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AC company targets elderly victims

Posted at 6:32 PM, Feb 26, 2016

Antonio Guzman is still reeling from the $330 he paid Mario’s Air Conditioning & Heating to fix his thermostat. 

“Nothing was working,” he said.

Guzman says the technician who came to his house from the Hudson based office replaced it two weeks ago and his heat was working, but the air conditioning still wasn’t working. 

That’s when he says the technician told him his AC unit needed to be replaced.

Guzman showed us the invoice for $5,600 which had everything itemized.

“I told the man, I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to come up with $5,600. That’s a lot of money,” Guzman said.

Guzman passed on the job and called another company for a second opinion. 

The technician for the other company agreed to speak with us and said it was an easy fix. He says it was a wire that needed to be replaced, which he did, charging Guzman only $100

“I fixed the wire and the terminal and plugged it in, and everything fired right up. I checked amperes, voltage, pressures and absolutely everything was perfect,” said Jeremy Vansandt

Worried others could fall victim to a possible scam, Guzman reported the incident. 

The Hernando County Sheriff’s office is investigating, but can’t release details as to if there other victims or how many while the case is still open. 

When we stopped by Mario’s he wasn’t there.

In response to the allegations we received this statement:

“Mario’s adamantly denies any allegations of wrong-doing.  Mario’s is a family owned and operated business that prides itself on its customers’ satisfaction.  Mario’s was founded for the specific purpose of breaking away from the dishonest pricing and improper customer care practices that Mario’s father experienced working for other air conditioning businesses.  Mario, being trained and ingrained with this utmost ethical approach to its customers, has continued running the business in the same manner.  Mario’s makes the best recommendations for each and every one of its customer’s unique situations given their needs.  Any further questions or comments shall be directed to Joelle Schultz, Esquire at 727-772-1941.”