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A tornado touched down couple of houses down. Our roof have 2x four feet wide holes and the roof shingles are blown away. Rain poured in from our ceiling to our kitchen and dining room. Sheet rocks inside the house and the wall paper in the kitchen are damaged. Both A/C unit beside the house have been shifted. My fence was blown into the pool. Damage was estimated at $15,000. Our insurance wrote us a check so it's on our own to hire a contractor.
Since I'm in LA for training for months, my fiance had to deal with all this while she slept through the storm nervously.
This guy name David Montz from Roofing Systems of America in Mckinney, TX came over and gave my fiance an estimate. My fiance hired him because our neighbor, a friend of ours, used him as well. She wrote him a check to his name of $6500 and he cashed it right away the same day. This was about 6 weeks ago. The check was given to him because he said he was dropping off the supplies for the roof and plan to begin fixing it the day after. My fiance had to be out of town for the weekend which David said the supplies will be arranged to be dropped off, so my cousin dealt with David while she was away. He cashed the check, but we didn't see the supplies nor repairs. David's excuse was that the supplies that were delivered was wrong, and they were for our neighbor's roof instead of ours. So he went ahead and fixed my neighbor's roof first, and told us he would start on the interior for us first, and after the subcontractors were done with my neighbor's roof, they will come fix ours.
After days of calling and scheduling with him he hired an interior guy name Charles. Charles came over 4 weeks ago, tear down the wallpaper and texturized the walls, but Charles kept on coming back because David had not given him the full instruction of what should be done to our house and David blamed my fiance for kept changing on what to do to the interior of the house. After talking to Charles directly, both of us realized that the problem resided in David's lack of communication and management. Apparently, David had told Charles that he couldn't get paid for the work he had completed because my fiance hasn't pay Daivd, which both of us (Charles and my fiance) found out that was a lie since David already had the $6500 we paid him. The funny thing was that on the first day my fiance and David spoke, she told him that we just wanted our house back to what it used to look like. To make the story short, David told us 3 1/2 weeks ago he had prostate cancer. It was in the early stages, but he will go through treatments. My fiance sympathized him and told him if there's anything she can do to help, please let her know. However she told him, please finish the work and if he can't do it, please reimburse her the money and she will go find someone else. To come to find out 3 weeks ago, my neighbor told us that David told him (the neighbor) that he had something worst than prostate cancer, and his friend bought him a ticket to China to seek help from traditional Chinese medicine. What was interesting was 1) his story to us and to our neighbor was different and 2) my fiance and I are Chinese, you would think he would ask us for advice first before going to China?! Total liar. Earlier this week, David wrote us an email stating that we will drop off the roofing supplies this Wednesday, and fix the roof this Thursday. Again, he didn't show up. We called and called, left messages and text messaged him, we hadn't gotten a response back.
All in all, this experience had been extremely stressful. My fiance, being a young woman, was taken advantage by David, who called her Kiddo, Babe, or Boo, which was totally unprofessional and unacceptable. She felt unworthy because she didn't handle this situation well by herself. No one excepts things like this to happen, and since it was our first time handling a situation like this, we really didn't know what to do.Any advice would greatly be appreciatted. Thank you in advance
Did you have any type of written documentation? Contract? Reciept?
If you have a estimate/contract and a copy of the cashed check, I would take that and threaten legal litigation if it's not corrected, but best bet would be to talk to an attorney and see what your options are. Normally a call from an attorney will get them working, or get you a refund. Regardless this sounds like it is going to be a legal issue, and you have a good case if he does not honor the contract.
I agree with ru2! I know this is too late for this advice but in the future I would never pay a contractor up front the full amount like that! I would work something out paying a small portion up front and then the rest after the work is completed to your satisfaction. I feel bad for your fiance! She should not in anyway feel unworthy! Poor girl!
Happens but you learn from experience, you make them pull "draws" or if your lucky they will take payment after the job is done (most bigger companies). I agree with Mc, she shouldn't feel unworthy, she didn't know and was trusting the contractor to work in her best interests.
what a Bullsh*ter.We had a issue with a shady contractor like that too that also came highly recomended. He was going to build us a house. He wanted 20k upfront for "supplies" that never showed up.
He kept putting us off as to when he would start in on the foundation, and he was busy with other jobs. 6 weeks later. We called and said we want our money back because he was a flake and we wanted to cancel. His rude wife tells us the money was spent on another job and shes says 'well you have to rob peter to pay paul in this business'. She was a dog too.
