Local Man Victim of Appliance Repair Business Scam

A man who says he got burned by a local appliance repair business wants the public to be warned, and he has the Better Business Bureau on his side.

Gary Morton said his washing machine stopped working in March, so he decided to go with a local business to do the repair. Morton said he did not research the company beforehand, and he paid most of the money upfront, in the form of a check; but instead of a repair, he says was taken advantage of.

"He called me the last time. He called me and told me I had a lemon of a machine. It was a lemon and there was nothing he could do with it, and I said, 'Well, I want my money back, and the machine back," Morton said. "And that's the last I heard from him. He's got the machine, and he's got my money."

Morton still has the receipts, which show that he paid $430 upfront for the $555 repair. He said Augustine Balboa of A B Appliance Repair told him the problem was a water pump, and then a seal, and then he told him he couldn't fix it at all. Eventually, Balboa stopped calling, and then he stopped answering his phone.

Meanwhile, Morton says he never got his repair, or his money back, or his machine back.

The Better Business Bureau said it has received more than a dozen complaints about this company, and is warning consumers about it. The BBB said Morton could have avoided this headache had he done more research on the company.

"I think that was probably what could have prevented the problem," said Alan Bligh, regional director of the BBB. "If he had simply gone to bbb.org and plugged in the name of the company, and of course it would have come up with all the complaints and problems we had, and everything."

The phone number on the business card for A B Appliance Repair leads to a message saying that the phone number is not service, and there was no answer at the door of Balboa's home on Carlton Street Tuesday.

The BBB said there are two main things you can do to protect yourself: First, research the company, and second, use a credit card if at all possible to pay your bill; the reason being, if you have a problem afterwards, you can contact the credit card company and they will investigate and most likely charge it back to the business.


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