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Retiree shafted by contractor

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  • Retiree shafted by contractor

    I was hired to complete a job that a contractor started, took all the money and left. We have all heard the stories so specifics aren't necessary in this case. Recently it came to the homeowner's attention that the contractor did the same thing to another retired person. How many more victims are there? I have tried everything I can think of to persuade the homeowner to sue the contractor but so far I have not been successful. I even went so far as to try to explain that there is a social responsibility to stop this guy.

    So I have a couple questions:
    1.) Can anyone think of an argument that might persuade the homeowner to follow-up and sue this guy?
    2.) I feel a moral responsibility to try to stop this guy but do I have any legal standing to bring action?
    3.) Is it too intrusive to the homeowner to for me to initiate action?

    Something has to be done before there are more victims.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  • #2
    Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

    I believe that the only type of action that you can take would be to report the situation to the local Better Business Bureau. Any real legal action would have to be started by the homeowner.

    Unfortunately with the way judges and jury panels award damages these days I would also be very careful what you say publicly about this guy.
    ================================================== ====
    All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

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    • #3
      Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

      the better business bureau is another joke for another topic.

      get the contractors name or license number and report it to the state contractors board to investigate. they will follow up and take action.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

        I turned in 2 different "contractors" to our state contractor's board. Both ended up prosecuted through our city attorney's office. One was teaching plumbing at a local school! He ended up in jail and repaying the money to the agency I work at. The other spent a month picking up trash on the freeway and repaying the money to the agency I work at.

        It was a bit of work, but very satisfying. It was all about the principle for me.

        Joey
        I love my plumber

        "My Hero"

        Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

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        • #5
          Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

          Man, this is a real sore subject with me. Over the past two years I've run across more scoundrels than I could have ever imagined. Everything from outlandish quotes to shoddy workmanship to downright thievery. I could write a book on the jerks, incompetants, and thugs that I've run up against.

          So, do you complain to the BBB... well you could, but that's almost a joke in itself. Problem with the BBB, is that there's no place to complain about them! I have a case with them now. You pay $5 before they'll pick up the phone and then they don't want to hear any of the details. Just answer whether you have a monetary claim against the contractor or not. If so, they send him a letter; he has 30 days to respond, if no satisfaction is reached, they post a "problem" on their website for 36 months... that's it!

          I called the State Attorney General's office. They can't do anything, unless there are actually laws posted in the municipality or county. If if can be proven that such laws have been broken, they will investigate. Otherwise they will simply take note of the contractor's name, in case other complaints come in.

          So, I called the county legislature, the city councilman (or whatever your local rep is), and the local contractor's association, trade associations, union halls, etc. About the most you can do is make inquiries... but even there you need to be very careful, as anything proven to be slander against this jerk, can very well put you in harm's way and you may find yourself the target of a lawsuit, with the jerk claiming that you are costing him his livelihood.

          About the only two viable alternatives is small claims court and an attorney. But they'll need a contract in their hands, receipts, photos of the poor work, (before and after), etc., etc.

          At present, I'm bringing as much heat as possible to the local government for legislation that will oversee this kind of business. Perhaps your area already has that in place.

          Then of course there's always letting the guy know that you just happen to be Uncle Guido's favorite nephew!

          CWS

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          • #6
            Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

            My experience has been that no good deed goes unpunished. If the Home owner does not want to be involved, respect his/her wishes. Altho it may be great to stop this guy, what is it going to cost them in travel, court time, public scrutiny, stress to someone who physically cannot tolerate it, etc?. You do not know what the ramifications might be so you cannot judge them or their actions. If YOU want to make a complaint, then do so and good on ya, but do it independently of them. Altho current society is big on moral obligation, it is also noticeably absent when it comes to picking up the tab. Don't lay an obligation or load on someone who does not agree to accept it. If you badger them, you are as bad as the scoundrel in talking them into something they do not want. Stick to YOUR contract.

