HVAC contractor giving family $10k refund after problems highlighted by TV report

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Five days after WAVY-TV reported the problems Joe and Toby Rissin were having with their heating and cooling system, the contractor who installed it says he’s ready to give them the only resolution they told us they would accept — a full refund.

The Rissins purchased a new HVAC system last October from HCEC, owned by Antwain Chatman.

They told us about ongoing problems with both their heat and air conditioning when we visited their home Friday. They paid Chatman nearly $10,000 for the unit.

When we interviewed Chatman for the story, he assured us he would contact the Rissins on Friday, but had not been in touch with them until after we spoke again with him by phone Wednesday morning.

In that phone conversation, Chatman told 10 On Your Side he consulted with his advisors and decided he would refund the Rissins their money and remove their system.

HCEC and Chatman had several negative online reviews. After an initial WAVY-TV story aired Friday, we were in contact with a former HCEC employee and one of Chatman’s customers from 2014.

The former employee says the Rissin system was one of several the company put in last year during a period of rapid expansion.

“Everything was going good, but once summertime picked up, and it really picked up, (Chatman) was wanting two or three installs done a day by one crew.”

Chatman disputes this claim, and told WAVY Wednesday that jobs were given the proper time and attention.

Amanda and Travis Mahony dealt with Chatman when they rented a townhouse in Newport News beginning in December 2014. They say they went through two winters without proper heat.

“It was very frustrating,” Travis Mahony said. “It was that year when we had all that snow come in the wintertime. We had two space heaters like she said to heat our whole house.”

Amanda Mahony says she was especially upset about what she saw as a lack of follow-up and customer service.

“Not one time where he had an appointment where he showed up on time, every appointment he had he showed up at least an hour late. He would not call to let me know that he was going to be late. I would have to call him and try to hunt him down.”

Chatman disputes that claim as well. And unlike Friday when we talked, today he took prompt action after telling me he would do right by Joe and Toby Rissin. He called them and said he would arrange to refund their money and remove their HVAC system.

10 On Your Side will stay in touch with the Rissins and with the contractor, and once they get their money back, we will do another follow up.

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