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N4T Investigators: New complaints vs. installer - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: New complaints vs. installer

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TUCSON - At least seven homeowners say they lost thousands of dollars to a satellite dish installer. They claim they paid the installer, 38 year-old Donnie Diaz, for television sets and home theater systems he never delivered. 

Former customer Veronica Todd calls Diaz, "A liar and a thief."  Nora Stephens, another homeowner who claims she lost money to Diaz says, "He's deceptive, scheming." And a third, Sylvia Sherry, says after so many excuses from Diaz, "You could just tell he was lying."  It was too late when she realized that. . 

Veronica and Kyle Todd  have what looks like a sports bar in their Sahuarita home, but no thanks, they say, to Donnie Diaz. The Todds claim they paid Diaz $9000 for six TV's for their entire house, and for a home theater system. "He's got the gift of gab. He takes advantage of people," Mrs. Todd said. At the time Diaz was a third-party subcontractor for DirecTV. The Todds say only after months of hounding Diaz, he delivered three of the six TV's they paid for. 

"He had so many excuses, Mrs. Todd said. "From, he was in California, he was traveling, the equipment was in storage, he didn't have a vehicle big enough to bring the equipment to us. Lots of excuses."

The Todds took Diaz took Diaz to court and were awarded $5981, but say he hasn't paid them a cent. A spokesman for AT& T, DirecTV's owner, said, "We don’t offer home theater installations. We have been in touch with the customer to clear up this misunderstanding and this issue has been resolved.”

The Todds are among the viewers who contacted us after seeing our story last week about 83 year-old Sylvia Sherry. Diaz was installing DISH Network at her home in Vail and told her he could get her a great deal on a 65 inch Samsung TV and a sound bar. She paid him almost $2300 and got nothing. Mrs. Sherry also won a court judgment in March that Diaz didn't pay. When we told DISH Network about this, the company sent Mrs. Sherry a check for $2686.43, that's the amount she paid Diaz plus her court costs.

Nora Stephens says she paid Diaz $4580 for a big screen TV and home entertainment system from Diaz for her Marana home. Mrs. Stephens, and the other alleged victims, showed us copies of their checks and receipts signed by Diaz.  She says she decided not to waste more time and money by taking Diaz to court, aware that he hasn't paid other judgments. 

We went to the last two known addresses we had for Diaz last week, and no one answered the door at either home. We called him and he blamed Mrs. Sherry's problems on DISH Network, saying the company was supposed to provide the TV and home theater system, even though Mrs. Sherry's check is made out to Diaz.  And a DISH spokesperson said the company doesn't sell TV's or home theaters, that Diaz was subcontracted by a third-party provider and Dish doesn't use Diaz anymore." Diaz worked for Audio Visions out of Thatcher. The owner, Larry Matthews, told us after hearing about Mrs. Sherry's complaints two years ago, he fired Diaz. 

We called Diaz again for this report and left a message; he has not called us back.

The alleged victims want the Arizona Attorney General to charge Diaz with consumer fraud. Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for the A.G., called Diaz' actions  "A very disturbing pattern." and he said "The A.G.'s office is in the information-gathering stage and we encourage other alleged victims to contact us."

Nora Stephens told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "I want justice. If there's a possible way to get restitution, that'd be great. But, i don't want him doing this to somebody else. Who knows how many people he's done it to that haven't reported it?"
 
Veronica Todd said, "I think that he needs to be served justice. Whether it be restitution or criminal charges. I think he needs to go to jail."

We are not sure if Diaz is still doing business in southern Arizona. Regardless, you should not buy a TV or home theater system from an installer who's selling them on the side. Buy them from a reputable store. And as with any purchase, do your research.

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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