St. Louis concrete contractor resolves consumer complaint
I hired Hoffman Concrete of St. Louis to install a new concrete front porch, retaining wall and six steps leading from the porch to the sidewalk. The service didn’t go well. For starters, they didn’t pull the permit, and when I asked them why, they said they didn’t need a permit for that small of a job.
I told them I needed the service completed by April 1, because I had a tenant moving in that day. I paid them the first half at the start of the job. A month later, the city put a stop on the work since Hoffman didn’t pull a permit. The city approved the work and issued the permit 10 days later.
The porch and steps had already been completed before the stoppage, so after the permit was issued, only the retaining wall was left to do. This was completed April 4.
The left-hand side of the porch dips, which is visible from the street, and the top step dips forward, which gives one the feeling of leaning forward on the step. They said nothing could be done about either of these errors unless they tore it down and started from scratch.
Since I was in the process of leasing the home to a tenant, I had already collected a down payment and first month’s rent from them, as they were supposed to have been moved in on April 1. Because of the delay caused by Hoffman not pulling the permit as required, I had to prorate the first month’s rent and rebate them $120 off of the first month’s rent of $900.
I saw owner Mark Hoffman parked across my street on April 4, and encouraged him to come in and discuss the issue. Instead, he emailed me a week later saying I refused to speak to him and wouldn’t pay him when he came to my home.
I decided to pay off what I owe him, though I’m not pleased about paying full price, because the work isn’t completed to what I hope is his standard. The city told me the work passed minimum standards for usage. He won’t return my calls. I'd like to have 25 percent taken off the total charge and for them to reimburse the $120 I had to pay my tenant.
Jacqueline Quinn, Corinth, Texas
I moved this job up to accommodate the member needing it done by April 1. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication about the permit that caused the delay. I offered to replace the porch or step or to deduct $300 from the total bill, but the member declined.
The job was finished on April 4, and passed inspection. I went to the member’s residence to discuss payment, and no one answered the door. I tried calling, but the number I had was disconnected. I left my business card in the mailbox, and visited two other times.
Unable to reach the member, I sent her an email and a fax to the property manager to say a lien would be placed on the property if I didn’t receive payment within 10 days. My final offer to settle this dispute is a deduction of $500 total and to stop the lien on the property.
Mark Hoffman, owner
Editor’s Note: Hoffman issued a $620 refund, and the member considers the matter resolved.
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