Miami Best & Worst Contractors of 2013

Miami Best & Worst Contractors of 2013

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013.

Miami Best Contractors

December 27, 2013 by Paul F.P. Pogue



Urban Interiors | Fort Lauderdale

Owner Candace Hillier takes pride in guiding clients through every stage of a home redesign. (Photo courtesy of Urban Interiors)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • Praised for pet friendliness
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Praised for child friendliness
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Candace Hillier says she developed an interest in art and design after living in Costa Rica for many years. She moved to Florida 15 years ago and set up shop as a home stager, and later an interior designer.

Member Annette Nagle relied on Hillier to overhaul her new Fort Lauderdale home while Nagle lived in the Bahamas. “She transformed a dated South Floridian Georgian Colonial to a beautiful, warm, coastal, elegant home,” she says.

Hillier earned 14 Page of Happiness nominations in the last year and credits her contractors for her success. “I’ve really got an A-team of people around me who work well together and have no drama,” she says.

Member Thomas O’Kane of Jersey City, N.J., hired Hillier to design his Fort Lauderdale vacation home. “The trust factor was very important, since I wasn’t there to supervise,” he says. “But she made the experience easy.”

Members praise how Hillier, whose work requires no license, takes children and pets into consideration. She takes care to recycle materials and uses green products whenever possible. Hillier also donates her services to charity, including a renovation project for a child fighting cancer.


AA & J Floor Care | Miami

Owner Frederick Zeller cleans and polishes many varieties of floors. (Photo courtesy of AA & J Floor Care)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Owner Frederick Zeller, a lifelong veteran of the service industry, says his earliest experiences taught him what not to do in the floor polishing and cleaning field.

“I’ve been in a service truck since I was 15 years old,” he says. “Things were different back then. Our job was to go and collect a check and get it back to the office. The companies I worked for weren’t very customer-oriented. When I went into business for myself in 1980, I wanted it to be 100-percent customer service.”

He purchased AA & J from a friend in 1990. Since he’s a few generations removed from the original owners, even he’s not sure what the initials stand for. “I think one of the founders was named Al, but it’s possible they just wanted to go first in the Yellow Pages,” he notes.

Zeller works on a variety of floors and updates his technique with the times. “When I started, polished marble was the stone of choice, but now homeowners like limestone and the matte look,” he says.

Coral Gables member John Jones praised Zeller’s work stripping, cleaning and polishing his tile floors that a previous company had damaged during a botched job. “When he was done, the Cuban tile floors in my 85-year-old house looked better than they probably did when they were new,” he says.

“Customer service is about taking care of all the details and not wasting people’s time or money,” says Zeller, whose services do not require a license. “Do what you say and say what you do, and that’s all you need to do to get all the work you can handle.” He occasionally donates his services to charity, including a local homeless shelter.

Grace Hutson has kept Zeller’s phone number handy for 20 years, and called him most recently to refinish her kitchen tile. “They represent the best in customer service in every way,” the Key Biscayne member says. “I’ve had some bad experiences with other companies, and it really makes you appreciate a company you can trust.”


Allsite Electric | Plantation

Owner Patrickson Canoville works on a wide variety of electrical jobs. (Photo courtesy of Allsite Electric)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

As Patrickson Canoville’s company name implies, he takes pride in a broad range of work. “We can handle anything electrical, from changing a light bulb to rewiring a whole house from scratch,” he says. “When we’re done, we try to leave the place cleaner than we found it.”

Canoville, who holds a state electrical license, encourages his customers to use energy-efficient upgrades such as LED lights and tankless water heaters. “We try to make people’s lives easier by emphasizing the green options,” Canoville says. He also donates his services to local churches.

Timothy Galdencio hired Canoville to replace his outside electrical boxes with a generator feed. “He did first-class work at a fair price and didn’t leave any old parts lying around,” the Plantation member says. “Patrickson is a gentleman and an excellent tradesman.”


Zargon Jewelers | Davie

Owner Debra Zargon says her shop appeals to a wide range of clientele. (Photo courtesy of Zargon Jewelers)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Debra Zargon went into business for herself 30 years ago after working in a jewelry store, putting her jeweler’s degree to work repairing rings, watches, glasses and other valuables. “We started with one ring and two chains and just made it grow,” says Zargon, whose work requires no license.

Zargon carries jewelry made from sustainable sources such as olive pits among her products, and donates money to the Elks Lodge and American Legion.

Coral Springs member Jeff Hillis says Zargon made him look like a hero to his wife after she broke her wedding ring. “They were great, and even showed me how to identify the diamond after I picked it up so we would know it was ours,” he says. “Debra used a setting that was much stronger than the old one, and my wife was thrilled.”

More Best Contractors

Here are some more Best Contractors who made this year’s cut based on their awesome track record for local service. Read their reviews on angieslist.com to learn why members think they’re so special.

2013 Best & Worst Contractors

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013. Did your contractor make the list? Select a market to the best and worst in your area.

Miami Worst Contractors

December 27, 2013 by Paul F.P. Pogue

Nationwide Pools | Pompano Beach

Andrew Morris says Nationwide Pools left this incomplete hole in his backyard after he paid $35,000 for a pool. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Morris)
  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile
  • Illegally unlicensed

In 2013, the Florida attorney general filed a lawsuit, which remained pending at press time, that intends to put a Pompano Beach-based pool company permanently out of business. The AG’s office received 250 complaints from consumers, many of whom say they lost tens of thousands of dollars on the company’s shoddy or unfinished work, according to Broward County court records. The AG filed suit against Nationwide Pools and several of its subsidiaries, as well as president Keith Stuart and corporate officers Lynn Stuart and Felicia Mallia.

