July 12, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine recently announced a lawsuit against a Columbus home improvement contractor accused of performing incomplete, shoddy work.
The lawsuit accuses Sean Ryan, doing business as SRC Contractors (of Columbus), of failing to deliver promised services, performing substandard or shoddy work, and failing to register his business name.
“Our goal is to protect Ohio consumers,” Attorney General DeWine said. “When people pay for services they never receive, we work to help them and to prevent other people from experiencing the same problems.”
Two Franklin County consumers have filed complaints against SRC Contractors saying they paid for home improvement work, such as a deck installation, that was never started or never completed as promised. Estimated losses total about $9,400.
In the lawsuit, filed in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, the Attorney General seeks restitution for affected consumers and an end to any violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act.
Attorney General DeWine offered consumers the following tips to help avoid home improvement problems:
- Research contractors carefully. Ask friends, family members, and neighbors for recommendations. Check for complaints on file against a contractor with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau. Conduct a basic Internet search of the business’s name and words like “complaints,” “reviews,” or “scam.” Contact other customers to ask about their experiences with the contractor.
- Get multiple estimates. Using one of the victims as an example, if you’re wanting to get a deck installed in your yard, you should really be looking around at multiple custom deck builders and comparing. Be wary if one contractor quotes a price that is dramatically lower than the prices other businesses are offering. The contractor later may demand more money or fail to complete the work as promised.
- Get a detailed written contract. Insist on a written contract detailing the costs, the work to be done, and the starting and end dates. Make sure any verbal promises are put into the written agreement. If the contract resulted from a door-to-door sale, make sure it includes notice of your cancellation rights under Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act.
- Don’t make large payments in advance. Be wary of contractors who demand large upfront payments, such as half or more of the total cost. Try to pay in stages, as the work is completed to your satisfaction.
Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.
A copy of the SRC Contractors lawsuit is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.