Looking to create an outdoor retreat and escape from the sun, a Valley woman says she thought the contractor she found was the perfect fit. But her project was never completed, and her money was never returned.
Diana says she just wanted a patio added to the side of the house she shares with her daughter, as well as a pergola to cut the afternoon sun.
"It just bakes in there," said Diana.
But she never got any of it.
"You know, I built homes I've bought homes. I've renovated homes, and I've never run into a situation like this," said Diana.
She says back in February she hired Outside Solutions, LLC., based in Chandler.
She says they promised a four-to-six-week turnaround time and to get supplies. To do that the owner, Alex Lucero, wanted $4,100 upfront.
"Weeks and weeks went by, lots of phone calls to different dates that they would be here to install that, nobody showed up," said Diana. "Finally, long story short, I canceled [and] ask[ed] for a refund."
Text messages between Diana and Lucero also show he agreed to the refund, saying she could expect it by May 24. However, that date also came and went, so did the next promised date of May 31.
At that point, Diana says she turned to the Let Joe Know Team.
We contacted Lucero and his business Outside Solutions. He says they had been trying to reach Diana and that she would have her refund in two days. When we pushed about the broken deadlines we didn't hear back.
Good news though, just a day later Lucero showed up at Diana's house leaving her the full $4,100; everything she had paid.
So, what can you learn from Diana's experience?
Never sign if you feel pressured.
Never settle for an invoice as Diana did. You need a signed contract with all the details spelled out.
Never hire a company that does not list a license number. This one did not, but it's Arizona law.
As for the $4,100 demanded upfront, some contractors may say it is needed for supplies - Don't fall for it!
Pay as you see the work being done and have that written into the contract. If they say they need supply money before work begins, go with them and pay with your credit card. If they won't allow it, walk away.
To check if your contractor is licensed or to verify if a license number is valid, click here.