CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When Enrique Mendez got out of the U.S. Army in 1970, he did what so many soldiers do, put his education benefits to good use.
“I went to school,” said Mendez. “I used my G.I. Bill and I went to school, I took up air conditioning (repair).”
Now retired, Mendez and his wife Yolanda live in their Niagara St. home. Last November, a salesman knocked on their door, pitching a water softening system. The salesman’s demonstration was convincing.
“He brought chemicals and (showed us our) water,” said Yolanda. “He told us, ‘look what happens when we clean it with our solution.’ The water looked clear.”
The Mendezes bought the system for a little more than $10,000. They also agreed to advertise for the company, in the form of a sign in front of their home, in exchange for $1,050.
Almost immediately, the system proved too good to be true.
“When you wash your hands or shower, it's too... you can rinse and rinse and it still feels slimy,” said Yolanda.
Not only were the Mendezes not happy with their system, thbey couldn't get anyone to come look at it, and the money they were promised for advertising never arrived. Weeks went by, and finally, their salesman said he would hand deliver their check.
“I said you please check the system when you come? We don't like the way the water is,” said Yolanda. “He said yes, I will.”
That was in February, and was the last time the Mendezes spoke to the man who sold them the system.
“He never came. never called,.” said Yolanda. “Then we went to the office on Ayers and we see that they're closed.”
That office, inside Pharaoh Plaza, has since been leased to a another business. The building manager confirmed the salesman was simply gone one February morning.
After contacting the San Antonio based company, Blue Deal Technology, the Mendezes eventually got their check in early April. However, they haven't cashed it, instead they want legal advice on how to get out of the deal.
“We really don't want it anymore,” said Yolanda.
The Mendezes say they checked into Blue Deal Technology with the Better Business Bureau and found no complaints. However the local salesperson's business, Blue Water Technology had negative reports.
They're hoping they can find legal advice to get out of the deal, and rid of their water softener.