Complaints piling up against Tampa TV repair shop after Better Call Behnken story

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Complaints are piling up against Instant TV Repair in Tampa, as customers learn the same operators advertise online under different names, usually using the same phone numbers.

The newest to complain is Fred Debien, of Pinellas County. He says the company picked up his television in July and brought it back broken, then dropped it on the tile floor. They wanted more money and assured him they would be back with the part to fix the TV.

They never came back.

“Now, I need to take the TV to the dump,” Debien said.

Other customers turned to 8 On Your Side after hiring a television repair shop that took their televisions and never returned them.

The customers paid Instant TV Repair, the same company 8 On Your Side busted in February for advertising it was an “authorized” repair shop of major brands, such as Samsung.

That’s what happened to Steve Colquett. When he needed his 60-inch plasma Samsung TV repaired, he searched for an authorized shop. He found Instant TV Repair online.

“I assumed that they were a retailer to work on a Samsung TV,” he said.

He paid $60 for the shop to pick up his TV and gave them $300 in replacement parts.

“I’m left here with a base to a TV and a remote control and a power cord,” he said.

That was a year ago. He got excuses for months, then someone would hang up when he called.

“Two weeks ago, they said, ‘Who are you? We don’t know who you are,'” Colquett said.

He went online looking for answers and found our 8 On Your Side report from February. Back then, other customers had similar complaints of missing televisions.

We found one customer’s television in the trash, and the shop owner said then it could not be fixed.

8 On Your Side went back the business address on Manhattan Avenue in Tampa and found the business gone. The same phone number it used in February is listed online for another business, Advanced TV Repair and Affordable TV Repair. A Dale Mabry Highway address listed is for a park.

Another address, on Ulmerton Road, is for a Lowe’s store. Another, in Lutz, is for a parking lot.

The Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency is investigating seven complaints and has turned their information over the state Attorney General’s Office.

The business already had an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.

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