I agree about running conduit between the disconnect and units, and properly supporting the conduit. But the wire would also need to be replaced with something that is approved for running in conduit, which romex isn't.
I even run my control wires in 1/2" sealtight between the wall and the unit. UV protected cable may protect it from the sun, but it offers no protection from weed whackers and dogs.
Yeh the dogs especially, I had a customer once that wacked the low voltage wire on a heat pump, in an attempt to fix it they just stripped all the wires and spliced them all together into 1 wire nut. It was hard not to laugh when they told me they could just not understand why it wasnt working even though they "re-connected" the wire.
wow. that wiring is unbelievable. in toronto we dont need permits for AC replacement and so this kind of thing is possible. you'd think an hvac guy would know better. maybe that was a diy job or something?