CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- A Cape Coral couple is telling their story of a bad experience with Bruno Total Home. They even slapped the embattled company with a lawsuit before state officials raided Bruno's Bonita Springs offices this week.
Dennis Haussler says he bought a new air conditioner from Bruno Total Home Performance after hearing a radio advertisement. “I’m driving to work in the morning and I hear this Louis Bruno on the radio all the time, and he’s saying, don’t take money out of your pocket,” said Haussler, who lives in Cape Coral.
The program Bruno was selling is called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. It allows customers to make energy efficient investments in their home and finance it through voluntary assessments of their property tax bill.
Haussler was surprised at how quickly he was approved: “Not even signed a paper.”
But the real surprise came in the mail, when the Hausslers got a bill for $37,000, with first payment due in 30 days, even though they were told by Bruno they had three years to make their first payment.
They called Louis Bruno, Haussler claimed Bruno told him he’d call Greensky, the finance company himself. “He kept telling us he was telling us he was talking to some guy in California from Greensky, we ended up talking to Greensky and they said they were located in Atlanta,” said Haussler.
Dennis says the finance company told him they had never heard of the PACE program, that’s when the couple knew they had been had.
Haussler called Mike Chionopoulos who filed a fraud lawsuit against the company and other lawsuits may follow. “This the first time that I’ve had any categorical or widespread complaints regarding an air conditioning or heating company,” said Chionopoulus.
The Hausslers watched in shock as FDLE agents raided Bruno’s office Tuesday, an incident that Chionopoulos says may help prove his case against the company.
Dennis says he regrets this situation escalated as much as it has. “Now we’re aggravated because he did what he did, if he had just been honest with us and told us he’s having trouble with the Pace program it would be a different story.”
4 In Your Corner called and texted Bruno’s attorney Yale Freeman for comment on this story, but did not hear back.