Customers of a Wichita business say it fails to deliver work on time.
Lilyan Smith lost her husband last summer. In February, she used money from his life insurance policy to fix up her home, a decision she now regrets. Smith first contracted to have siding put up and some inside painting done. That was a $15,500 investment but it wasn't her last.
Four days later, Smith signed another contract and paid $4,500 to have a deck built. Then, she signed an $8,900 contract for shingles and new carpet. Smith signed five different contracts over five a week period for a total of $30,5000. Smith even signed over her car to pay part of the bill.
Smith paid four months ago, but the company hasn't returned to lay her carpet. She says Tim Henry, owner of American Builders, failed to install the carpet or return her calls.
Henry says Smith is part of the reason for the delay. He says Smith asked for six weeks to move furniture. Also, Henry says he has been sick and his carpet worker has been busy. Even so, he says he regrets the delays and problems like Smith's are relatively rare.
Several people have complained about Henry's work in the past three years. Of eleven complaints on file at the district attorney's office, at least three people say Henry either would not come back to finish work or failed to adequately communicate or both.
The Better Business Bureau an even has revoked Henry's membership for failing to answer customer complaints and not fixing problems correctly.
Henry says he's working to regain his good status at the Better Business Bureau. He says out of his more than 10,000 customers, only a few have made complaints.
Carpet crews started laying carpet in Smith's home on Tuesday and finished on Friday.
Here are some tips to help you avoid troubles with home repair companies:
The vast majority of builders are reputable. Check a company out before you hire them.
Make sure the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau or the Wichita Area Builders Association.
Avoid paying the entire bill upfront.