Worst Philadelphia Contractors of 2012
Admiral Kitchens | Norristown, Penn.
Editor’s note: As of April 4, 2013, a Montgomery County judge in January dismissed the six felony charges against Admiral Kitchens owner Kenneth Staiger "pending a civil lawsuit," according to Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Erik Crocker, who declined to provide further details. David Power says the judge told he and his wife, Anne, that Staiger's actions didn't rise to the level of criminal activity. "It's really frustrating," says Power, adding that they have no plans to file a civil lawsuit at this time. "I know I'm not going to get the $10,000 back."
Admiral Kitchens owner Kenneth Staiger awaits trial for six felony charges filed in March by the Montgomery County, Penn., District Attorney for committing home improvement fraud, deceptive business practices and theft by deception against an Upper Gwynedd couple, court records say. No trial date has been set, the DA says.
The DA accuses Staiger of taking more than $22,000 from Angie’s List members David and Anne Power for two failed bathroom remodeling jobs. The Powers say workers completed most of the first bathroom, but left behind crooked tile, sloppy grout and a damaged wall. “I said: ‘I’m not going to have you do the second bathroom,’” says Anne Power, adding that Staiger never refunded the $10,000 for the second bathroom. Staiger says he didn’t finish the job because the Powers fired him, and that he never needed a license because he isn’t a general contractor. “It’s not about Admiral Kitchens — this is a witch hunt about me,” Staiger says. “There were three partners. It takes more than one person to run a company.” He refused to name the partners.
Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections records show Staiger never received a general contractor's license there, nor did he register his business with the state Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, according to the AG’s office. Another business associated with Staiger called Renovay is registered with the bureau, according to the Consumer Protection agency’s database. Staiger says Admiral Kitchens is no longer in business. Renovay remains open, but Staiger says he’s no longer affiliated with the business.
According to Montgomery County court records, Staiger reached an agreement with a Collegeville, Penn., couple in May in a case involving similar felony charges of home improvement fraud. The couple claim they paid $89,000 for renovations that went unfinished, records say. Staiger paid $30,000 in restitution to the victims, Assistant DA Erik Crocker says.
Court records also show Blue Bell, Penn., member Laurie Gorbeck filed a civil suit against Staiger in Montgomery County alleging she paid $25,000 for incomplete work. Admiral Kitchens earned an F grade on Angie’s List, based on the Powers’ review.
24/7 Plumbing, Heating, Drain Cleaning and Native Son Construction | Media, Penn.
The two companies landed in the Penalty Box seven times.
Karen Whitney says Native Son Construction never delivered kitchen plans she bought in November 2011. “I got nothing,” the Philadelphia Angie's List member says. Channing Lomax, who owns Native Son and 24/7 Plumbing, Heating, Drain Cleaning, hung up when called. City records show Native Son’s contractors license expired in March, 24/7 Plumbing never held a license and Lomax’s plumbers license expired in 2011. Neither company registered with the state, as required by law.
Angie's List members filed 45 F reports and 13 D reports last year on B-rated 24/7, which has 203 reviews and five Penalty Box cases. During the same period, members filed five D reviews and 41 F reviews on Native Son, which has a B and two Penalty Box cases. The negative reviews for both complain of shoddy work, poor communication and not delivering service.
Jose Quesada | Abington, Penn.
Philadelphia Angie's List member Betsy Richards says she hired Jose Quesada because he’d worked for her under the B-rated Gene Daly Roofing. But since then, she says Quesada told her Gene Daly died and he took over the business. “I gave him $373, and he just never showed back up,” says Richards, whose job landed Quesada in the Penalty Box. Angie’s List Magazine couldn’t confirm reports of Daly’s death.
Quesada awaits trial in jail on felony charges including theft and home improvement fraud by the Montgomery County District Attorney. No trial date had been set, the DA says. Gene Daly Roofing’s license in Abington Township expired in 2007, according to the town’s code enforcement department. State records show Quesada nor Gene Daly Roofing aren’t registered contractors, and the company appears to be out of business. Quesada also faces charges theft and drug-related charges in Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Attempts to reach Quesada and his attorney were unsuccessful.