PLACIDA, Fla. - An air conditioning maintenance check for $29.99 ends up costing a local man $1400! He thought he got a raw deal and that's when he turned to Call for Action for help.
Jon Lewicki is resourceful man. He escaped from communist Poland in the 1980's, he speaks four languages, and he survived a gunshot wound to the head. But when an AC company preyed on his emotions, he found himself signing on the dotted line before doing his research.
"The lady said, we [will] be around you earlier all for $29.99 we'll check your air duct, you know and replace your air filter for your ac unit," Jon recalled.
After that phone call, an ac crew came out to his home and claimed he had some major issues.
"They opened the cover for [the] air handler and just found out right away that I got some mold buildup... they say that's not good for breathing, you know," Jon said. "Mostly if someone is very sensitive, like my wife."
Because Jon's wife has breathing issues, he wanted to take care of the problem immediately. He agreed to buy a UV light along with a two-year service agreement despite the $1400 price tag.
"They told me, yeah, that's the cheapest price they can offer," he explained.
But the next day, he had second thoughts.
"I start[ed] calling around you know to local companies... and they told me from $500 to $700 dollars. So I feel right away that I [got] ripped off. Almost double-- over double," Jon said.
When the company refused to give him a refund, he called WINK.
"Finally they dropped the price from $1400 to $1100," Jon reported. "It really work[ed]. I'm proud. I did the right decision and I call to WINK's TV station.”
And his advice to others who find themselves in similar situations?
"Don't buy the message. Don't be scared by service people. You don't have to do [it] right away. Just OK. Then search around for the best deal."
Jon has the right idea. This is the most common complaint we get this time of year, companies who up-sell customers. They come in to do a $30 dollar maintenance check and all of a sudden they say you need a whole new unit or an expensive repair. Don't fall for it. Do your research first then get a second or even a third opinion and quotes for the work. We also hear things like the repair man telling people their unit is obsolete or no longer under warranty. Again, get a second opinion before you spend the money.