HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

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z91
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:19 pm

HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by z91 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:24 pm

So, we had AC installed a few weeks ago for the summer, and I picked this guy because he did a good job on our neighbor's place, and reviews everywhere were positive.

Out of the blue he knocks on our neighbor's door at 9pm at night asking them how the AC was holding up and told them his sister passed away, and needs help with money. He first asked for $800, when my neighbor said no, he then asked for $600. This was two weeks ago.

Last week he shows up at our place, parked in our lot and sees me walking into my house. He tells me the same thing; asks for $800 then for $600.

He's a nice guy; older gentleman, but IMO wildly wealthy compared to me. He owns a 5 bedroom house in one of the most expensive zip codes in the state, and has owned it for at least 45 years now. I see no reason why he needs to borrow money from me, especially for under $1k, unless he's trying to scam people.

My reasoning is the money is not a lot, so most people would be able to lend that amount and if he never pays it back they wouldn't make a big fuss about it. My other thought is he at the very least should have some kind of emergency fund available, given he does HVAC for a living and he should have neverending work this summer. Our neighbor's job and our job netted him ~10k, so surely he made at least $800 from that alone? Worst case he could take a HELOC on his property..

He told me he'd sign whatever he'd need to sign (e.g., promissory note), but it felt so fishy I simply told him to keep personal away from business and that I was unable/unwilling to help.

The whole thing just left such a sour taste in my mouth I don't know what to do. There's no way I could recommend this guy to work on anyone else's houses. I am thinking about leaving a negative review, but am afraid of retaliation as he knows where I live and could easily figure out who I am. The other thing is if my AC unit goes bad in the next 2 years (under warranty), I really can't call this guy anymore, can I? I almost feel like he'll pull a fast one on me.

I feel like I just need to leave this whole thing alone, not leave any reviews anywhere and cease contact with him. I'm almost scared he will put a lien on our place just to try and squeeze some money out of myself and my neighbor. We both thought it was weird. I do plan on buying some cameras just in case he decides to show up unannounced again..

daheld
Posts: 320
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:14 am

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by daheld » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:31 pm

1. Just because he lives in a large house and has for a long time does not mean he has a dime to his name.

2. You did the right thing by not lending him money.

3. Do not leave a negative review--let it go. It's not your place to advise other people, publicly, on a website, about his business practices. If you're really concerned, call the BBB, your local chamber of commerce, the city, whoever, and let them handle it. Attaching your name to anything is stupid.

4. It is probably unwise to speculate, but I would think there's a lot more than non-zero chance that he needs money for drugs.

fposte
Posts: 1202
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by fposte » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:37 pm

I would also quietly consider some alternative support for your HVAC.

123
Posts: 3818
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by 123 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:39 pm

daheld wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:31 pm
...4. It is probably unwise to speculate, but I would think there's a lot more than non-zero chance that he needs money for drugs.
+1 I would be very confident to speculate that there is a substance issue behind the requests for cash.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by dm200 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:49 pm

I would do nothing. If he asks for a loan again, tell him your spouse won't let you -and if you did it, he/she would do you bodily damage.

Be congenial.

bungalow10
Posts: 2205
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:28 am
Location: Chicago North Shore

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by bungalow10 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:08 pm

I had something similiar happen, and I've never had this happen before, in all my ~15 years of home ownership.

We got four bids on wood floors and choose one based on quality, communication, and price. Entire install went absolutely perfect - quality, timeliness, cleanliness. I was thrilled. We paid (it was fixed price bid), we posted pictures and a review online. It was all good. Two days later, the guy calls and says he needs another $240 because he mis-bid. He said it should have been almost an extra $1000, but since he messed up it would only be $240 and he wanted to stop by to get the cash.

I said no, he contacted me a few more times, wanted me to Venmo him the money. I decided to wait and see if I ever got an official balance due invoice.

An invoice never came. I'm pretty sure this guy was just trying to make an extra bit of money without the owners of the company knowing.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 1522
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:18 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:08 pm
I had something similiar happen, and I've never had this happen before, in all my ~15 years of home ownership.

We got four bids on wood floors and choose one based on quality, communication, and price. Entire install went absolutely perfect - quality, timeliness, cleanliness. I was thrilled. We paid (it was fixed price bid), we posted pictures and a review online. It was all good. Two days later, the guy calls and says he needs another $240 because he mis-bid. He said it should have been almost an extra $1000, but since he messed up it would only be $240 and he wanted to stop by to get the cash.

