On Monday, state Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a court action against Fosters Air Supplies & Technical Services d/b/a Fast AC SWFL, and its principal Matthew Foster.
According to an investigation by Moody’s Consumer Protection Division, Fast AC deceived consumers, many of whom were seniors—some suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. The investigation uncovered that Fast AC representatives allegedly presented customers high-priced quotes for unnecessary services or unneeded replacement of air conditioning systems or parts.
“My office is filing this action to stop what we believe is a business that targets our seniors—some of the most vulnerable among us—with high prices for unnecessary services. As your attorney general, I have made it my mission to protect Florida’s seniors from these types of unscrupulous sales tactics. Make no mistake, preying on seniors and other vulnerable consumers to make a dishonest dollar will not go without consequences from my office,” Moody said on Monday.
According to the complaint filed in Lee County, Fast AC told numerous consumers that high-priced repairs were needed, but when the consumers obtained a second opinion from another heating, ventilation and air conditioning business, these consumers learned that the high-priced repairs were excessive and unneeded.
Fast AC’s egregious behavior is alleged to have victimized consumers, including an 86-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s that was sold an unneeded $2,407 ultraviolet germicidal light system even though the victim had an active maintenance program with another company. Then, despite the victim’s family notifying Fast AC to never return to the property, its technicians returned and unnecessarily replaced $2,550 worth of ductwork. The family again contacted Fast AC to request that they stop going to the victim’s home, only to learn that a few months later, Fast AC’s technicians went back and charged for an alleged faulty capacitor and freon.
Another alleged victim, an 88-year-old with dementia who was under the supervision of several caretakers, was contacted by Fast AC to service a working air conditioning unit. Despite the victim’s family canceling the appointment, Fast AC’s technicians arrived at the home while the caretaker was absent and convinced the victim that the air conditioning system needed to be replaced at a cost of more than $9,000 because a coil in the system was broken. No work permit was obtained and the existing system was dismantled by the time the caretaker returned. Another air conditioning company that regularly serviced the home later advised that the coil was under warranty and would cost only $600 to $800 to replace; confirming that a new unit was likely completely unnecessary and the price charged was outrageous.
The complaint names both the company and its owner, Matthew Michael Foster, and seeks full restitution for Florida consumers allegedly victimized by the deceptive and unfair trade practices. The court action also seeks to enjoin the defendants from engaging in these alleged unlawful business practices. Additionally, the Florida Attorney General’s Office is seeking civil penalties and court costs.