CHICAGO (CBS) — A contractor conundrum; a couple in the north suburbs forked over two years of savings for an upgrade on their house — $14,000. That was two years ago and it’s nowhere near done.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas learned they’re not the only ones complaining.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
Esther Hale wanted a small addition where she could relax with her husband. Now the still-unfinished room only fills her with stress.
McNicholas: “How does this make you feel?”
Hale: “Emotional. Upset”
Back in 2019, the couple hired A+ Quality Construction and Remodeling. The paperwork says they’d finish the job in July 2020 at the latest, but Hale says they told her it would actually be done months earlier.
“I said why is it so difficult to return my husband’s call?” Hale said.
She showed us months of text messages, pleading with the contractor to finish his work or pay her back. Sometimes she got no response, sometimes she got excuses from family illnesses to work-related injuries.
“Just have a little patience with me, he told me. I said okay, okay. she said.
We went looking for the owner of A+ and someone inside said he wasn’t available.READ MORE: Woman Pistol-Whipped At CTA Blue Line Stop In Bucktown
When we tried to call him, his voicemail was full.
Recent reviews on their Better Business Bureau page describe a company that will “over promise and under deliver.”
“He started the job and quickly abandoned the job,” one review said.
The company responded to some of the positive reviews, but the Better Business Bureau says they recently suspended the company’s accreditation, because they failed to respond to a complaint.
The Better Business Bureau says you should never pay a contractor more than a third of the total upfront.
Hale and her husband paid nearly 75%.
She said A+ had previously worked on their home, so her husband trusted the company.
“He saved every penny. He told me, ‘Here’s the money. Put it on my account, and get a check to give him,’” Hale said.
Now A+ is not the grade she would give them.MORE NEWS: Hyde Park Summer Fest Canceled Due To Increasing COVID-19 Cases
Hale said the work they did do was sporadic; a portion here or there once every few months. She said she doesn’t even want all her money back, just whatever did not go to the materials used.