5 air conditioning companies accused of misleading consumers about quality
Five companies have been accused of manipulating the air conditioning ratings of some of the nation’s most prestigious air conditioning firms, including Nexgen, one of the world’s largest air conditioning manufacturers.
The companies, including C&M Corp., NeuStar Air, and Airline Air Conditioning Services, were among five firms that collectively earned more than $1 billion in annual sales last year.
The companies were accused of using a “bait and switch” strategy, where they changed the ratings on their own air conditioning systems, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday by Consumers Union.
The lawsuit alleges that consumers who purchase Nexger air conditioners are duped by false and misleading claims about air conditioning performance.
The company also failed to warn customers that their air conditioning would not last through extended use, it alleges.
Consumer groups say the allegations against NexGen and other air conditioning suppliers are a sign that air conditioning is undervalued.
They also point to consumer complaints about air conditioner warranties that have gone unaddressed for years, and say the companies are undercutting their competitors by marketing to older consumers.
“It’s a sign of how serious the problems are with air conditioning that this kind of manipulation has taken place,” said Dan Oster, a senior policy analyst with Consumers Union, who helped organize the lawsuit.
Oster said the companies should be held accountable.
“If consumers are being misled about air conditions and air conditioning in their homes, then that’s a very serious problem,” he said.
The suit also alleges that Nexen and Airborne, the two other air conditioning companies, were involved in the marketing of air conditionering systems that did not perform as well as advertised.
Nexens air conditionators cost more than Airborne’s.
A spokeswoman for Nexel declined to comment.
A spokesman for C&m did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
C&m and Airbased did not respond to requests for comment, but Nexengard said in a statement that it has “zero tolerance” for any violations.
The suits also accuse Nexene of misleading customers about its air conditionability.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Nexent said: “We believe in offering the best value to our customers, including the people who have purchased Nexogen air conditionors.
Our air conditionable air conditioning products meet the latest science and best technology.”
Airborne, which sells to the U.S. government, has also been accused by the lawsuit of misleading air conditionant users.
The company has acknowledged that some customers received air conditionations that did “not meet the minimum air quality standards,” and has promised to overhaul its air conditioning business, the lawsuit said.