Worst Seattle Contractors of 2012
AMS Painting | Bainbridge Island, Wash.
The Washington Attorney General’s Office issued a $5,000 bench warrant for AMS Painting owner Buffy Campbell in July after she failed to appear in Kitsap County court on a gross misdemeanor charge of unregistered contracting, says Sheri Purves-Reiter of the state Department of Labor and Industries. Campbell’s license was suspended in 2008 because she wasn’t bonded or insured, according to state records. Campbell also received five prior citations for working without being registered, court records say.
The AG charges stem from a painting job Campbell was hired to do for Bainbridge Island couple George and Pam Walker, who hired Campbell after receiving a flier for her services in their mailbox. The couple says they fired Campbell after she arrived late with underage workers and seemed to lack proper equipment. “She’s just as crooked as crooked can be,” says George Walker, who’s seeking a $5,500 refund. “It’s just so devastating that we took that money out of savings to pay for this,” Pam Walker says. “She just took our money and ripped us off.”
According to court documents, Campbell said she knew about her license suspension, but hadn’t done any work on the Walkers’ home. She also acknowledged taking a deposit of $5,526 from them, but said the money was for the time she spent helping to pick out paint and supplies, according to court records.
Bainbridge Island Angie's List member Jeff McKay says he paid Campbell $800 to clean his roof. “She did just a small part of it,” McKay says. McKay filed a complaint with the AG, but spokeswoman Janelle Guthrie says the AG’s office hasn’t taken action on it.
In 2007, Campbell received felony convictions for unlawful issuance of bank checks, according to Kitsap court records. AMS has an F grade on Angie’s List based on McKay’s review. Campbell didn’t respond to messages seeking comment. The phone number for AMS was disconnected.
Deep Breath Air Duct Cleaning | Seattle
Angie's List Member Carole Kubota says she bought a $69 Groupon for duct cleaning from Deep Breath, but when the salesman and technician arrived at her Skyway, Wash., home, they told her the cleaning included only air vents and not intake vents. She says she ended up paying nearly $1,700 for the cleaning and other services. “At one point, I did say, ‘Exactly what did the $69 cover?’ and the guy said, ‘That’ll be good for next time,’” Kubota says.
The AG received five complaints about Deep Breath.
The D-rated Deep Breath racked up four F’s and three D’s on Angie’s List last year. Angie's List members complained of rescheduled or missed appointments, bait-andswitch tactics and techs leaving behind dirt, and broken or incorrectly connected equipment. Northern Seattle member Ann Voorhies says she declined services after purchasing a $69 Groupon when the tech showed her a picture of extremely dirty intake vents on his phone and broke her dryer vent. “He didn’t have any special equipment for scoping into the dark recesses of the vent, so I doubted the picture immediately,” Voorhies says.
The AG received five complaints about Deep Breath, which didn’t respond to phone calls or emails seeking comment.
Home Curb Appeal | Covington, Wash.
Two-time Worst Contractor John Mulinski received two new prison sentences in 2012 after convictions in King County, Wash., for felony theft and in Contra Costa County, Calif., for charges including unlicensed contracting, court records say. Mulinski, owner of the D-rated company, is jailed in Montana, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Ian Goodhew of the King County prosecutor’s office says he’ll be transported to Washington after serving his time in Montana, and court records indicate he’ll be behind bars until 2018.
Court records show civil judgments against him dating back to 1991 and he landed in the Penalty Box in 2008 after Angie's List member Linda Fung filed a review saying his work left her with a leaky roof. Lindy Yuen of Sammamish, Wash., says Mulinski only finished her roof repairs after she nagged him and that he left several neighbors’ jobs incomplete. “I can’t give you $5,000 just to throw it out,” Yuen says. Mulinksi’s lawyer didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.