Monty’s weird little war

One day, a man named Monty White Jr. decided to start a heating and air conditioning company based in Marietta, GA.  The company did legitimate HVAC work.  But it also developed a reputation for diagnosing nonexistent problems, and clobbering customers with a “no refunds” policy buried in its standard contract.

Monty G. White, Jr., news warrior

Monty’s company drew some deserved attention from the Better Business Bureau, and Randy Travis of WAGA.  Travis produced a piece on it five years ago, outlining its sketchy practices.

It was solid reporting, but it could have easily been lumped among the many scheisters exposed, then forgotten, on local news.  But five years later, Travis’s piece still resonates — especially with Monty White Jr.

Monty is now a man in a cyberbunker, waging war on reporters like Travis, and on customers who go public with their unhappy experiences with his HVAC company.

Monty’s company is now called Mechanic’s Heating and Air Conditioning.  It currently has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau.  Travis reports he’s done business under several names.

Monty has lots of web sites (I’ll provide no links), all of them within the umbrella of his HVAC company, and an LLC awkwardly called Mechanic’s Responds.  The latter is his “news” organization (with a logo for what he calls “the F team”).  Its purpose is to answer Monty’s critics.

So far, so good.  Monty White Jr. has as much right as anybody to use the internet to talk about whatever he wants.  A genuinely aggrieved party might take issue with news coverage or customer complaints by detailing the issues faced in the disputes, and making his case.  Monty does a little bit of that.

But he does much more.

Using public records, he has posted Randy Travis’s home address in Lawrenceville.  Monty has also posted the names of Travis’s wife and children, and the property tax records of his home.

He has done the same to customers.  In a wickedly perverse twist, Monty has purchased URLs that mimic the names of his targets.  For example, Simon Weinstein is a former customer who spoke with Travis years ago.  Go to simonweinstein.com, and you’ll see Monty’s hit on Weinstein, listing his home address, its tax records, and links to Weinstein’s divorce records.  There are a dozen or so other examples.

What Monty has done to Wendy Saltzman is even worse.  Saltzman, of WGCL, conducted a hidden-camera sting in February that snared Mechanics among a number of sketchy HVAC dealers.  Saltzman has told her viewers that Monty retaliated by posting her home address and phone number on one of his web sites.

Monty has supplemented his attack on Saltzman.  He has a page calling her a “lying bitch,” and is loaded with sexually explicit innuendo that could be used to smear anybody.  Except he doesn’t do it to Travis.  Monty, a twice-divorced father of four girls, appears to save his ugliest attacks for women.

Saltzman has made an impact in her seven years in Atlanta as an investigative reporter.  It would be easy to suggest that she dismiss Monty’s nasty missives, posted on sites nobody reads.

But Monty plays the search engine game with a measure of skill.  Saltzman values her reputation and plays hardball.  She’s talking with defamation attorney Lin Wood, who reportedly reached settlements with NBC, CNN and the New York Post over the Richard Jewell libel case.

That may make the hairs on Monty’s neck stand a bit.

On one hand, nobody in the news biz wants to set up First Amendment roadblocks.  If you try to curb a guy like Monty, you curb free speech.  On the other hand, legitimate news folk don’t play “news” the way Monty does, with an utter absence of a conscience or ethics.  Got a beef with a reporter?  Make your case.  But post a reporter’s home address?  It’s not relevant.  It’s mere harassment, designed to have a chilling effect.

I produced a story about Monty’s curious customer relations this month, interviewing Weinstein.  The piece lacked the hidden-camera heft of Saltzman and Travis’s pieces.

Monty responded with an email crowing that, because of all of the fab news coverage his company has gotten, he would post “as seen on TV” emblems on his Mechanics trucks.

Since then, Monty has written some dark emails to me demanding this-and-that, while ignoring my interview requests.  I fully expect him to post my home address, which is 602 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta GA 30307. Maybe he’ll buy dougrichards.com, which is currently owned by a domain broker who wants $1800 for it.

Since I’m not female, I doubt he’ll disparage me sexually.

What won’t he do?  According to Fred Elsberry of the Atlanta Better Business Bureau, improving his business methods doesn’t rank high on his to-do list.  He’s got lots of time to create numerous web sites that slam customers and reporters.  He even wrote a song about Simon Weinstein.

But actually improving his “F” rating?  That would take real work.

