(CLEVELAND)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today filed a lawsuit against Parma resident John Boyd, doing business as J & M Roofing & Contracting. The lawsuit charges Boyd with violating Ohio consumer laws by failing to deliver promised services and performing shoddy work. In light of the lawsuit, DeWine warned consumers to research home improvement contractors carefully.
“Spring and summer months are key times for home repair projects,” DeWine said. “But this lawsuit serves as a warning — not all businesses fulfill their promises to consumers. It’s important to do as much research as possible before making any payments to a contractor.”
Since August 2012, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received three complaints against J & M Roofing & Contracting. In one case, a consumer hired the business to work on the foundation of her house. Although she paid $4,000, Boyd never completed the work. In another case, a consumer hired Boyd to replace his roof and install new gutters, among other services. He paid more than $4,000, but said J & M Roofing & Contracting delayed work for several months and ultimately left his attic exposed and without working gutters. He had to hire another business to repair and complete the job.
The lawsuit charges Boyd individually and doing business as J & M Roofing & Contracting with two violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act: failure to deliver and performing shoddy work. Attorney General DeWine seeks full consumer restitution, permanent injunctive relief, and civil penalties.
DeWine offers consumers the following tips:
Check contractors’ reputations with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau. Even if you find no complaints, do not assume the contractor is reliable. Request past customers’ contact information as references to find out about their experiences.
Once you narrow your selection to several contractors, get written estimates from each one for the work you want to have done. Compare the estimates before making a final decision.
Get all promises in writing. Make sure the written contract includes the start date and end date and an itemized list of all costs and services.
Be wary if the contract requires a large down payment, such as half of the total cost.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly in a home improvement transaction, or any consumer transaction, should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840