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.