Elderly Couple Gets Cool Donation After Falling Victim to Air Conditioning Scam - NBC 6 South Florida

Elderly Couple Gets Cool Donation After Falling Victim to Air Conditioning Scam



    A local elderly woman who fell victim to an air conditioning scam is now breathing easier after a Team 6 investigation. NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez has the story. (Published Friday, June 20, 2014)

    In May, Team 6 Investigators brought you the story of Gabriel and Ana DeSabatino. The elderly couple says a local AC company sold them a new air conditioner they did not need.

    Air Care Solutions charged the DeSabatino's almost $7,000 for the repairs, which Air Care Solutions eventually returned after the DeSabatinos sued them.

    “If it weren’t for my sister and I, it would have been so simple for these people to strip them of $7,000,” said Robert DeSabatino, who helped his parents with the suit.

    Michael Lang with Air Around the Clock says he watched the Team 6 investigation.

    "It really disturbed our company because like I said before we try to strive to do the right thing every day and there are a lot of unlicensed contractors and a lot of unscrupulous contractors and they go and rip people off," said Michael Lang, Operations Manager for Air Around the Clock.

    In an effort to help, rather than hurt their customers, ATC learned about a letter Marva Garnes wrote to an AC manufacturer asking for a low payment plan. The 70-year-old had been living without AC for 9 months.

    "I told them that I was a senior citizen and that I have limited resources and that I needed help," said Garnes.

    Garnes got much more than a low payment plan. ATC agreed to provide a free AC system and free installation.

    "In a world that we live in where things don't always go right, we thought we would pitch in and do the right thing," said Lang.

    Garnes' AC unit was 34 years old, ATC employees say the average lifespan for a unit is about 10 years. Garnes knew she needed a brand new air conditioner, but couldn't afford it. She says she too could've been the victim of an AC repair scam.

    "We don't know alot of things and a lot of details. We don't know what they're doing. We don't understand the system as we're putting it in."

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