12 thoughts on “Monty’s weird little war

  1. live apt fire Post author

    The Blues Bros / Wrigley Field thing was the inspiration for that, yes. I started to go with 789 Ponce de Leon Ave., but opted against it since I haven’t been to the Claremont in probably ten years.

    By the way, thanks for reading this. This blog got more views March 26 than it’s ever gotten before. Credit Reddit.

    Reply
  2. Fred

    Mr laf,

    Thanks for the report.

    Remind me to never hire Simon Weinstein if I need a good lawyer to go over contracts..

    Reply
  3. Dottie Callina

    Hi Jon,
    I believe you are referring to the 20/20 story that was about one BBB in Colton, California. They painted the entire BBB system with one brush based on that story. BBB of Metro Atlanta has never been a “pay to play” BBB. There were many falsehoods in that story. One example was showing Wolfgang Puck at the beginning saying they demanded money from him to remove the F rating from his BBB report. The fact was that he had two unanswered complaints – that’s what drove his F rating. At BBB Metro Atlanta, a company has to go through a pretty strenuous vetting process and then be approved by our Board of Directors and then, and only then, do we accept any type of payment. BBB celebrates 100 years of service to the community this year and all services we provide are free of cost. I just wanted to set the record straight. Thanks Jon!

    Reply
  4. DaQuan Jones Richards IV

    Atty Weinstein could have dropped his $590.00 suit at any time and chose not to. If a reporter uses a “hidden camera sting” to get a story…well a little blowback should be expected.

    Reply
  5. superHVACmasterchick

    Monty White Jr. is still in business because people are stupid enough to fall for the phony low service call. This is not Mr White’s first rodeo, however. He has gone by several different names in the industry and then when things get too hot, or he gets in legal trouble that he can’t worm his way out of he bankrupts the company and starts another, using some other poor sucker’s license until the inevitable happens. NEVER HIS OWN LICENSE!! We’ve been in the same business for many years, and although we are not really even competitors – we market to different customers- Even so, we’ve also had numerous run-ins with this disgusting POS loser and have the displeasure of having our names smeared and our privacy grossly invaded by this maniac. If you read the hundreds of pages deep it continues to go on and on and you really start to question his sanity. I mean..this guy is not just a little off, he is bats***t crazy. He has every reason to stay behind locked and gated walls with security cameras everywhere because of the harm he has done to others. He won’t even meet face to face with vendors..they have to communicate with him through a closed circuit TV. How’s that for paranoid… Now as far as BBB goes I think they leave a lot to be desired in their complaint process. We have had a few and although they always get resolved some of the complaints are simply not legitimate. Example:a customer bounces a check and you send them a letter. They send a complaint to the BBB about receiving a collection letter. So we get a black mark on our record for three years, and all the customer has to do to make a bill go away is file a complaint?!? It’s definitely not business-friendly – but they serve their purpose and for a lot of customers the BBB Accreditation still means something, so you pay a couple hundred dollars a year because of course it costs money to run the BBB and they have to get it from somewhere. It’s not perfect but it is what it is and i really have no problem with it. DO’s: All you really have to do to have an A+ with the BBB is be transparent and honest, and be dedicated to customer satisfaction, address all your complaints in good faith, and also understand that the customer is inherently distrustful of your industry (and sometimes rightly so). Take the time to explain to the situation in a calm manner without judgment or anger, sarcasm or ridicule. DON’TS: Don’t play the fingerpointing game. Don’t call the customer names and publicly shame them. Don’t make them sign lengthy contracts with a mile’s worth of fine print and then threaten them with legal action if they change their mind. Don’t set up websites and publish their personal information and solicit others to come forward with their sexual escapades. Don’t bash competitors, detractors, unhappy customers, publish their divorce papers, follow people around taking pictures of their vehicles.
    Bottom line is, sometimes the customer is half wrong. Sometimes the customer is half right, And sometimes the customer is just wrong wrong wrong!!! But it DOES NOT MATTER….in order to be in business you have to take the good with the bad, and eat s**t with a smile and a “thank you for your business” and a “we apologize”. It will come back to you three-fold in good fortune, referrals and most importantly you’re DOING THE RIGHT THING and you can NEVER go wrong with that!

    Reply
  6. MechanicsFooledMe

    This guy is scary. I have had personal contact with him and lost a lot of money to his scam. Karma will get him some day though.

    Reply

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