Free servicing is key component when renting an A/C system

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Luz Lopez couldn't afford a new air conditioner so she rented one. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Luz Lopez couldn't afford a new air conditioner so she rented one. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A Phoenix woman says she chose an alternative way to cool her home but found the process of renting an air conditioning unit confusing.

Many people can't afford to buy a new air conditioning unit when their old one needs replacing. Some companies will rent you one. For a monthly fee, they take care of all maintenance and repairs. But there can be confusion when the service provider is a third party.

Luz Lopez says she couldn't afford to buy a new air conditioning unit, so she keeps cool through one she rents from a company called Priceless Rentals.

"The deal was, as long as I kept on with the payments, they were to come and maintain the unit twice a year," Lopez said.

All repairs were also to be free of charge. Lopez showed CBS 5 News the payments she made every month for a year. She says Priceless Rentals performed the first service under the agreement but when she called the only number she had for them to schedule the second, it was answered by a different company. 

"He had no information as to what happened. He wasn't able to answer my questions," Lopez said.

The other company did perform the second service but Lopez says they wouldn't explain what happened to Priceless Rentals or commit to future maintenance. She stopped making payments until she got answers about Priceless Rentals.

"Where is my money going? How do I know they weren't overseas? What were they doing," Lopez said.

Several months later, Priceless Rentals sent her this letter saying if she didn't start making payments, they would remove the unit. Lopez says she is willing to start paying again, but she needs Priceless Rentals to explain what's been going on.

"They didn't say anything. They just sent me the letter in December and I called them to try and get more answers," Lopez said.

It turns out this was a big miscommunication. The owners of Priceless Rentals told me they sold their original phone number and a list of customers for a separate business to a third party. They also claim they sent letters to all their customers in Arizona with their new phone number. Lopez says she never got the letter. That third party serviced customers of Priceless Rentals for awhile; that's what caused the confusion.

Lopez and Priceless Rentals are currently deciding whether to continue their relationship going forward.

Renting your air conditioning unit is a viable option. Several companies offer this service. However, Priceless Rentals tells me they are not currently taking new customers.

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Dave CherryCBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry works to resolve your consumer problems and protect your money. If he can't help, he'll do his best to point you in the right direction.

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Dave Cherry
CBS 5 Advocate

Dave was born and raised in Philadelphia and considers himself one of the biggest Philly sports fans. At 6-feet, 5-inches, he's probably right! Dave started on a different career path before fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news and helping consumers. Dave graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; he later earned an MBA degree in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dave also spent ten years as Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for two of America's leading real estate franchise companies. Dave started his 21-year news career at WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as news anchor and reporter, then moved to KOLD in Tucson, as the morning news anchor. From Tucson, he went to KRON in San Francisco as a freelance news reporter before moving east to COMCAST in Philadelphia as a general assignment reporter. In the fall of 2003, Dave moved west and joined KPNX in Phoenix and spent nine years as the station Call for Action Consumer Reporter. Through his on-air advocacy work in 2011, Dave and his team were able to help consumers save more than $1 million. Dave joined CBS 5 News as our CBS 5 Advocate in December 2012. Dave is a vegan and likes to eat the amazing vegan food prepared by his lovely wife, Carmen. Dave's also a big Bruce Springsteen fan (he's seen more than 70 shows!), the man who inspired him to learn the guitar. Besides playing many of the boss' songs, Dave writes and sings his own songs and recorded a CD of original music.

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