I am the victim of fraud installed 5-ton air condition compressor in the attic while installing 4-ton unit in the outside
On or about May 6, 2013 my central air conditioning unit needed some work. I went to the Home Advisor website. I completed a request for a referral for reputable air conditioning companies serving the Ft. Myers Beach area. Within minutes after completing the request I got a call from Air Genie who offered to provide me a free estimate to repair my unit.
Air Genie's sales person arrived at my home and promptly informed me my air system was beyond repair. He stated I needed a new unit. He stated that because my house was in Ft Myers Beach next to salt water the only air conditioning unit recommended for the area was a Bryant.
Air Genie's sales person proceeded to write an estimate for the new Bryant air conditioning unit. The estimate started at around $8,000 at which point I told him thank you for coming, but I want to get more information before I make a decision.
It was at this point when Air Genie's representative told me he would have to charge me for a service call because unless I was ready to sign the contract, the estimate was not free.
Before I had a chance to ask him how much the service call was going to be he told me Air Genie was one of the only companies approved by Florida Power Light to obtain a rebate. He added that if I was able to pay for the new energy efficient air conditioner in a lump sum instead of by credit card, he could also get me another discount.
I asked how soon they would be able to install the unit and he told me he can make special arrangements so I can get the installation done the following day.
I remember asking if they needed a permit for the job, but I was told there was no need for a permit because it was not a new installation, but a replacement of parts. He also stated every county in Florida has their own inspection rules and since I am not an expert in Lee County ordinances I accepted his explanation.
The services was scheduled for the following date, the contract was signed and Check # **** in the amount of $7,000 was given to Air Genie at that time. My BB&T Bank account shows that check **** was cashed on May 8, 2013.
The following day the crew arrived, removed the existing air conditioning unit and installed the new Bryant Air Conditioning unit. Before the installation was over Mr. **** ***** **** the owner of the company came to inspect the job. After he inspected the installation he told me I needed a new air handler. Mr. ***** stated that because his crew was already there he would give me a specia fprize $8000 for the installation of the new air handler. If I didn't do it at that time and decided to do it later it would be more expensive because this crew would have to come back. Mr. ***** stated that without the new air handler the new system would not be able to reduce the humidity and the unit would sweat. I accepted Mr. *****'s explanation and gave him Ck. ***** in the amount of $800. On September 29, 2013 without warning red water began to drip from the ceiling of the master bedroom. The reddish water was so copious that we were forced to place a bucket under the area. After the red water has dripped for about one hour it got into the electrical smoke detector installed in the ceiling. The smoke detector began beeping until a short circuit stopped the unit. Smoke came out of the unit. When a technician finally responded he stated that the "sweating" from the air conditioner originated from the dirty filters. He stated that if I don't want my air conditioner to sweat I needed to replace all the air ducts because the new air conditioner was more than the house can handle. After several hours arguing with the technician we asked him to leave and call a different company the day after to investigate the problem
Since September 29, 2013 this is what has been uncovered:
1) Air Genie never conducted a low energy calculation for this home.
2) Air Genie never obtained a permit from the Town of Ft Myers Beach for this job, as is required by the Town ordinance.
3) Air Genie installed a 5-ton air condition compressor in the attic while installing a 4-ton unit in the outside.
4) Air Genie installed a new air handler facing a vent rather than in the opposite corner of the room far away from the air vent.
5) Air Genie sold us a unit whose market value we have been told is approximately $4,500 for $7,000 plus dollars.
6) Air Genie technicians used aggressive and intimidating tactics to make sure a contract was signed and executed in less than 24 hours after it was signed so there was no time for cancellation.
7) Air Genie sold us a 16 seer high efficiency unit but installed a 14 seer unit.
8) Because there is a 5-ton compressor in the attic, humidity may continue to be a problem in the general area and with humidity bacteria growth is possible inside the system and that could contaminate the air.
9) There is mold and rust already present and the air conditioning unit is only three months old.
10) The red water dripping from the ceiling is an indication the water penetrated the insulation, accumulated there and began to run out after the pan underneath the unit was overflowed
Getting my money back ($7,000 equipment plus $800 to install the additional air handler facing an air outlet) is what I am seeking at this time. A full refund will provide me with the option of getting the correct system based on the square footage of my home and its environment. I will also be able to obtain a permit
Contact Name and Title: *****, Office Manager
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ***************@gmail.com
This customer went to the BBB and others before ever giving Air Genie an opportunity to live up to our guarantees. Once the owner was made aware of this, he asked the customer for 7 days to research and respond to her complaint. She agreed. We sent out the installation manager, measured the house, had a load calculation performed and settled the complaint one week later by installing the proper size air conditioner and gave her a partial refund for her inconvienance. Not to mention we upgraded her from a 14 seer to a 16 seer system at no additional charge.
