Customers of a local air conditioning company that closed up shop could have some money headed their way.
WINK News first brought you complaints related to the practices of Louis Bruno, Bruno Total Performance and Bruno Air Conditioning back in 2019.
On Tuesday, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said a deal was reached that will mean refunds for some customers.
Read the complaint here.
Moody’s office said when people called Louis Bruno, Bruno Total Home Performance and Bruno Air Conditioning of Southwest Florida, they didn’t exactly get what they needed.
Attorney Robert Goodman represented several clients against Bruno.
“This was brought as a Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act violation. And that is a consumer protection law in Florida,” Goodman said. “I think it’s good for everybody to get some type of closure.”
The Attorney’s General’s Office filed a civil complaint against Bruno and his Bonita-based businesses two years ago after receiving 248 complaints.
According to documents, Bruno’s actions seemed to “reveal a widespread pattern of conduct designed to take advantage of vulnerable consumers and trick consumers into purchasing high-priced HVAC systems and products that were not necessary and at prices and financing terms that were not authorized.”
“The agreement with the AGs office prohibits him from doing the same practices,” Goodman said.
Now, the state and Bruno have both signed off on a deal which, in part, permanently bans Bruno’s companies from conducting HVAC business in Florida, bans Bruno himself from using any high-pressure, false or misleading statements and prohibits the use of any clause that would limit a consumer’s ability to post negative reviews.
Bruno did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.
WINK News spoke with Bruno’s attorney after our story aired at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.
In a statement, his attorney said, “An innocent, wrongly accused man Louis Bruno and his little family stood up to full weight of Florida bad government and prevailed.”
He says Bruno plans to countersue the state in the future.
A judge still needs to sign off on the deal but it also calls for $100,000 in relief to be paid to eligible consumers, refunds and Bruno must release customers from liens placed against them.
However, the state will waive $500,000 in penalties as long as he doesn’t default.
Read the consent final judgment here.