WOOLMARKET, MS (WLOX) - One night six weeks ago, Walt and Angela Fletcher discovered a pool of water next to their inside central air conditioner unit.
The next morning Angela said they contacted Air Cool Mechanical and the owner of the company, Ben Gonzales, inspected the A/C unit. Gonzales wrote on the contract that black mold spores were found in the A/C unit and in the duct work.
"He said because of the black mold they would have to replace the unit and all the duct work and that the unit for this house, the square footage, it was too small and we needed to upgrade," said Angela.
The house is 2,500 square feet and Gonzales said they needed to upgrade to a 5 ton A/C unit instead of a 4 ton.
"It was over $11,000 and he requested a $7,000 deposit, which we wrote a check for, "stated Angela.
The Fletchers decided to have a home inspection and a lab test to verify that the A/C unit had black mold. The results — common mold; not black mold.
The cost for the lab test and having the A/C unit cleaned was $950.00. That's when the homeowners say they asked Gonzales to return their deposit.
"He said he would give it to me," said Fletcher. "Nothing and now he's not answering my phone calls or text messages."
Gonzales told WLOX News that he did not tell the Fletchers that the unit contained black mold. However, the contract contradicts his claim.
Walt recently retired from the Air Force and chose to relocate to the coast.
"I was in the military. I was stationed at Keesler from 1979 to 1987. Enjoy the area, enjoy the people. Good 'ole southern hospitality and people were friendly and everything else. Come down here...boom," said Walt. "I still can't believe that somebody would do this to somebody."
The homeowners say they have filed a Consumer Protection Complaint with the attorney general.