I went a head and called the contractors board in my state and filed a formal complaint against him to try to go after his BOND that all real contractors have to put up in order to be licensed contractors and to try to get his license pulled. Thats a big deal because they are the ones keep these contractors honest!!
I also filed a complaints against him with the better business bureau. After I did that got my money back in about a 2 months time. Thats about all the recourse you have. Luckily for me it worked.
Do your local TV stations have a "On Your Side" segment on their news? Ours do. Where they investigate situations like this and air them. That usually gets the people to make good on their contracts or refund money or what-ever it takes to make things right because of the bad publicity they get!
I called him over 10 times a day pretty much everyday and I texted him. Yesterday (Thursday) my last text was, "FYI, I better see the shingles before end of this week and the installers by next week latest or I want my money back." Called him again and he didn't pick up. What's funny is that my neighbor got a few 25 yrs shingles and David dropped off that my neighbor told him to take it back cause we wanted the 30 years shingles. My neighbor left it infront of his house for weeks. David went to my neighbor's and grab the 4x bags of 25 years shingles and left it in front of my garage. I'm pisssed!!
Call him and tell him you're calling the contractor board and your going after his bond if he doesnt come do the work!!!! I swear he will listen. Its the only way!
As several weeks have passed, it is time to file against his license and with the better business bureau. You can give him one last notice, and 24 h, then file.
We are all rooting for you and your fiance!!!!!
It's so hard to find dependable honest contractors now a days. Anyway, here is what we did. Call the stat contractor's borad and file a complaint. they do a good job following through. Call the BBB and put a ding in his record. Let karma do the rest.
In addition to what other's have suggested, what about small claims court? Couldn't hurt to do that + file against his license. Also I'd be seeking out an affordable & aggressive attorney to sic on him.
One of the many depressing aspects of this is; even if he finally does the work, it would be a miracle if he did a really good job, based on what you've told us.
Lastly, do you know where this jerk lives, & do you have any Sopranos-type friends you could send over to have a "talk" with him (within legal limits)? You need to make it real clear to this guy, in as many ways as possible, that you want your money back......& you're gonna do whatever's necessary.
You need to complain to your state's licensing board for contractors. They can revoke his license and also press legal action including jail time and fines. The BBB cannot do anything as to the status of his license. If he wasn't licensed, the state board can also press charges for contracting work without a license.
Lesson learned...Never pay a contractor the full amount until all of the work is done! Also, he seems to have violated another law and that is that a contractor may not ask for more than 10% or $1000 as a deposit (this is state dependent). Work has to have begun before more payment can be requested.
I work for the Department of Consumer Affairs. We house The Contractors State License Board. SanJoseSeller is correct. It is illegal to recieve a down payment which is larger than 10% or $1,000, whichever is less. I've looked up this contractor in our database and it appears he is unliscenced. You should call the Board to be sure though. 1-800-321-CSLB(2752). Anyone performing home improvement work valued at $500 or more must be liscenced by the Contractors State License Board... so this guy may be in some big trouble. In the future, I'd strongly suggest always verifying the license status of anyone you higher to do work on your home before you go into buisness with them.
Your best option in this case is to file a complaint. You can call that 800 number, or do it online at www.cslb.ca.gov
Additionally, you may not nessecarily want to warn them that you are filing a complaint. This will give them time to jimmy up their records and get their stories straight. In this case, where the guy may be facing jail time, alerting him might just make him dissapear completely. Get as much info about him as you can, and then let the investigators catch him with his pants down.
I'm sorry... I misread your thread and thought the work was done in CA. I'm sure texas has a similar department though. Go to your State's Web site.
Thank you guys for your tips and help.
It's been almost another month. Supposedly he had some shingles on order for us. It was back ordered for 2.5 weeks. It was scheduled to be delivered last Friday. Guess what.... David's lie was, the supplier of the shingles ordered the wrong ones and those are not the ones that David ordered. David wants a better quality ones. He told us this last minute Friday after 5 pm and the supplier was closed so I couldn't call in to verify. According to David, the supplier will give us a gree upgrade to a better shingles. (Thinking in my head.. 30 year shingles are 30 year shingles...how good or bad could it be) Waited over the weekend, I called the supplier first thing Monday morning. Talked to a few employees, they don't have our address even in their system. I asked him about David's order. He said there was an order for David last Friday but David called in and TOLD the supplier he wants a different brand. I asked the supplier, what are the difference. He said they are the same but just different brand. Ok, then I asked do you have the ones David wants instock. He said he got it over the weekend and the earliest they can deliver is Wednesday. They just need a confirmation from David. So I called and called David, still haven't hear anything from them and TODAY IS WEDNESDAY. Guess I'm not receiving my shingles yet. We've been talking to his "virtual assistant."
