GREENBACK (WATE) – A family in Greenback has gone all summer without their new air conditioning system working. They bought a heat-and-air unit 18 months ago, thinking it was new, but found out it’s not. The installer claims he’s owed more money.
If you have an old heating and air system and it goes bad, it’s usually more economical to replace both units. Ruth Ann McCarter and her daughter Kelly were told their old heat and air system had been damaged during a storm and that Ruth Ann McCarter’s insurance would cover all but the deductible of $1,000. So, they hired a Blount County contractor to put in a new system.
The Goodman condenser and compressor was installed new 18 months ago. Inside their house, an Armstrong air gas furnace was put in at the same time. The cost of the system was $9,500 and their insurance paid only $8,500.
Tim’s AC and Mechanical out of Townsend installed the heat and air units. Kelly McCarter says the unit worked fine during last summer and winter, but the air conditioner stopped working this spring.
“It just started blowing out hot air,” said Kelly McCarter.
Tim Webb left a note on the door to the McCarters’ home after inspecting the air conditioner.
“Unit compressor is locked up due to breaker going bad,” read Ruth Ann McCarter.
Mother and daughter were not at home when Webb left the note, but they got in touch with him quickly.
“I called him and he told us that because it was a brand new unit, the warranty would cover everything,” said Kelly McCarter.
Their invoice from Webb states the AC was a four-ton unit and it came with a 10-year warranty.
“He said he would be back as soon as he got the parts that he needed, but we never saw him again,” said Ruth Ann McCarter.
Disappointed with Tim’s AC, the McCarters asked another contractor just to look at the air conditioner. He first checked the manufacturer’s sticker getting the model and serial number. Kelly McCarter says the second contractor made no adjustments to the unit, but found disturbing information when he pulled the warranty for the Goodman air conditioner.
“The machine was actually built in 2007 and the warranty had expired three years ago,” said Kelly McCarter. “[It had been presented as] a brand new machine.”
From the manufacturer’s paperwork the air conditioner turned out to be a four-ton unit, not five tons. it was manufactured in 2007, so it’s not brand new, and the warranty was for five years, not ten years. Also, it had never been registered.
WATE 6 On Your Side talked with Tim Webb and explained how things didn’t add up. He hung up on us, but a few days later, we called him again. Webb said the McCarters owed him money and they had not paid all their bill.
“He left this note on our door. Why didn’t he tell us then that we owed him money?” asked Kelly McCarter.
The McCarters say they’ve never received a second bill from Webb and that when the inside and outside units were installed, they were told not to worry about the extra thousand for the deductible.
“What he said was he was going to price it to where the insurance would cover everything, including the deductible. His exact words were: ‘Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of everything,’ ” said Kelly McCarter.
The Armstrong air heating unit isn’t new either. We found it was manufactured in 2008, had a five year warranty, not ten, and the warranty had expired.
The McCarters haven’t heard from Webb since we called.
“We finally are trying to secure a loan to get someone out here to replace our heating and air conditioning,” said Kelly McCarter.
Tim Webb said he’s done nothing wrong and he’s still owed money.
When you buy something new like a heating and air system, or an appliance, and it comes with a warranty, make sure the warranty is registered with the manufacturer. Often the installer will do this for you. To double check, find the model and serial number, go online to the manufacturer’s website, and insert those numbers to see if what you purchased is properly registered and warrantied.
The McCarters expect to have their new unit installed soon.