Southwest Florida's Best and Worst Contractors of 2008

Southwest Florida's Best and Worst Contractors of 2008

by Valerie Christopher

In addition to our nationwide list, here are the Southwest Florida contractors who have earned the distinction of being the best or worst in the Southwest Florida area.

The Best

Jeffrey Harvey Certified Cleaners
Fort Meyers

When Beverly Donohue had a recurring stain on her gray carpet, there was only one man to do the trick. “That’s why I wrote him a nice report,” Donohue says. “Jeffrey’s steam cleaner is amazing. The stain never came back.”

Customers say he goes beyond the call of duty. “He cleaned our carpets and some furniture my 4-year-old scribbled all over with a marker,” says Angela Fischler. “He was able to get that all out.”

For member Mike Provost, Harvey’s work exceeds expectations. “The carpets had a lot of stains other cleaning companies couldn’t remove, but Mr. Harvey worked diligently and the carpets look as good as new,” he says.

Boyette & Miller Construction & Development Inc.

When John Dowd found Boyette & Miller on Angie’s List, he says it was like winning the lottery. “You can hardly find good contractors in Florida,” he says. “He’s very open and it was a refreshing change down here.”

Change is something owners, John Boyette and Robert Miller, say their business thrives on. They support the community by helping to sponsor the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and strive for customer satisfaction by building rapport with clients. “Our customers get my cell phone number, my partner’s, and we’re available after-hours,” Boyette says. “I’ll personally show up to replace a kitchen sink. We don’t run an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. business.”

The Worst

Blackjack Concrete Works Inc.

Kena Alonsa says she wants to warn other Angie’s List members about Blackjack Concrete owner Paul Peck. “I hired Peck to resurface the driveway and walkways and it looks horrible,” she says. “The finish on the driveway is cracking. The concrete was supposed to have a rock-salt finish, but it started cracking soon after he did the work.” Alonsa says a lien was put on her home when Peck failed to pay his subcontractor $1,300 for materials.

Peck defends his work. “I couldn’t pay because she only gave me a third up front,” he told Angie’s List Magazine. Alonsa says she paid Peck for the work he did. Peck is in the Penalty Box, has an overall rating of “F” on Angie’s List and an “F” rating with the BBB.

Direct Heating & Cooling Inc.
Cape Coral

Angie’s List member Sandra Armstrong is hot over her experience with “F”-rated Direct Heating & Cooling. When she hired them to look at her air conditioning, she says they made matters worse.

“They broke the piping inside the wall,” Armstrong says. “They came out and said to fix it, they would need to rewrap the duct in our attic. They charged an extra $1,200 and never fixed it!”

Carrie Williams, customer service manager at Direct Heating & Cooling, tells Angie’s List Magazine that Armstrong’s contract had expired and, therefore, her complaint couldn’t be addressed without charging a fee. Subsequently, Armstrong says they fixed her unit free of charge.

The company has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau. Also, a spokeswoman for the Florida attorney general says her office has received 28 calls, three e-mails and six letters of complaint about them. However, those complaints were referred to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which in turn referred some of them to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Alexis Antonacci, press secretary with DBPR, declined to comment about the complaints. She says one of Direct Heating & Cooling’s contractors relinquished his license in August with DBPR based on complaints filed against him. The company says he no longer works for them.

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