Worst San Antonio Contractors of 2012
A Affordable Foundation Repair & Construction | San Antonio
At press time, A Affordable Foundation Repair & Construction owner Juan Contreras sat in jail, charged with four felony shoplifting-related theft counts, says Bill Blagg, Bexar County, Texas, district attorney intake division head. Three counts stem from a 2011 charge of theft between $1,500 to $20,000, says Louis Antu, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
On Aug. 29 the district attorney also charged him with theft of less than $1,500 after his July 15 arrest, a misdemeanor enhanced to a felony because of the other charges, says Bexar County District Clerk Donna Kay McKinney. Trial dates weren’t set by press time. San Antonio Development Services Department licensing records show Contreras doesn’t have a required home improvement contractor’s license.
Angie’s List member Gloria Chavez of San Antonio says the F-rated contractor duped her after she hired the company, which was called A-Affordable House Leveling on her contract instead of A Affordable Foundation Repair & Construction, to replace support posts beneath her home in March. “He’s a horrible, horrible man,” says Chavez, who joined Angie’s List during her experience and filed an F review. “He’s a scammer.”
She says work on the project started smoothly but then slowly came to a halt. Chavez says she paid Contreras $4,000, but he demanded more money during the course of the job and used rude language. “I had anxiety attacks at work — this man puts so much stress on you,” says Chavez, adding that she had to pay another contractor $1,500 to finish the project after she finally fired Contreras.
Bexar County Clerk records show Contreras received a $7,800 judgment against him in small claims court on Aug. 9. Six members filed F reviews, including two in 2012, on A Affordable, citing hostile behavior, vulgar language, taking money and failing to complete jobs, doing shoddy work and leaving trash, such as beer bottles, on his work sites.
Contreras’ lawyer, Jonathan Ross, declined to comment.
Mission Remodelers | San Antonio
Jerry Dixon was sentenced to eight years in Texas state prison Nov. 13 after he pleaded guilty to two felony theft charges for misappropriation of funds from a financial institution and theft from the elderly between $1,500 and $20,000, says Bexar County District Clerk Donna Kay McKinney.
The theft from the elderly charge stems from allegations he took a down payment and didn’t return to complete the work, according to Bexar County Clerk records.
Angie's List member Gabriele Parizo-Louden says she regrets hiring Dixon after he did work for a friend. Through a loan, she says she paid Dixon $25,000 to install siding, build a deck, remodel the master bathroom and tile a hallway in her San Antonio home. “The grout came out, the tiles moved and the floor was not level,” Louden says. “This was a nightmare.” Dixon didn’t repair the shoddy work after she tried to complain, and the Loudens paid air conditioning installers $5,000 to avoid a lien on her home, she says.
San Antonio licensing records show that Dixon’s home improvement contractor license expired in 2005, when his company name was Mission Construction. He’s also operated under the names Mission Remodelers, AAA Mission Remodelers, Mission Attic Pros and Mission Contracting, according to Texas Secretary of State records, Angie’s List reviews and Better Business Bureau filings. The Texas Attorney General received one complaint in March against Mission Attic Pros, spokesman Thomas Kelley says.
Louise Faulkner says Dixon built a carport that collapsed, hooked up a washer that drains into the yard and installed garage shelving that fell just after she walked past. “All he cared about was his money,” says the 87-yearold Faulkner, who paid Dixon $15,000 for the work two years ago. Her son, Russell Faulkner, says Dixon wouldn’t return his calls about the problems.
Two other Angie’s List members say the D-rated company took down payments and failed to do work. At press time, Dixon was out on bond, McKinney says. Calls made to Dixon and his lawyer Kelly Green seeking comment weren’t returned.
Bel Furniture | San Antonio
Angie's LIst member Lyyn Church says she ordered nearly $3,800 worth of merchandise from the D-rated San Antonio location of Houston-based Bel Furniture last February and it wasn’t delivered in the 30 days promised. “We were basically sleeping on the floor,” says the San Antonio member, who then filed an F report. A month later, Church says she was told the furniture wasn’t ordered so she canceled, paid the nearly $900 restocking fee required by her contract and bought furniture elsewhere.
Bel president Sid Mollai says his records show Church refused delivery on April 14, and she could’ve picked out new pieces at no charge. “We don’t want you to lose $900, but if a customer just wants their money, it’s not fair.” Attorney general records show nine complaints about misleading services, broken and used-looking furniture and return problems with the company, which has 11 locations in Texas. The Better Business Bureau lists 121 complaints and issued a warning against Bel in March. “We are just trying to follow Bel Furniture’s policy,” Mollai says. “Customers sign and initial [the policy].”
Allergy Free Air | San Antonio
Roxie and Steve Baird say their A/C failed after they hired Allergy Free Air to clean their air ducts last spring. Another firm discovered the filter sitting outside its open door and two holes cut in the ductwork. Roxie says she thinks D-rated Allergy Free Air employees cut holes to fit a camera inside to attempt to sell a mold prevention service. “I called for weeks, and they never did anything,” she says. The Bairds say they stopped credit card payments to Allergy Free, but paid another company $300 for repairs and are among 27 complainants to the BBB.
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts lists the company as “not in good standing,” meaning errors exist in its tax reports. Allergy Free didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.