Wednesday, July 08, 2015
PSA: Gary "Tony" Fairris is a con man disguised as an AC repair man.
On 6/10/2015, my air conditioning heat pump compressor stopped. I contacted Gary Anthony ("Tony") Fairris (469-682-9279) to inspect it. I suspected the compressor motor since the fan stopped turning.
Gary was scheduled to arrive on 6/11. However, he notified me he would be able to see it the evening of 6/10 at 8 or 8:30pm. He arrived late and it was a little dark, but he was confident he could fix it blind folded. I left him with the compressor.
He reported back to me the problem was more than the fan. The entire unit had shorted. He showed be the control board with black soot and explained a short fried everything. I needed a new compressor. He said if my coil had no leak, I should replace the compressor with another R22 unit.
My previous system was a SEER 12. He told me SEER 13 is the minimum available now and would be compatible with my system. I agreed with his recommendations on specs and brand of compressor.
He told me his supplier had one left which met our requirements. I gave him a large check so he could acquire it. (My mistake. But I figured as an independent, he needed some money down.) He did purchase the compressor and came the next day, 6/11, to install it.
Again, he was late. He installed the compressor. The air conditioner was working again. I cut him his last check. He had nothing job related left to say. We said our goodbyes.
The next day. The empty compressor box was in the house. I planned to use to make my kid a playhouse with it. On it was the product's label. I decided to do a Google search on the model # and find out more about what I paid a lot of money for. To my surprise and contrary to the written work order, the heat pump was not a heat pump. It was a straight cool unit. This was the first serious red flag.
Consumer Fraud Exhibit A
Not believing what I was reading on the Internet, I called the manufacturer to verify what I was sold. It was not a heat pump. I called Gary immediately. He answered and told me he knows it's not and he was going to turn it into one. All he needed was a "reversing valve" and "branching hoses."
New red flags were being raised. Why did he not mention any of this before leaving? When he left, we were both under the impression the job was finished. Did he make up the parts story because I told him I verified with the manufacturer what I had?
I am no technician, so I had to verify with the manufacturer if conversion was really possible. I was not surprised when they said no. I was angry. I called my bank to cancel the last check I wrote before he cashed it. Cutting a new check upon his return would be a little incentive for him to finish the job right. That and the possibility of me reporting him to the state attorney for consumer fraud and going to small claims court.
I called him back. He was not answering. Eventually I did reach him. He said he did one better for me and located a replacement heat pump. It was shipping and was going arrive the evening of 6/16. Installation would be 6/17.
At this point, I did not tell him the manufacturer said conversion was not technically possible. I wanted to get the job done and over with. So, I waited for the unit to arrive.
6/16, I texted him to ask if the unit arrived and he received it. No answer. I was able to reach him on 6/17. He could not install that day because storms were in the area. He said he would be there at 8am on 6/18.
On the morning of 6/18, I repeatedly tried to contact him with no answer. It was heading into the 11am hour. Did he skip the job? Was the order a made up story? I didn't know. I began to contact law firms to hear my options.
He did eventually contact me and told me he was on the way. He showed up with a heat pump and began to install it. He finished. The A/C seemed to be working. I gave him his last check.
As he was driving off, I was giving the unit a look over, checking the factory label and the install. The install was shoddy with wiring not properly secured. But, the unit is what was ordered and the A/C was working.
We used the unit a couple of days before leaving on a week's long vacation. I kept the temperature high since no one was home. When we came back, I restarted the thermostat program. The A/C turned on and cold air was blowing, but not for long.
After a couple of days, the house temperature felt off. The middle of the house was cold, but rooms outside the center were not. It turns out the upstairs unit was furnishing all the cold air. The downstairs unit, i.e. the unit with the new compressor, was not blowing. My fear was the new compressor was already dead, but it wasn't. So, I suspected the blower motor.
This time, I called a reputable A/C company. They discovered the compressor had a little less than half the freon it needed. It was this way because of one of two scenarios, neither one making Gary look good.
1) Gary did not fill the compressor in order to maximize his con profits.
2) Gary broke the head on what's called a shrader fill valve on the compressor, which caused freon to slowly leak out. There's no way he could have left the job and not know it was broken.
Since the head was broken off, the tech could not remove what remained of the valve without doing a costly repair on the compressor. So, he did a make shift repair, which does work, and filled the compressor. This cost me several hundred dollars more.
BOTTOM LINE: Gary "Tony" Fairris committed a case of flagrant consumer fraud. When caught red handed and possibly fearing legal reprisals, he covered it up with a story about acquiring the parts to convert the unit. Knowing I'm in touch with the manufacturer, he stepped away from his parts story and ordered what was supposed to be ordered in the first place. Feeling upset he was caught and having to make right, he performed a shoddy job installing the compressor out of spite, e.g. broken valve head, terrible weld, etc. Further, it is my suspicion he either a) broke the head to create a slow leak so he could return to say I needed to pay for more services or b) withheld freon to maximize his returns.
IF IN THE DALLAS OR FORTH WORTH AREAS OR WHEREVER ELSE HE SLITHERS TO, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH GARY "TONY' FAIRRIS. He is a dishonest man and brings shame to the good independent technicians in the field.
You do not want to see this truck when you call an air conditioner technician. It's Gary's.