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N4T Investigators: Bad reception from installer - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Bad reception from installer

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VAIL - "I was just scammed and I've never had anything like this happen ever in my life," Sylvia Sherry said. So she called the News 4 Tucson Investigators, and everything changed. 

When Mrs. Sherry had DISH Network Installed at her home, she told the installer she that she was soon buying a new TV. The 83-year-old Vail resident says the installer told her he could get her a great deal on a 65 inch Samsung. Mrs. Sherry gave him a check for $2,262.43, and showed us a copy of it, including comments from the installer. She said she bought a TV from the installer because, "I trusted him. I didn't doubt him for a minute."

The doubts began as months went by and the TV hadn't been delivered. Sylvia says the installer had a lot of excuses. First, she says, he blamed the delay on a backlog with Samsung. Then he told her he was on a job in California, that the TV was with him and he'd deliver it as soon as possible. Then he claimed the TV was at his Tucson home and a friend would deliver it. "I think he was running out of ideas," Mrs. Sherry said. 

After patiently waiting two years, Mrs. Sherry filed a small claims case against the installer this past March. She was awarded her $2,262 dollars back plus $300 in court costs. The installer hasn't paid her, so we went looking for him at the two addresses we had. No one answered the door at either house. We also called his last-known cell phone number. We left a message and he called us back.

The installer tried blaming Dish Network, saying the check was supposed to be for a home theater system for Mrs. Sherry, provided by DISH.  But DISH doesn't sell home theater systems. or, for that matter, televisions. The receipt that the installer gave Mrs. Sherry says it was for a Samsung Smart TV, and her check is made out to him and says nothing about DISH providing anything.

When we told the installer we had this information, along with the record of the small claims court judgment against him, he hung up the phone on us. The Pima County Sheriff's Department confirmed it is investigating Mrs. Sherry's complaint.

A spokesperson for DISH told us the installer was sub-contracted by another company, adding in a statement: "We require all independent third-party providers to comply with the law and expect the highest ethical standards from them. DISH does not employ this individual and has prohibited him from working on any DISH business."

The same day we informed a DISH Network spokesperson about Sylvia's complaint, she got a call from the company. The next day, she got a check from DISH, for $2,686.43. That's the amount she paid the installer, plus her court costs. "I was elated, finally," she told us. "That was really a surprise. Amazing surprise."

Susann Miller of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona says, "The installer isn't there to sell you equipment, only to install equipment."

Mrs. Sherry bought a new TV this week from a large store, and has a message for the installer: "Go to work, get a real job."

Mrs. Sherry paid the installer with a personal check, which, she says, he quickly cashed. Regardless of what product you buy, remember, if there's a problem, it's always easier to get your money back if you use a credit card. 

If you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.

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