contractor lied- is NOT licensed- did things wrong

ilmbgOctober 21, 2012

San Antonio, Texas

I had a HVAC contractor recommended to me. I asked specifially if he was licensed- TWICE! He said he was. I took his word.

Had a new HVAC system put in. .. (August)

1. In December, when needed furnace it would not work...he came out- the furnace part was not plugged in.

2. March- didn't cool..came out- said because it was the new freon, it needed adjustment of the amount of freon. This happened twice.

3. About October of last year (HVAC is now 1 year old), not cooling. He said there was a leak in the welding- (on the small pipe coming out of the part of the unit that was in the storage closet) he welded OVER the weld- did not cut it out. Said because the weld was his fault, I would not have to pay, and to let him know if any problem. He did not wrap the small pipe again.

4. About 3 months later not cooling again- he was obviously not wanting to come out- said to call him in a few got cooler outside, so cooled a little better, but not great- told him this.

5. Last month no air at all. Called him and said he would be out in am.

6. Called at 10am- said couldn't make it until next day.

7. I had our maintainance man for the condos take a quick look at it, and he said immediately it was the poor weld job- freon leaking- showed me the oil and where it was leaking with dish soap.

8. I called James back and told him what the maintainance guy said..he said he didn't have his welder with him and would be out next day...

9. Never showed or returned any calls.....

  1. Looked up his 'license' number...oops..he doesn't have one!!

  2. Had licensed HVAC friend of friend come out to look at it/repair it... the weld job was very, very bad (by the first guy)- he had not drained the old oil when put new system in, had not put a filter on the new unit, had not put the thermostat (I think that is what it is) the one on the inside unit, where the thermostat lies on another line, and is wrapped to the second line). There were several things done wrong/sloppy. All the freon had leaked out(or at least most- it took 5 lbs). And $500 plus.

The HVAC guy that repaired it, said the things that were not done would not make the HVAC not function right away- it would take time....enough time that it would probably be out of warranty, which it was. He said 'crooked' guys will often do this to insure that they will be called back to fix a unit. Income insurance.

The unit now works better than it ever did- it isn't 'on' nearly as much. Will be interested in next months electric bill.

The second HVAC is reporting James to the Texas Licensing department. Said this is exactly what gives other guys a bad name...

Guess I can't even trust a person who says 'yes- I am licensed'. I have to verify with the state.....

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sometimes the license number is on the truck..
but not always.

sorry you had such a bad experience & that you found
someone who knows what they are doing.

you should file a complaint with licensing dept also.
some people check with BBB, so you may want to file
with them also.

some people lie, unfortunately.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Thanks- live and learn I guess.
I am thankful friends let me know about the fellow they use- he is going to file a complaint with the Texas licensing. I tried BBB, but they replied that they do not handle this sort of thing...

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 1:14AM
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I guess it's part of your due diligence. Apart from checking with the licencing board, you might even need to go as far as double checking the person's not 'borrowing' a legitimate contractor's licence #. (IE passing themselves off as that person.)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 3:16AM
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I always ask for a copy of the license to be submitted along with the bid package. Checking that it's legit on the state website would be the next level of security. In MA they use a photo ID that would not be easy to counterfeit.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:01AM
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good idea rwiegand.
sorry for your bad experience OP.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 3:35PM
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