LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Talk about sticker shock. A valley man nearly had to pay $17,000 for a new air conditioning unit. That is until he reached out to Contact 13. As Tricia Kean shows us, our Call For Action team saved him some serious money.
"I accepted what he said. Dumb on my part," says Bob Barnes.
He recently had his old A/C unit inspected. The 83-years-old says the technician found a problem and recommended a new unit.
"He showed me where he said there was a leak, and that they couldn't fix the leak," says Bob.
HE DIDN'T KNOW THE TOTAL COST
Bob says he signed some paperwork. But admits he made a major mistake.
"I honestly don't remember seeing any final figure," says Bob.
Well that final figure was a big one. More than $17,000.
"I don't recall him saying, $17,650. If they had said that, I would've said whoa, wait a minute," says Bob.
HE DIDN'T GET ANOTHER ESTIMATE
Bob also never thought of getting another estimate.
"It's important to contact three different companies and get three separate quotes," says Rhonda Mettler with the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB says that's the best way to make sure your getting a good deal. It's also important to look over your contract carefully.
READ WHAT YOU'RE SIGNING
"Read what you're signing. Understand what you're signing. Don't be pressured into signing," says Mettler.
And be sure your paperwork includes the total cost, plus the company's warranty and refund policy. No matter what promises a business makes verbally, Mettler says you need to get it in writing.
"Even trustworthy companies. Accredited businesses. Businesses that have been operational for a long time and are in good standing," says Mettler.
HE REACHED OUT FOR HELP
As for Bob, he reached out to our Call For Action team. Our volunteers spoke with a company manager who was kind enough to knock the bill down to $10,000.
"You guys have been tremendous. You didn't drop the ball at all. You kept persisting," says Bob.
Bob says he just hopes others will learn from his mistake.
"They should get a second opinion from somebody neutral. That's what I should've done," says Bob.
Remember Contact 13 is ready to help you with your consumer problem. Just contact one of our Call For Action volunteers any weekday between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Our hotline number is (702) 368-2255.