TROUBLESHOOTERS: HVAC contractor leaves customers in the cold

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Submitted: Thu, 05/12/2011 - 3:55am
Updated: Thu, 05/12/2011 - 5:25pm

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Friendship and business can be a risky proposition. One Riegelwood couple may have found that out the hard way. They claim they hired a friend to install a new heating and air system in their home only to be left in the cold.

Christina Horrell and her girlfriend bought a home that needed a new heating and air conditioning unit. It just so happens their friend Matt McCarty owns Big Daddy’s HVAC Service Company. They gave him a certified check for $2,4000 so he could buy parts.

That was March 18.

“He was supposed to come back the following week and install the heat part to get permits to move in,” Horrell said. “It took him about three weeks, finally a little bit of harrassment to get him to that point, and he came and did that, and he kept saying he’d be back, he’d be back to do the air conditioner part of it.”

In the meantime, Horrell refused to move herself and her daughter into a home without A/C. She says they kept trying to get in touch with McCarty.

“He said he would be here on Sunday with a Trane unit that he spent extra money on for the inconvenience, and he would be here on Easter Sunday,” Horrell said.

Easter Sunday came. While Horrell was out with her daughter, her girlfriend stayed home to wait.

“On Easter Sunday at 2:00 she texted him, and he said it would be two more hours,” Horrell said. “At 5 p.m., when I got home, she texted him, and he said he was eating and would be on his way, and that was the last we heard of him. Ever.”

They couldn’t keep waiting, so they hired someone else to finish the job.

“Thank goodness the company that we did hire, the man we hired, he’s letting us do it on credit. We’re paying him a couple hundred dollars every month until we get this money back from Matt to be able to afford to pay that man,” Horrell said.

We called McCarty to hear his side of the story and left a message on his voicemail. He didn’t call back. Twenty-four hours later, I left another message. His business doesn’t have an address, either, so there was no way to get in touch with McCarty. It’s something Horrell is familiar with.

“We’ve contacted him on Facebook, on his website, reviews, contacted his wife, and she says it’s not her problem, it’s his business,” Horrell said.

As her only recourse Horrell is going to take McCarty to small claims court. She also says the day he took her check, he and his wife went to an expensive hotel in Asheville for the weekend. Because of that, she’s looking into whether other charges can be filed.


  • mark blackburn says:

    i own the Johnstone in Wilmington and I will take that bet, forward me the serial numbers.

  • Carl Williams says:

    The story was out of Columbus County. Columbus county has a Goodman Wholesaler and it is not Johnstone Supply. Wilmington has 5 wholesalers that sales this brand of equipment. I think it is unfair for any person to use a very unfotunate situation to promote the axe they have with any wholesaler. I have been doing buisness with Mark Blackburn ( Johnstone Supply ) for a very long time. I think that the person that would not put his or her name on this comment, owes the owner and employees a apology.

  • William Boyd says:

    I am a customer of Johnstone Supply as well as the other wholesalers in Wilmington. I can not find one that is more professional than the company that for what ever reason, you have decided to target. From my understanding of the law, there is no reason that any wholesaler can not sell to a homeowner. Maybe you should spend more time targeting your law makers instead of targeting a wholesaler that protects the contractors in our industry at the cost of loss sells in tough economy. The equipment in the story was installed in Columbus county, the last time i checked there was a wholesaler of Goodman Product in that county. There are HVAC contractors from Scottshill to Bald Head Island that purchase equipment under thier license and sell it to their neighbor and friends.

    I think if you have a axe to grind with this wholesaler, you should be MAN (MAYBE) enough to put your name on the comment.

  • Greg R says:

    Where is your response to the comments. BOO HOO SUE

  • guest says:

    A big part of this problem are the supply houses that are selling these unlicensed contractors equipment. There are two distributors for Goodman equipment here in town and one of them is notorious for selling to unlicensed contractors and homeowners. I bet if you ran the serial #’s off of these units you find they came from Johnstone Supply.

  • Contractor says:

    The unit in the video was not installed by Big Daddy. This unit was installed by a licensed contractor that came to the rescue of the home owner after Big Daddy did not come out and put in the Trane Unit. Think god that Johnstone Supply deals with quality contractors that are willing to help by installing the equipment and doing it on credit.

  • Christina Horrell says:

    Thank you to everyone who has responded. Matt is the husband of my girlfriends former best friend whom she has known since birth and we trusted them both completely. We had no reason to ever dream he would do anything like this and intend to pursue everyone possible form of legal action. Since all these events have transpired we have learned he was evicted and have found an address where is is staying. When Marcie reported this she was aware of the address situation, it wasn’t bad investigating just without a little bit of late night hunting it was hard to figure it out easily before this aired. Regardless thank you and if anyone has any info to add feel free!

  • Guest421 says:

    Never, ever, pay for work before it is done. If a contractor is reputable, he/she will be financially able to supply whatever is needed to do a job without any upfront money. When contractors ask for money up front, that usually means they are not making much money, and there is a reason for this.

  • buddy says:


    Age: 29

    Race / Sex: W / M
    Arrest Date: 7/20/2011
    Release Date:
    Next Court Date: 8/16/2011

    Charge Status Bond Amount

    Total Bond Amount:$6,000.00

  • jonny kingpin says:

    I worked with this clown before! He has no experiance! And would be a very bad idea to even use any of his services! Big daddy’s heating and air!

  • HVAC Business Owner says:

    Not only does Christina and her girlfriend need to take this crook to small claims court, she needs to report him to the NC State Board of Plumbing, Heating & Electrical Contractors…make “Big Daddy” answer to his State Board! If he is going to do this to a “friend”, he’ll certainly do it again anyone!! All compliant information for the State Board can be found on-line at

  • SurfCityTom says:

    First, there are 2 questions or requirements anyone hiring a Contractor should follow.

    Get the total estimate in writing. Never front money to a Contractor other than a reasonable “advance”. And know in advance where the parts are coming from.

    Get a Certifiate of Insurance from the Contractor. No certificate, get another contractor. And NEVER front money to a Contractor before you have a certificate.

    Now, the investigative reporting. Are you serious?

    “…His business doesn’t have an address, either, so there was no way to get in touch with McCarty…” Your reporter’s words; not mine.

    Surely you jest. Scott, how long must I lead the way?

    Go to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website. Hit the icon to look up Corporations. I did and guess what:

    Big Daddy’s HVAC is an LLC established in 03/2009.

    Matthew McCarty is listed as the Managing Member of the LLC.

    His legal address is 307 Holiday Drive in Hampstead, NC 28443.

    Now his address may have changed since 2009. He’s overdue in filing the required annual report. So maybe the consumer starts with the Secretary of State’s office & questions why he has not filed his required annual report.

    Now the phone number your reporter called. Do a white page google search. It may give you an address; or it may show up as a mobile or cell number. If the latter, for about $5, you can get the current location address for the mobile — that’s normally where the bill is mailed.

    And, as it turns out, do a yellow page google search and you will see 910-231-5542 is listed as the business number and it is a cell phone.

    Surprise. There’s another reason for concern. Most contractors have a business phone number other than cell; it may just be a home number; but they have another number.

    Scott — do you have the nerve to allow this one to post?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    think you would post this.

    I tip my hat to you & if Big Daddy shows up in Surf City, I’ll take 2 of his tires out so you have time to get someone up here to ask him questions on camera.

  • Guest999 says:

    OMG! Somebody finally has called this idiot out! Not only has he robbed private citizens in the area, he has also stuck it to all the supply houses around here. Where did he get his HVAC license from, out of a Cracker Jack box? Oh, that’s right he has no license!

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