Troubleshooters: Familiar contractor problems - KZTV10.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Troubleshooters: Familiar contractor problems

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The Troubleshooters looks into a case of yet another shady contracting job, but the contractor in question is no stranger to the Troubleshooters.

Question for you:  If someone you hadn't seen in eight years knocked on your door saying there's been a recall on parts in your refrigerator, and they needed money to take care of it, what would you do? 

Who is the Troubleshooters talking about here?  We're talking about Augustin Balboa, also known as AB. 

Augustin Balboa III, is an appliance repair guy, and also the subject of several previous Troubleshooters reports.

Yvonne Martinez tells the Troubleshooters Balboa knocked on her door about three weeks ago.

"When he knocked on your door the other day, was that the first time you'd seen him in eight years?," asked Andy Liscano. " Yes sir," Martinez replied.

She claims Balboat told her there'd been a recall on parts in her refrigerator.  She remembered Balboa had fixed the fridge eight years ago, and it was working fine.

"He said that we would have to purchase the parts first, and then we would get our money back," said Martinez.  "You believed him. Why?" asked Liscano. "Because he was a friend of my fathers," said Martinez.

After fixing the fridge, Martinez says Balboa told her he smelled gas, then proceeded to crawl underneath the house and discovered more apparent problems.

"Our gas pipes underneath the house were corroded, old, cracked and there was also a gas leak under the house," Martinez told Liscano. 

Hmmm.... Martinez thought. "A gas leak?..  And Balboa's asking for more money to fix it..?"

"He just kept asking for more money, like every three days.  Every three days he wanted more money, more money," said Martinez.

She says she called the city gas department to come check it out.  We've confirmed they did.  According to Martinez, after going underneath, the technician told her there was no gas leak underneath the house.           

Martinez says so far her 85 year old mom has paid Balboa more than $9,000. 

The Troubleshooters went to the address on Carlton we've been given multiple times for Balboa.  The black truck and license plate in the driveway matched a picture of the truck Martinez says Balboa was driving while working at her mom's house.  

He wasn't home when we went to this house yesterday.  Martinez realizes it's unlikely Balboa will return any of the money her mom's already paid him. "I just want him stopped," said Martinez.

We can also report that according to Martinez, Balboa came to her house earlier this week and gave her the $353 he said was for the recalled parts for her refrigerator. 

The Troubleshooters wants to remind you that if you ever smell any gas, you can report it to the city by calling 361-826-CITY. 

As always, if you need the help of the Troubleshooters, give us a call at 361-885-0100. 

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