(CLEVELAND) - Attorney General Mike DeWine today filed a lawsuit against Thomas and Juanita Carr, doing business as My Fence Project, for failure to deliver and shoddy workmanship.
"We want consumers to receive restitution when they pay for services or goods that are not delivered," said Attorney General DeWine. "And just as importantly, we want to stop businesses that operate in this fashion from harming additional consumers."
One consumer paid a $700 deposit after agreeing to have a concrete floor installed for $2,100. No work was ever done and the company failed to return the deposit, according to the lawsuit.
Another consumer paid in full for the installation of two fences. The first fence was installed poorly and improperly. The consumer tried to cancel the second fence installation and asked for a refund, but the company has not provided it.
Another consumer paid $1,500 to have a fence installed at his mother's home. No work was ever done and the company has not refunded the money as requested.
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to prohibit the company from conducting business in this fashion, restitution to consumers, and civil penalties.
Before entering into a home improvement contract, consumers should:
Get written estimates from at least three different contractors.
Check with local officials to see if permits are required for the project.
Check references of past customers provided by the contractor.
Ask the contractor to show you proof of licenses, insurance, and bonding. State law does not require home improvement contractors to be licensed, but many Ohio cities do.
Check with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed against the company.
Don't enter into a home improvement deal unless it is in writing and is signed by both you and the contractor. The contract should detail all of the necessary information for completing the work, such as a description of the work to be done, the total cost, and when the work will be completed. Remember, too, that the contract should not have a requirement for a large down payment or payment-in-full until the project is complete and has been properly inspected.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Mark moretti: 614-466-3840