Action 9 recovers thousands of dollars for central Florida consumers

Video: Homeowners turn to Action 9 after contractors charged them after offering free services

ORLANDO, Fla. — Two homeowners turned to Action 9 after contractors offered them something for free, that ended up costing thousands of dollars.

One owner felt burned by a contractor who promised a free roof after a hailstorm, and another lost thousands after a free water test gave him a false result.

Action 9 consumer investigator Todd Ulrich helped both men get all their money back.

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When James Larris contacted Action 9, he had just spent $4,000 on high-tech filters to treat his tap water.

"He had me so fooled, I was scared to take a shower," Larris said.

Someone from Environmental Quality Assurance did a free water test and then told Larris he found bacteria that could make him sick. That's why Larris bought the company's filters.

It's the same firm Action 9 previously investigated in a hidden camera test.

"You make this water sound very dangerous," Ulrich told the salesman.

At the test home and at Larris' house, the tap water had easily passed all government safety requirements.

EQA refused to remove the filters installed in Larris' home and give him a refund.

"It's not right," Larris said.

Managers at EQA told Ulrich the company had done nothing wrong, but a month later, Larris got a $4,000 refund.

Ulrich also helped a Deltona man who was having issues with a roofing company.

Homes took a pounding from a May hailstorm in the Deltona area. Within days, Charles Jackson said a roofing contractor knocked on his door and said he qualified for a free new roof, covered by his homeowner's insurance.

But first, the contractor said, Jackson had to sign some papers. Jackson said he didn't realize he was signing an assignment of benefits. The document gave the roofing contractor, Rosser Enterprises, with an office in DeLand, control over his hail claim.

The roofing company collected nearly $13,000 from his insurance company.

Jackson said he was then told he had to pay several thousand dollars for the new roof.

"He said, 'You got to pay $2,500' and I said, 'I don't got that," Jackson said.

Jackson said the roofer would not cancel the contract or return the insurance settlement.

"After he got the money, it was bye-bye." Jackson said.

He contacted Action 9, and a few weeks later, Rosser Enterprises returned the $13,000 check.

According to Jackson, at first the contractor said the deductible was covered.

That's something roofers cannot do. The company denies making that sales pitch.

Jackson said he will now be able to seek other estimates and maintain control of his insurance claim.