His "virtual Ass-istant" wrote an email to me yesterday:
"OK. First of all, (name of the person working for the supplier) has the order from us. He knows what we need. If he has the materials he should call David and ask when he wants them delivered. That is procedure. Second, you should not be calling the supplier. You're bothering him unnecessarily. Third, I do not take orders from you. I do not appreciate being yelled at, even in text. And I will not continue to negotiate anything on your behalf. Now, if you can please relax, this will all work out."
My email back to her:
"We haven't hear from David for 2 weeks. David is the one who told me to call the supplier. You don't need to take orders from me, all you need to do is response to my questions in a timely manner. I've been trying to get a hold of you since last Thursday and until now you still won't pick up my calls neither as David. All you need to do is respond and let me know what's going on. Nobody likes to be left in the dark. If you are in our shoes you would do the same and probably worst."
I'm just so stressed out over this! Couldn't even sleep a night!!!!! Any more help or tips would be greatly appreciated and if you have been through this in Texas and knowing the TX laws would greatly help.
Open a can of 'Fist of Legend' on him.
I wish it's that easy.
Anything else happen on this? I would seriously start to talk to a lawyer to hopefully get the ball moving some.
Have you filed a complaint against this guy yet? You are far more patient than I ever would be!
So about 2-3 months ago David send Stacey over and asked her to sign a contract. I told my fiance to put down a completion date. David came up with July 31st. So my fiance signed the contract. David said he'll need both our signatures and he'll next day the contract over to me to let me sign it. Guess what, it's been over 2-3 months now and I still haven't receive my contract and nothing has been done yet. Since I'm not there in Texas and he's taking advantage of my fiance. So 3 weeks ago was July 31st which was our completion date and nothing's been done for months and there is still a plastic patch on our roof and our fence is still down. Our Community's HOA is sending us letters about our fence and our roof with a blue plastic cover over the hole. So we still kept calling him couple of times a day sometimes more email and text him as well. He finally responded and said, give me another week to complete the job with is a few days after July 31st. We said, ok we'll extend the completion date. Another week goes by and nothing has been done other than he hired another new painter to paint or kitchen where he messed up cause he doesn't even know how to paint. The worst part is he didn't hire Charles the texture/painter back because he never paid Charles for the his job that was completed at our house 2 months ago.
So more days gone by and nothing else was done. There are still 2 holes on our roof. It was two weeks ago that my fiance met up with David again. This meeting was pretty hard to set up since we called and called maybe 10 times a day trying to reach him, and finally his secretary found him for us after seeing my emails. David (the contractor) wrote an email back to us --
To all concerned, As you know I spoke with you guys about 2 weeks ago and stated that we would be able to complete your roof that week. We completed the interior repairs that week. We made a safety decision based on the outside temperatures of 105 PLUS degrees for the past 10 days. I will not risk the lives of anyone. I do not answer my phone for anyone that is rude. If you wish to talk, I would prefer it be in person, Monday-Friday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. There are two parties involved in any contract. Just because you hired us to do a job does not give me the rite to disrespect you. The same can be said of you towards us. If do not wish for us to finish the job, you do have the rite to terminate us. This can be done by certified letter. At which time we will return any unused funds and call it a day. This is a job we can finish. This miscommunication can all be addressed by simply sitting down at a neutral site and just making sure we all understand each other. I think if we just take the ego's out of the equation we can quickly put closure to the job. David
That's insane, it's like your being held hostage. If you cancel the contract he will just say all the money has been spent or at least a vast majority of it.
After reading his email, we were mad. First, the interior repairs that was done should had only taken him less than 5 days to complete, instead it took him 3 months. Second, it is summer. Everyone is aware of how hot Texas will get during the summer months. Does that mean people just don't work when it's too hot? Third, who is he to say that he does not answer phone calls from anyone that is rude. Would we be rude if he just simply ANSWER HIS PHONE!
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