3 ON YOUR SIDE: Home repair scam
A Chattanooga man says the person who promised to do work on his home never came back. He doubts he will ever get his money back but he wants his situation to serve as a warning to others.
Bobby Ray says there were a few red flags that he should have paid attention to from the beginning. He says the man was out soliciting business which is something the Better Business Bureau says to look out for.
"The biggest mistake was giving him that much money up front," says Bobby Ray.
Bobby Ray says in July a man approached him outside his home about doing some work and handed him a business card.
"He comes up to me and he says, 'It looks like you need your house pressure washed. I'll give you a good price.'"
Ray says he paid him $100 to pressure wash his cedar home. He says he worked for four hours and did a good job. Ray said the man then suggested staining the newly cleaned siding.
"He would need $600 down to pay for supplies, paint, caulk, Luon and so-forth. So I made a great mistake in paying him $600. Wrote him a check. Didn't give him cash."
He entered into a contract for $1200, with the other $600 to be paid once the job was complete. But that never happened.
The owner of Brooks Custom Painting showed up once, ripped some rotten awning off the home, and was never seen again.
"I spoke to him on the phone a few times and then it got to where he wouldn't answer my calls," says Ray.
Ray says he hired the man, in part, because he felt bad for him.
"He said,'I've had some trouble. Been in jail.' He said, 'But I've turned my life around,'" says Ray. "He told me that his pastor was a really good reference. I'd give anything if I'd had gotten the pastor's number and called the pastor before I did what I did. But I didn't."
Now he is run into some brick walls seeking legal action.
"You have to have a solid address to subpoena this guy to court. Or else you don't have any case."
Multiple addresses are tied to the business.
Ray filed a police report. Police say one of the addresses belongs to the owner's ex-fiance. Another comes back to a motel.
Channel 3 stopped by another address in Rossville, Georgia. We were told the owner did not live there either.
We also tried reaching the owner by phone, with no answer.
"Check them out before you give them any money," says Ray.
Channel 3 found there is one unresolved complaint with the BBB giving the company a D+ rating.
We also could not find record of the business name on the card having a contractors license in Tennessee or Georgia.
The BBB recommends getting three estimates from different companies before agreeing to hire anyone.