they were driving away. On Friday, July 2, 2010 the air conditioning unit stopped working. The contractor arrived and examined the area and determined that there was not a significant accumulation of water because the insulation was not wet beyond a small section just under the water pan. He also determined that there was no electric to the unit and that I needed to call either an electrician or an air conditioning company. I decided to contact the air conditioning company that installed the second unit at my house in September, 2007. They made service on July 6, 2010 and after a careful inspection determined that the electric power transmitter had short circuited and therefore the air conditioning unit stopped. They replaced the transmitter for a total of $264 which included the service call. They also determined that there were no other problems with the unit and that it did not need to be replaced. I feel that AAA Cooling & Heating intended to take advantage of me. They found a senior citizen who is not knowledgeable about heating and cooling and could not examine the unit and therefore an easy touch to sell a $6,000 air conditioner to. This is a deceptive practice and may constitute fraud and is obviously aimed at people who are uninformed. The initial contact was a telephone solicitation from a company that AAA Cooling & Heating hired which was substantiated because the telephone solicitor informed me that someone else from AAA Cooling would contact me to schedule the appointment. I also believe that the fact that they sent two men to make the service call is also evidence of the intention to defraud. If they were only interested in doing a service call, only one technician would be necessary. I contacted the office of AAA Cooling & Heating to complain and I was told by the person answering the telephone that they are a licensed reputable business. I heard nothing further from them.
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