‘I feel abused’: Door-to-door sale leads to disturbing message

PALM BAY, Fla. — A Palm Bay man claims after cancelling a door-to-door sale within three days, the company threatened to foreclose and take over his house.

Consumer investigator, Todd Ulrich, asked the company owner how this could happen and explains ways to avoid in-home sales nightmares.

“Did you feel bullied?” Ulrich asked.

“Yes, absolutely,” Gene Scott replied.

Scott deeply regrets answering a knock at the door from someone representing Green Solutions of Florida.

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The company said its energy savings program involved installing a solar water heater, rooftop solar panels and an attic fan.

“And if you did all that what was going to happen?” Ulrich asked.

“They were supposed to save me money, 50% of my electric bill,” Scott replied.

He signed a $22,000 contract that day and Green Solutions arranged a loan from its vendor.

According to Scott the company installed everything the next day, but right away he was having serious doubts about its energy saving claim.

Scott said his accountant dismissed the company’s promise that he would save thousands in federal taxes.

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“Didn’t add up that way?” Ulrich asked.

“No, not at all,” Scott said.

In his complaint to Florida’s attorney general, Scott says he cancelled the contract, as the state’s 3-day right-to-cancel in-home sales law allows, Scott said Green Solutions refused to cancel the contract and the transaction to an ugly turn.

Scott sent Ulrich a voicemail message he received from the company. In the recording the caller says he is company owner, John Lameira, and if Scott didn’t agree to the contract, ‘We will place a lien on your house within seven days. We’ll have it filed in court within 21 days and have you moved out within 45 days.’

“How do you feel about those tactics?” Ulrich asked.

“I feel abused. My wife feels abused,” Scott said.

Green Solutions placed a lien against his home a year ago for nonpayment.

Scott contacted Ulrich after seeing Action 9′s first investigation involving a Titusville couple who claimed Green Solutions’ solar installation didn’t save them a dime.

“We just don’t like throwing money away,” Duane Hampshire said.

Five consumers have complained to the Better Business Bureau about Green Solutions.

Ulrich contacted the current company owner, John Rivera, who said Scott had not cancelled within three days but still refused to pay. Rivera declined to comment on the voicemail, and he said current litigation limits his response.

Scott hired an attorney, hoping to end this long ordeal at the worst time.

“I’ve recently had heart surgery. This has been a stressful situation. My wife was diagnosed with leukemia,” Scott said.

You have three business days to cancel a door-to-door sale. Don’t call. Always cancel in writing and try to send a certified letter.

Green Solutions of Florida also told Action 9 that it sells energy efficiency products and has hundreds of satisfied customers.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.