I said no, he contacted me a few more times, wanted me to Venmo him the money. I decided to wait and see if I ever got an official balance due invoice.

An invoice never came. I'm pretty sure this guy was just trying to make an extra bit of money without the owners of the company knowing.
I had the son of my previous appliance repairman stop by my home and ask for money. I turned him down, as I suspected he had a substance abuse problem. Whole thing sounded odd to me, and I refused to give him any money. No arguing, he left immediately. Since we no longer used the repairman, as he had retired, I never contacted him. I'm sure he would have been terribly embarrassed. Saw no reason to add to his load.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Kompass
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by Kompass » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:39 pm

Similar here. Had a snowy winter that got to be a bit much for me, guy with a strong back and a shovel commanded $100 per hr (going rate right then).

Two weeks later he needed to "borrow" $200, wife's mother passed, travel money etc. I guess he figured if I had the cash on site to pay that rate when trapped in my house there must be more where that came from. Made me a bit nervous for a while.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

Boglegrappler
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:24 am

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by Boglegrappler » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:41 pm

Credit is profusely available to even the most marginal borrower. He can easily go to a bank, use a credit card, or any number of other ways to access a loan. Just say that you don't make personal loans to anyone.
I guess he figured if I had the cash on site to pay that rate when trapped in my house there must be more where that came from. Made me a bit nervous for a while.
You might be onto something there. Let's hope not.

toofache32
Posts: 1354
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by toofache32 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:06 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:49 pm
I would do nothing. If he asks for a loan again, tell him your spouse won't let you -and if you did it, he/she would do you bodily damage.

Be congenial.
This is what my wife and I do. Since my wife deals with most of these types, I tell her to always use me as the reason. I don't mind being the a-hole when needed. And it gets her immediately out of the negotiation/transaction since it's not hers to make.

mouses
Posts: 3818
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: HVAC installer just asked to borrow money..

Post by mouses » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:26 am

z91 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:24 pm
So, we had AC installed a few weeks ago for the summer, and I picked this guy because he did a good job on our neighbor's place, and reviews everywhere were positive.

Out of the blue he knocks on our neighbor's door at 9pm at night asking them how the AC was holding up and told them his sister passed away, and needs help with money. He first asked for $800, when my neighbor said no, he then asked for $600. This was two weeks ago.

Last week he shows up at our place, parked in our lot and sees me walking into my house. He tells me the same thing; asks for $800 then for $600.

He's a nice guy; older gentleman, but IMO wildly wealthy compared to me. He owns a 5 bedroom house in one of the most expensive zip codes in the state, and has owned it for at least 45 years now. I see no reason why he needs to borrow money from me, especially for under $1k, unless he's trying to scam people.

My reasoning is the money is not a lot, so most people would be able to lend that amount and if he never pays it back they wouldn't make a big fuss about it. My other thought is he at the very least should have some kind of emergency fund available, given he does HVAC for a living and he should have neverending work this summer. Our neighbor's job and our job netted him ~10k, so surely he made at least $800 from that alone? Worst case he could take a HELOC on his property..

He told me he'd sign whatever he'd need to sign (e.g., promissory note), but it felt so fishy I simply told him to keep personal away from business and that I was unable/unwilling to help.

The whole thing just left such a sour taste in my mouth I don't know what to do. There's no way I could recommend this guy to work on anyone else's houses. I am thinking about leaving a negative review, but am afraid of retaliation as he knows where I live and could easily figure out who I am. The other thing is if my AC unit goes bad in the next 2 years (under warranty), I really can't call this guy anymore, can I? I almost feel like he'll pull a fast one on me.

I feel like I just need to leave this whole thing alone, not leave any reviews anywhere and cease contact with him. I'm almost scared he will put a lien on our place just to try and squeeze some money out of myself and my neighbor. We both thought it was weird. I do plan on buying some cameras just in case he decides to show up unannounced again..
Maybe senility is setting in. I had an older guy who cut the grass, seemed okay, then started doing things like phone me 2-3 times a day to see if it was high tide (I live near the water) which is ridiculous as anyone can access a tide chart, then he decided he was going to replace my garden plants with ones of his own because they were "better" despite my saying no, once pushed his way into the house because he "was curious to see the inside," other oddities, it finally took a no trespass order from the police and then another one a year later to get him to stop. Of course, I had long since replaced him as the grass cutter.

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