Final Consumer Response
On Wednesday October 30, 2013 I received a call from ***** ********* from DBPR who has received my file and he wanted to talk to me about what Air Gene was doing. I informed Mr. ********* that what Air Genie has promised to do was not on a voluntary basis but was based on pressure he has received from the Attorney General Office, Crime Against Senior program. Mr. ***** ignored all my previous attempts to communicate with him prior to the Attorney General Office, Home Advisor and the Better Business Bureau contacted him in reference to my case.
After 5 days have passed since the new unit was installed with no news from Air Genie or the inspector, I called *** ******* Building Safety Coordinator Community Development for the Town of Ft Myers Beach. Mr. ****** became involved in the case as the request of the Attorney General, Crime Against Senior program. I told Mr. ****** what has happened and he suggested I call for an inspection so I did.
On Friday November 1, 2013 an inspector from the Town of Ft Myers building department came to inspect the air condition unit installed by Air Gene so he can close the permit.
At that time it was uncovered that 2 pieces of woods from the truss of the roof were missing. The inspector asked if I was aware of the missing pieces of truss (wood) to which I responded that I was not aware.
I told the Town of Ft Myers Beach inspector that I have been the only owner of the property at *** ***** ***** and during my ownership of the property this is the first time the central air condition unit has been replaced since the house was built.
I asked the inspector if he saw a UV light when he was up in the attic. He told me he didn't see one. I showed the inspector a bill indicating I paid $230 for a UV light and I was wondering if they have removed the light when they replaced the 5-ton air handler Air ***** originally installed in the house back in May, 2013.
The inspector proceeded to call Air Genie and asked to speak to a supervisor. The inspector asked about the UV light and the pieces of truss missing. He told Air Genie the inspection was going to fail because of the pieces of the truss appears to have been removed in order to make room for a bigger air handler unit.
I overheard Air Gene supervisor telling the inspector the missing pieces were not part of the inspection at which time the inspector told Air Gene to get in contact with him.
The inspector told me that someone has removed two pieces from the truss and once that is repaired the inspection could then take place. The inspector asked if I have a bigger air handler before the one he saw on the attic. The inspector felt that having a bigger air handler unit could have been the reason for the removal of the truss.
I told the inspector Air Genie installed a 5-ton air handler before without pulling a permit and without conducting a low energy calculation and after that was uncovered they changed the air handler to the one that is there now.
After the inspector left I proceeded to call Air Genie but by mistake I call the person from the Department of Business and Professional regulations in Ft Myers, Mr. ***** ********** I told Mr. ********* to the best I could that the inspection has failed because two pieces of wood have been removed from the truss of the roof. I told him the removal appears to be an attempt to accommodate a bigger air condition air handler in the attic.
Mr. ********* told me he would be contacting Mr. ***** and let him know what has happened with the inspection.
Several hours later ****** Air Genie office manager, called me. She told me she would send an installer to look at the unit on Tuesday November 5, 2013. When I asked when the final inspection would be taking place she told me that I have not right to call the inspection because the installation still needed to be inspected by Air Genie Quality Control unit. ***** began demanding that I paid for the new inspection because I "have no business calling the inspector in the first place".
At that point in the conversation I told Rosie that any further communication with Air Genie should come from Mr. ***** himself and not from her.
I proceeded to call Mr. ***** and left a message that any further communication from the company should come from him and that I need to know when the inspection was going to take place.
Few minutes later Mr. ***** called me. I told him that I would not pay for the inspection. At that point he told me ***** misunderstood his instructions and that it appears the city was confused between the Bryant air condition unit and this new Rheem unit Air Genie have installed. He stated this was again another human error. During the phone call I told Mr. ***** that I want to be treated with respect just like I was treating him. I asked for the inspection to be scheduled as soon as possible because I have doctors' appointment to attend to which Mr. ***** stated I didn't need to be at the house for the inspection to take place. He said that as long as he has access to my property he could take care of that.
