AURORA, Colo. — Police in Aurora are investigating an HVAC business, Atmosphere Mechanical, after complaints the business was taking money from customers but not providing the service as promised.
Garry Trachsel's furnace doesn't run like it used to.
"It's 20-some years old, and the life expectancy of that sort of stuff is about 20 years," said Trachsel, who said a neighbor recommended Atmosphere Mechanical Heating and A/C to replace his HVAC system.
Trachsel said he paid $8,500 in July and was told the new appliances would be in his garage within four days, but nothing ever came.
The Aurora-based company once had good online reviews, but now has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau.
"People are paying up front to get a furnace or an air conditioning unit installed in their home," said Meghan Compton, BBB spokeswoman. "And then the business is hard to get a hold of, and the project is not being completed, even after they've already paid money upfront to have it done."
The Aurora Police Department confirmed that its Special Victims Unit, which investigates crimes against at-risk adults, is actively investigating the company.
An email showed the owner, Louis Caudillo, promised a detective and Traschel that he would pay back the $8,500 in a payment plan. But Trachsel said Caudillo has already missed the first payment and the second is now due.
Denver7 Investigates also reached out to Caudillo, and he declined an on-camera interview. His wife said on the phone that they are "not crooked people, just struggling" after deaths in the family and two heart attacks in the last year.
Caudillo promised to get customers their money back as soon as possible.
But Trachsel still hasn't heard about a payment.
"We're basically really honest people," he said. "I got complacent and blindsided."