BBB warns about Corpus Christi appliance repair company
Better Business Bureau is again warning consumers about AB Appliance Repair in Corpus Christi, Texas, after receiving more than a dozen complaints about the company. BBB first issued a release about the appliance repair company in May 2011.
Consumers allege they paid the appliance repair company’s owner, Augustine Balboa III, for parts that were never installed or services not performed. BBB contacted Balboa about the pattern of complaints, but did not receive a response.
Balboa has not responded to BBB consumer complaints since mid-2011.
“It’s just kind of been a nightmare, the whole thing,” Gary Morton, a Corpus Christi resident, said. He hired AB Appliance Repair to fix his leaky washing machine.
He said he found the appliance repair company through a local advertisement, and did not do any research on the company before hiring Balboa. He said he did not know about the company’s poor reputation until after Balboa had his washing machine.
Morton told BBB that, after one failed attempt at repairs, Balboa took Morton’s washing machine to his office, along with Morton’s approximately $500 payment.
“It went on for about three weeks and he called me back and said I had a lemon and he would see what he could do about it,” Morton said. “And that was the last I heard about it.”
Morton said he left multiple messages with Balboa that were not returned. He eventually bought a new washing machine and filed a complaint with BBB.
“It makes you afraid to try and help small businesses out,” Morton said of his experience. “I think he’s just setting a bad name for people who are just trying to be honest.”
For those in need of appliance repairs, BBB offers the following advice:
- Start with trust. BBB’s Member Pages currently list more than 100 BBB Accredited small and major appliance service and repair businesses. Consumers can narrow their search to find businesses close to their home and contact them for online estimates using BBB’s free Request a Quote service.
- Watch for up-front fees. While a repair service may require a down-payment, avoid paying for the entire job up front. For extra protection, pay with a credit card whenever possible and make sure to get a receipt.
- Get details in writing. Ask for a detailed contract explaining the work to be done, parts ordered and replaced, the cost of all repairs and any warranties or guarantees associated with the job.
- Confirm the guarantee. Verify the terms of a work guarantee, such as what is covered, what the procedure is for submitting guarantee claims and the time frame that the guarantee lasts.