Court Orders Two Home Repair Companies to Pay Refunds to Scammed Consumers
A judge ordered two local home repair companies to pay more than $700,000 in refunds and penalties after misleading dozens of consumers.
Attorney General Roy Cooper last week also announced that Brian William Smith of Eagle Roofing and Restoration and James Stevens, Jr. of Jim's Black Top Paving are banned from the home improvement business in North Carolina. Both companies used deceptive sales tactics to perform shoddy work on roofs and driveways, then either refused to give refunds or never completed the jobs.
A 2014 complaint said that Eagle Roofing and Restoration mislead homeowners into paying for repair services by claiming that their roofs showed signs of storm damage. After victims signed contracts for repair work and received checks from their insurance companies, Eagle Roofing and Restoration charged half of the repair cost upfront. The company regularly took the money without finishing the roof repairs, and in some cases never began the work. Most victims lost thousands of dollars in the scam.
Eagle Roofing and Restoration also operated as GBS Roofing and operated in Wilmington, Sanford, and Apex.
The judge ordered Smith to pay about $148,300 in restitution to consumers, and pay up to about $366,700 in civil penalties and investigation costs. Eagle Roofing and Restoration was also banned from assisting consumers with insurance claims. Smith's location, however, is currently unknown.
According to a 2013 complaint, Jim's Black Top Paving allegedly talked consumers into paying thousands of dollars for shoddy driveway paving services. According to victims of the scam, the company promised that the repair work would be finished at a substantial discount and failed to inform them of their rights to cancel within three days of purchase. When consumers complained that their driveways cracked shortly after the work was finished, the company refused to pay refunds.
Jim's Black Top Paving also operated as J&J Paving and Big Time Paving, and worked on projects across North Carolina.
Stevens was ordered to pay $48,750 in restitution and up to $196,750 in civil penalties and investigation costs.
The North Carolina Attorney General's Office will work to collect on the judgment and return refunds to consumers. Consumers who have information about either of these companies violating court orders barring them from business in North Carolina are encouraged to contact the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.
The North Carolina Attorney General's Office has these tips for hiring help with home repairs:
- Never pay the full cost of repair work upfront. Make sure you're satisfied with the result before making the final payment.
- Always ask for a written contract that lists all the work to be performed, the cost, and the completion date.
- Know your right to cancel. Under North Carolina law, transactions that take place at your home can be cancelled up to three days after you sign the contract.
- Do your research before choosing a company. Ask for recommendations from people you trust, and check with the Better Business Bureau to learn about any complaints against the company.
To check out a home repair company or file a consumer complaint against one, contact the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.