On Tuesday November 5, 2013 at approximately 8:22 AM I got a call from an Air Genie employee (cell phone XXX-XXX-XXXX) who told me he was on his way to look at the UV light and the missing wood. That employee arrived in my home at approximately 9:00 AM. He went to the attic and ask me if I want to climb so he can show me the UV light I told him that as an elderly person I didn't feel confortable climbing but he can take a picture with my i Phone so I can see the UV light. He did that and I saw that the UV light was in place.
After the took the picture he told me he needed to go to Home Depot to get some wood so he can repair the missing wood from the roof. He said not to worry "we will take care of that for you" He left
At approximately 9:50 AM I got a second call from Air Genie employee's cell phone (XXX-XXX-XXXX) He told me he was on his way back from Home Depot. Once he arrived at the home instead of proceeding to attic he told me he needed to wait for his supervisor who was on his way to my home and that he was going to be waiting by the truck until his supervisor arrives.
At approximately 10:35 AM Air Genie owner Mr. **** ****** *****, his employee and a Town of Ft Myers Beach inspector ****** ******* knocked at my door. Mr. ***** and his employee proceeded to go to the attic while Inspector ******* began asking me some questions.
I told Inspector ******* I have been the only owner of the home and that neither my husband nor I have been to the attic. I told Inspector ******* that the air condition unit that came with the house was the only other unit that has been installed in the home prior to Air Genie installing the oversized unit (5 ton air handler and 4 ton condensing unit in a home that is approximately 1,500 sq. ft. home) on May 8, 2013.
Because it is easier for me to express myself in Spanish I gave the information to inspector ******* in Spanish.
As I was talking to inspector ******* Mr. ***** came back from the attic and told us that the age of the wood indicated the truss were removed prior to May 2013 and therefore, it was not the responsibility to Air Genie to repair the damage resulting from the remove wood.
I told Air Genie that because they did not inform me of the conditions of the roof when they accepted the job by default they became responsible for the damage. I told Air Genie that if they have conducted a low energy calculation in the first place they would not have installed a 5-ton air handler in a limited space. Not conducting the low energy calculation and not pulling a permit in the first place in May 2013 have made Air Genie responsible for this situation.
If passing the permit entails making sure the structural soundness of the roof must be repaired Air Genie should be responsible for that repair because after all I have paid in full for a job that requires a final inspection and that final inspection is not going to pass until the roof is structurally sound again.
Mr. ***** stated he was not a roofer therefore he didn't know the missing wood was going to be an issue.
At this point Mr. ***** became extremely angry and began yelling at me and at Inspector ******** It was at this point that my ethnicity became an issue for Mr. ***** as he began exhibiting extreme prejudice behavior.
Among the things he said: "This is America and you should stop speaking in Spanish" he told Inspector ******* "you work for me and you are trying to stick it to me" I told me "you have me by the short hairs, how does that feel"
Inspector ******* told Mr. ***** to reconsider his position.
I pointed out to Mr. ***** the following facts:
1) Air Genie never call for inspection of the original Bryant Air condition unit.
2) Air Genie did install a 5 ton-air handler in the attic in my house back in May 2013,
3) Air Genie never inform me of the missing truss or ask me to got to the attic to see the missing truss like Air Genie did today.
4) Air Genie removed the 5-ton air handler without anyone inspecting what they did or left behind in my attic
5) Air Genie replaced the 5-ton air handler with a smaller 2.5 air handler unit prior to an inspection so what the Town of Ft Myers Beach inspector saw when he inspected the unit Friday November 1, 2013 was a much smaller unit. This smaller unit does not require the additional space than the 5-ton unit.
5) Air Genie accepted a job that requires a final inspection. I have paid for the job in full and if passing the inspection requires that the truss be repaired it is the responsibility of Air Genie to get it done
In front of Inspector ******* Mr. ***** accepted responsibility for replacing the section of the truss that are missing. He asked me if I know an engineer that can do the evaluation. I told him I didn't.
Mr. ***** finally agreed that he will try to get an engineer and that he will repair the missing wood. No timeframe was given for that action to take place.
As of today Tuesday November 5, 2013 I have not received the $500 restitution payment that was due Monday November 4, 2013.
My ultimate goal for the air condition to pass inspection so I can go on with my life. I need to inspection to be finished with the next 7 days so I can rent my home. I am losing tenants because of this situation
**** G *********, ******
Final Business Response
This response was provided verbally to BBB:
Both payments have been sent recently and we are trying to work with the customer to resolve the issues. We are repairing the trusses as suggested by inspector but we had to hire an engineer and roofing contractor to decide what needs to be done and do it.