Cancer patient says AC repairman ripped him off

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by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 6 at 7:47 PM

HUMBLE, Texas -- Axel Werner moved from Germany to raise a family in Texas, and now he is battling lung cancer.

Several weeks ago his air conditioning system needed to be replaced.

“It’s very stressful,” Werner said.

He turned to the Yellow Pages for help. He discovered a company out of Porter called Houston Air Systems.

They sent sub-contractor Wes Duncan out to his home who eventually asked for a $5,000 deposit to do the work. He also asked for the check to be made out to him personally.

Speaking by phone, he told KHOU 11 News he had agreed with Werner to do the job on his own as a personal contractor. He said Houston Air Systems was not involved.

The unit was never installed.

“And I was foolish enough to give him that last amount as a deposit because I trusted him,” Werner said.

Werner’s daughter has since tried to get the money back.

“He [Duncan] literally in a 14-day period said he had car trouble, that he had an out of town job, that it was too windy to work,” Anneli Werner said.

KHOU 11 News looked into Duncan’s background and found nearly a dozen civil judgments against him in Harris and Montgomery counties.

According to the Better Business Bureau, he also owned a construction company which had received an ‘F’ rating.

The Werner family said they plan to file criminal charges.

Houston Air Systems confirmed Thursday that Duncan no longer contracts with them. Duncan says he will be getting out of the contracting business.

Viewers responded to the story that originally ran on Thursday, and someone from Cy-Fair Mechanical went to Werner’s home Friday to install a new unit free of charge.

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