The lawsuit says Nationwide Pools, which operated around the state, closed its doors in May, but company officials knew months beforehand that it was going under, and continued to collect payments and begin work on projects they knew they couldn’t finish. The lawsuit seeks to permanently ban Nationwide from doing business in Florida and to pay full restitution to consumers and civil penalties of $10,000 per violation.

State and county licensing records show the company lacks contractor registrations in the counties where it was soliciting business, including Miami-Dade and Broward. In mid-October, court records show the AG filed an amended complaint alleging the company owners improperly transferred money to a new entity, National Construction Group in Pompano Beach, and continued to advertise pool services. Records show the court issued
a temporary ban on the company from doing pool or remodeling work.

Fort Lauderdale member Andrew Morris says he hired Nationwide in 2013, paid a large deposit, and continued to make payments before it became clear the work would never get done, he says. “We found ourselves in for $35,000, gravel piled up 4 feet high and a huge hole filling up with slimy mosquito-infested water,” he says. Morris says he joined the List to give Nationwide an F review. At press time, members had submitted 10 reports on D-rated Nationwide in 2013, nine of which were D or F grades.

Nationwide representatives could not be reached for comment as 10 phone numbers connected to the business are disconnected.

Aldo DiSorbo | Pompano Beach

Aldo DiSorbo (Photo courtesy of Broward County Sheriff)
  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Landed in the Penalty Box
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile

Aldo DiSorbo, owner of at least 11 Internet-based moving broker companies, including American Van Lines and Nationwide Relocation Services, received dozens of complaints from Angie’s List members, including four in 2013. DiSorbo even attracted the attention of the U.S. Senate for allegations that include shoddy work, not making his broker status clear, breaking items while moving, significantly hiking rates mid-move and ultimately holding goods hostage to wring more money out of clients, according to the Senate’s committee report.

Angie’s List member Elizabeth Diaz says Nationwide Relocation Services used unethical techniques when she hired them in 2013 to move her from Miami to Houston. “They tripled the estimate when my furniture was already in the truck, and it took me more than a month to get my stuff,” she says. “When I called to complain, they said they had contracted it out to a subcontractor and to deal withit myself.” The subcontractor damaged her furniture and refused to take responsibility, she says. “It would have been cheaper for me to throw my furniture in the garbage and just buy new furniture when I got here,” she adds. Another DiSorbo company, American Van Lines, remains in the Penalty Box after failing to respond to a Cape Coral member, who complained that the company overcharged him.

In 2012, an online U.S. Senate committee report on Internet-based moving companies that act as brokers extensively described DiSorbo’s misleading techniques and noted 613 complaints against companies he owned or operated. The Senate report concluded only that more needed to be done, but made no specific recommendations.

The AG’s office says it investigated DiSorbo’s companies in the 1990s and reached a consent agreement with him to not misrepresent his services or prices. However, AG spokesman Whitney Ray says most of the complaints his office received involved intrastate moves, and they passed those on to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Broward County court records show DiSorbo received probation for theft and trespassing charges in 1996. DiSorbo declined to comment.

Arkidus Home Protection | Miami

Reinaldo Berges (Photo courtesy of Broward County Sheriff)
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Landed in the Penalty Box
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile
  • Illegally unlicensed

After receiving hundreds of complaints from around the country, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation issued a cease-and-desist order in 2013 against Miami-based Arkidus Home Protection, preventing it from doing business. The office alleges Arkidus and owner Reinaldo “Ray” Berges sold warranties without a license, according to court records. A spokeswoman for the office says the case remains open, but she expected a final order by the end of 2013.

Angie’s List members in 25 states, including 11 in Florida, issued 111 complaints in 2012 and 2013 alleging Arkidus never followed up after selling warranties, landing it in the Penalty Box 23 times. Lake Worth member Yushuang Xie says she paid $350 for a home warranty, but she could never contact anyone at the company. “I called at least 20 times and emailed and got nothing,” she says.

Berges told Angie’s List Magazine in late 2012 that he was going out of business and that he’d resolve any issues with customers, but Xie says she’s never heard from him. Berges could not be reached for comment.

Air Care Solutions | Jacksonville

  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Landed in the Penalty Box
  • Notice added to provider's profile

In two separate legal cases in 2013, Air Care Solutions, which also does business as Florida A/C Services and Duct Cleaning in Fort Lauderdale, was ordered to pay a total of $2,400 in judgments to two consumers who complained of shoddy work, court records show.

Winter Park resident Alexander Kogan says he won a $1,200 judgment for damages he says Air Care caused to two air conditioners, but he’s received no money. And Pompano Beach resident Arthur Silverman says Air Care paid him a $1,200 settlement after the company performed shoddy work on his A/C units.

Both Air Care and Florida A/C, which are owned by Biniamin Ram and Netanel Brumand, remain in the Penalty Box after failing to address other members’ complaints. State records show both companies are dissolved, but members continued to file negative reviews in 2013. Contacted by phone, Ram denied the claims. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he says. “You have the wrong information.”

Members continued to file negative reviews in 2013.

Penalty Box Hall of Shame

The Penalty Box is our way of alerting other members about a provider who has failed to meet a member's expectations. See Miami Penalty Box Hall of Shame.

2013 Best & Worst Contractors

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013. Did your contractor make the list? Select a market to the best and worst in your area.


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