Customers want a resolution to attorney general investigation into A/C contractor
When Debi Giardello first contacted WINK News in 2019, she was fighting to keep her home.
Attorneys for Bruno Total Home Performance, a now-defunct Bonita Springs Air Conditioning company, had filed a lien on her property and were seeking to foreclose on it.
Giardello said it started when a Bruno sales rep convinced her to sign a tablet to see if she qualified for a financing program.
She believes the company copied and pasted her signature onto a document to show that she approved of a $50,000 estimate for work on her home.
She said she didn’t find out that huge dollar amount until technicians had already removed her existing air conditioning unit and installed a new one.
She said when she contacted the financing company and explained the situation, they agreed to cancel her contract.
But when she tried to work out an arrangement to pay a fair price for the new air conditioning system with Bruno Total Home owner Louis Bruno, she said he wouldn’t budge. Instead, he sued for breach of contract and tried to foreclose on her property.
WINK News heard similar tales from other former Bruno Total Home performance customers who complained to the attorney general and through lawsuits that the company forged their signatures onto financing agreements.
In January 2019, investigators with the Cape Coral police department and the Florida Attorney General’s office raided the headquarters of Bruno Total Home Performance.
For 15 months, the Attorney General’s office has told WINK News the same thing: it has active criminal and civil investigations into the company and cannot comment further.
As of the publication, the Attorney General’s office said it had received more than 240 consumer complaints about the company.
“It needs closure, and until that happens, I think everybody is nervous about it,” she said.
Giardello hired an attorney to fight off the foreclosure. The company dropped the foreclosure action and released the lien, but the case is still open.
“They took advantage of people in vulnerable situations,” said Robert Goodman, who represents Giardello.
Goodman said he’s working with around 200 former Bruno customers and has already filed four lawsuits.
“Almost all of my clients are senior citizens who were worried about not having air conditioning in their house. Some had health issues,” he said.
Louis Bruno and his attorney were not available for an interview with WINK News.
In the past, Bruno denied all allegations and called it “fake news.”
The company sold its assets to a Davie based air conditioning company in December.