            Go
            Practicing at practical wood working

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            • #7
              Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

              Okay...I have to add my two cents here. As a resident of the Gulf Coast (Alabama) I can't even begin to tell you the ridiculous and numerous fraudulent cases of contractors that preyed upon hurricane victims here. It truly is disgusting what these people have done to innocent victims in their time of need. As a local contractor, I am constantly correcting what these so-called professional contractors did wrong...or didn't do at all. It is truly sickening. Some of these victims literally lost everything and battled tooth and nail for an insurance settlement only to have it stolen (literally) by these low-lifes. Most have crawled back under the rocks from which they slithered out from...and the rest are like traveling parasites. All I can say is spread the word about them! Tell your clients to tell everyone they know about these people. Take pictures of shoody work! POST THEM ONLINE OR EVEN AT LOCAL BUSINESSES! My wife owns a salon...and when someone writes her a bad check, she enlarges it on a copy machine and hangs it on the wall by the cash register. You would not believe how quickly people come in to pay their bad debt after someone they know mentioned it to them. After they make it good, we take it down off the wall! It's that simple! No slander...just simple FACT! Word travels fast...To anyone out there who is reading this and is considering hiring a contractor: Always do your research! ANY GOOD CONTRACTOR WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO PROVIDE REFERNECES! Don't be afraid to ask. I pride myself on providing complete photo journals to my clients as well as names and contact info of previous clients. (with their permission, of course) As for turning these people in to the local authorities, well, good luck. Chances are that it will cost more to pursue and prosecute them than what most individuals are willing to endure. I know thats not what most people want to hear, but it's sadly the truth. I have two siblings that are in the legal profession...
              Sorry I got so long winded...but hopefully I reached at least ONE person out there!
              Nick

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              • #8
                Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

                Report him to AARP. They love to follow up on things that affect seniors!!

                Jim

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                • #9
                  Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

                  Originally posted by Tom W View Post


                  1.) Can anyone think of an argument that might persuade the homeowner to follow-up and sue this guy?
                  2.) I feel a moral responsibility to try to stop this guy but do I have any legal standing to bring action?
                  3.) Is it too intrusive to the homeowner to for me to initiate action?

                  Something has to be done before there are more victims.

                  Thanks,
                  Tom
                  1.) In most cases, Don't bother...
                  2.) Don't let your conscious bother you, "do something"...
                  3.) Not at all, they may be proud of you when the ball gets rolling.

                  Listened to what the Pipestone Kid said. They have experiences in matters as such. You just need to get the ball rolling and then step out, unless called back in. Your time involved can be costly, so no need to be the major player. Just do what you can, then back out of it.

                  Mark

                  PS, I have a lot of stories too, that I could tell everyone. But no need to, majority of the time, they come out to be failures, but some outcomes are good.... Which are meaningful....
                  Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                  http://www.contractorspub.com

                  A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

                    time to call Mike Holmes

                    Cactus Man

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

                      This something that really burns me up, it has happened to my step mother twice. When will people learn never pay anything up front to a contractor or handy man. If they ask for money up front for materials thell them no but you will meet them at the store and pay for them and bring them home or have them delivered to your house. If he never shows up you are out nothing. If the work is going to take longer than a week then at the end of the week pay for work done so far is ok. Everyone has to eat. Never ever pay in full until all work is done to your satisfaction.
                      SSG, U.S. Army
                      Retired
                      K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Retiree shafted by contractor

                        Originally posted by TOD View Post
                        Everyone has to eat. Never ever pay in full until all work is done to your satisfaction.
                        Yes as a contractor, my kids and wife and I and my workers have to eat. No, never pay in full, but they do need to pay out in a series of time. What I do is (labor fee's) 1/3 at start, 1/3 half way through, 1/3 at completion of job. This is the most common payment method,when it comes to Contractors. Now if they are, lets say below $3000.00, then I might be able to wait till the end.

                        Materials can be handled later, I am set on 30 days w/payments or longer. So when materials are on the job site, I expect payment on the material 3-5 working days. I have yet (knock on wood) had any payment problems and thats a rarity.

                        So yes, the red flag is in the air when its a fairly large project and they want the material money up front. Thats a no no..... But even legit Companies (small) will do this still, ask for material money. They just don't have the dough and or not set up with accounts at the lumber yards.
                        Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                        http://www.contractorspub.com

                        A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                        Comment

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