The Contractor: Do you know who you really hired?

By: Bill Morris
Chief Executive Officer
The Meurig Group, LLC

It’s McAllen, Texas, in late June of 2017, which means two things; 1) the outside temperatures are already reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, most days are hotter, and 2) the summer hasn’t even begun to exercise its summer tax on the sunny Rio Grande Valley city.  In short, it’s hot and it is going to get much, much hotter.  This reality means that air conditioning units will fail, and air conditioning contractors are going to be in business, as will every other unlicensed person trying to prey on the ill-attentive while attempting to pass him or herself off as “an A/C professional.”

Unfortunately, no person or business is immune from swindlers and con-men attempting to take advantage of people in desperate need of relief from the relentless McAllen sun. In one such case, a tenant renting an apartment from a well-known highly profitable property management firm located in the city, contacted the management company with a third complaint about the tenant’s air conditioning not functioning.

“We will send our guy out,” was the routine response from the property manager.

The tenant was suspicious.  “What company does he work for, and what is his A/C technician or contractor license number?”

“Why do you want this information?” demanded the property manager.

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“I would like to know who is coming into my home,” replied the tenant.  And with that, a company name was given, and the first name of the repairman.  The same repairman that had entered the tenant’s home on two previous occasions.

The Meurig Group, LLC, was contacted and had an investigator do what investigators do; investigate. The private investigator conducted license checks and surveillance operations on the air conditioning contractor en route to the tenant’s home and the air conditioning company the contractor purported to be employed by.

What the investigator found was not surprising, but disconcerting all the same.  The person passing himself off as a certified independent contractor had no license and never had a license as a contractor or technician in any state of the United States.  The company he worked for had no working phones, a license set to expire within days, no marked storefront, and had been previously suspended by the state from conducting business for failure to pay taxes.

The repairman on his way to the tenant’s home, who had entered the home twice before for the same air conditioning problem, had no background check, no license, and no qualifications to be working on an air condition unit in any state.

“But we’ve been using him for 5 years,” the property management team said with surprise.  Less than 20 minutes after being alerted to their contractor’s unlicensed operation, the tenants were contacted,   “We’re sending out another company.”

Hess Air, a fully licensed air conditioning service, sent a fully certified HVAC professional to the tenant’s home. The HessAir professional solved a year’s worth of air conditioning problems in 20 minutes, saving the tenant from another very hot summer in an unsafe home.

Imagine how much time and money the property management company would have saved over the previous five year period by using a reputable company with certified professionals.

Private investigators do more than investigate cheating spouses and insurance claims. We are licensed professionals skilled in the art of fact-finding.  You have the right to know whether the person coming to your home to repair your property is a licensed professional, or just some guy with a truck, a wrench, and no background check.

Contact us The Meurig Group, LLC to speak to an investigator today.


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