PHOENIX — A few weeks ago, the Let Joe Know Team shared Diana's story and how she hired a contractor to build a small patio and pergola at her home. However, the project was never completed -- and until we get involved, Diana was out $4,100.
The company is called Outside Solutions, LLC and is owned by Alex Lucero.
"You know I'm retired, I'm on Social Security," Diana told ABC15. "He saw me as an easy mark."
After months of overdue installation dates and false promises to get her deposit back, we got involved and were able to help get Diana her money back.
However, we continued to dig because some things about Outside Solutions just did not add up.
None of its websites or invoices showed a license number, which is required under Arizona law and when the project cost is over 1,000 or requires a permit.
"If the entire cost of the project, including labor and materials, is over $1,000 or requires a permit by the local municipality, Arizona law required the person or business performing the work to be licensed," Arizona to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC).
If a contractor is not licensed, then "not a licensed contractor" must be written on all ads.
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors, who oversees licenses in the state, said no one under the name of Alex Lucero has ever had a registered license with them.
But, the name was familiar to them.
According to the ROC, someone filed a previous complaint against him accusing Lucero of taking more than $8,000 in work that was not licensed to do, which led to delays and more costs for the customer.
That complaint was submitted for prosecution in 2020, but was dropped at the request of the victim, a spokesperson for the ROC said.
ABC15 reached out to both Lucero and his company about the complaint, why he doesn't have a license, and why he continues to take on customers. He did not return our messages.
Unfortunately, this happens all the time across the state and there are simple ways to avoid the headache.
- Look for an Arizona Registrar of Contractors, or AZROC, number listed on a contractor's documents, website, or work vehicle when looking to hire someone.
- Visit the ROC's website, https://roc.az.gov/contractor-search, and type in that ROC number. Make sure it matches the name of the person you're hiring and that they have the correct license for the work you're looking to have done.
You can also visit https://roc.az.gov/before-hire for more tips.
The ROC also has a "Most Wanted" list featuring several people who have complaints -- some have multiple complaints -- for allegedly taking jobs and money without starting or completing the work.
If you recognize someone from the list, contact law enforcement and the ROC.