Ashley Moody: Seniors Financially Harmed by HVAC Company’s Alleged ‘Aggressive’ and ‘Deceptive’ Practices

July 6, 2022 Updated 8:33 AM ET

A.G. Ashley Moody with Florida Cabinet, July 8, 2019 (@ashleymoodyfl, Instagram)
A.G. Ashley Moody with Florida Cabinet, July 8, 2019 (@ashleymoodyfl, Instagram)

July 6, 2022 Updated 8:30 A.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the state potentially secured $1 million for customers who were financially harmed by an HVAC company.

Moody said the HVACY company, Bruno Total Home Performance and Bruno Air Conditioning, allegedly engaged in predatory sales and service practices. The “aggressive” and “deceptive” sales practices resulted in “significant” financial harm to Florida consumers. Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division filed against Louis Bruno and his business.

Most of those affected by the deceptive practices were seniors. Moody said the company allegedly upsold unnecessary HVAC systems and set up financing agreements with liens on homes that consumers did not understand. 

“We are securing relief valued at more than a million dollars for consumers who were taken advantage of by alleged deceptive HVAC sales tactics,” Moody said. “This is an important resolution for hundreds of consumers, most of them seniors, who reported that they were preyed upon by the defendants.”

If entered by the court, the proposed stipulated consent judgment will provide important injunctive relief that includes:

-A permanent ban against Bruno, LLC from conducting HVAC business in Florida;

-A permanent ban against Bruno from using any high-pressure, false or misleading statements while offering or providing HVAC services, including threatening to file liens, making false health claims, threatening to void a warranty and misrepresenting a binding agreement as an ‘estimate’;

-A requirement that Bruno provide consumers with a written copy of any agreement when consumers execute the agreement on a tablet or other electronic device;

-A prohibition against using non-disparagement clauses that restrict a consumer’s ability to post negative reviews;

-A requirement to provide consumers with written information about the sales process so that a consumer can better identify whether a sales agent skipped a required step or did not get the required approvals at the right stage in the process; and

-A requirement that no work can commence before the financing company has confirmed that the consumer consents to all terms of the financing agreement.

The monetary relief identified in the consent judgment includes $100,000 in monetary relief to be paid to eligible consumers, more than $1.3 million in alleged outstanding payments due to defendants that they will not seek from consumers, at least $100,000 in lien releases, more than $50,000 in refunds paid to consumers, $25,000 in attorney’s fees and $500,000 in suspended penalties.

To view the full complaint, click here.

To view the consent final judgment, click here.

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