On July 16, 2011 I purchased a Kenmore 18 SEER central air conditioner and air hanger system which was later installed by a Sears certified mechanic on August 5, 2011. Since that time I have made numerous phone calls to both the store (Sears in Stroudsburg, PA) and the project manager (Hector Toledo) asking for a AHRI certificate so I could file for a $300 HVAC equipment rebate from my energy provider (MetEd). Everyone who has answered the phone and been very pleasant and has promised that the appropriate person would return my call, but no one has ever called me back. I placed at least a half dozen calls within a six month period immediately following the sale.
When we got an unexpected hot spell in April 2012 we turned on the central air conditioning system and got a surprise – it blew hot air. Again, I called Sears but no one returned my call. Luckily, I had the business card from the mechanic who installed my system (Mike from MJA Heating & Air Conditioning) and he promptly returned my call and came out to investigate. He found that the compressor wasn’t working and needed to be replaced – only 8 months after the initial installation. He said that there was a leak and that things like this occasionally happen. I took him at his word and left it at that since he was replacing the unit at no cost to me.
Since that time, I have contacted the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) myself in hopes of obtaining a certificate so I could file for my energy rebate. And, lo and behold, I found out why no one from Sears had been returning my calls. When I provided the model and serial numbers of the equipment I was told that the air handler was not certified to work with in conjuction with the condenser that was installed. The air handler should have been an FVM4X60. They then told me that the systems:
• Would not render 18 SEER
• Would burn each other other due to system contamination.
I have since spoke to several people from various air conditioning companies and they all agreed with the information provided by the AHRI.
This system cost me $9, 968.00 which I have been paying off monthly. My interest free period expires in February 2013 at which time I had planned to pay off the unit in full. This now puts me in a difficult position since I know that what was installed was not what I paid for. I purposedly purchased a high efficiency system to keep my electrical costs reasonable since electricity is my source source of energy for the house. I am also concerned that I am going to miss the deadline for the $300 energy rebate (which is June 2013). But most of all, I am afraid that the system is going to repeatedly malfunction. The inconvienence is bad enough since repairs require time off from work, but I am most concerned about the out of warranty costs that may incur.
I am contacting the Better Business Bureau in hopes that you can can intercede and render satisfactory results. But, if you feel that this needs to be fought legally in court, your recommendation on how to proceed would be most appreciated. I’m not sure if I need a contract lawyer (breach of contract in not providing a certified 18 SEER system) or a criminal lawyer (for fraud). I would like to avoid having to go to court to resolve this issue, but need to get this issue resolved before both the energy rebate time frame or the interest free payment period expires.
I have copies of all of the paperwork, but have summarized some of the key information for you as noted on the following page of this letter.
• Sears Office Location: Phila-3199
• Salesperson: Scot Williamson
• Job # [protected]
• Proposal date: 07/16/11
• Furnance/Fan Coil model: FXM4X4200A
• Condenser Unit: *4A836GKD
• Purchased by: Phyllis M. Hauner-Morris
Address:28 Laurel Ridge Road, East Stroudsburg, PA [protected] which has since been re-addressed as 2142 Laurel Ridge Road, East Stroudsburg, PA [protected]
• Installation date: 08/05/11
• Air Handler model FXM4X4200A1, serial A1119847981, breaker size: 15
• Condenser model T4A836GKD200, serail E112520529, breaker size: 30
• Mechanic: Mike
• Project Manager: Hector Toledo
Work phone: [protected], extension 41506
Outdoor unit replacement:
• Installed April 2012
• Serial # E102409335
Energy provider: MetEd
• Website: www.ahrinet.org
• Phone: [protected]
• Fax: [protected]
• Address: Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)
2111 Wilson Blvd, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22201