GARY, Ind. (CBS) — A Merrillville, Indiana man wanted to get two broken TVs fixed, but instead, he said the repairman took his money and only returned one TV.
CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas started looking into the business, and found some other complaints – and a Gary storefront in disarray.
“Felt like a real stupid individual for messing with him,” said Melvin Evans.
Evans said Edwards TV Repair Service in Gary came recommended by a friend. But now, he wishes that friend would have recommended he keep looking.
“Something should be done about this guy,” Evans said. “Something legally should be done. It needs to stop.”
A police report said Evans told an officer he paid $200 for the repairman to fix his two broken TVs. Evans said he got one of them back on May 9, and he used it for a couple hours – but then it stopped working.
Evans said a repairman promised him a $75 refund for that repair, but more than a month after they took his TVs, “I have yet to receive the refund or my other television.”
Evans said he has had a tough time getting a hold of anyone from the company.
“Google Voice will try to connect you,” he said.
We tried calling the shop’s number that was listed on Yelp and the Better Business Bureau – the same number that Evans had been using – but no one picked up.
Speaking of Yelp and the BBB, we also found some recent complaints on there. One person said they sold him a broken TV and wouldn’t honor a warranty, and the other said they didn’t show up for repair appointments and weren’t picking up the phone.
At the location Yelp and the BBB list for the shop in Gary, McNicholas walked in and found TVs and electronic parts scattered throughout – but no one fixing them.
A man inside said he didn’t know the owner well, but had nonetheless offered him money to clean up the shop. The man took down McNicholas’ number and said he’d pass it along to the owner.
People working nearby said the shop changed ownership within the past couple of years, and they said they only see people at the store sporadically.
“I can get another television, but I put faith in thinking that he was a reputable person,” Evans said.
Evans said he has lost hope. He doesn’t think he’ll ever see his refund or his other TV.
In Evans’ police report, the officer described this as a civil issue and said he’d have to handle it in court. Evans, on the other hand, said he can’t afford an attorney.
He said he decided to get the repairs done after he receives his federal stimulus money.
Late Tuesday, McNicholas finally heard from the man who claims to own the TV repair business. He did not want to be interviewed and would not identify himself, but claims he returned both TVs and the money to Evans.
He claims he left the cash and the second TV outside Evans’ home and took a photo to prove it. But the owner says he deleted the photo.
Evans maintains he never got the refund, second TV, or photo.