Worst Columbus Contractors of 2009
Home Town Improvements | Columbus, Ohio
"I told my husband, 'I just don't know about this guy. I don't like him,'" Angie's List member Sherry Bridgeford of Columbus says of Jim Lampkin, a contractor with Home Town Improvements.
She says Lampkin offered to fix her roof after a bad storm, promising only to charge the $2,365 covered by insurance. Bridgeford says he took the check, cashed it and never did any work. He landed in the Penalty Box for failing to respond to Bridgeford's complaint.
Kathy Roehrenbeck of Pataskala says she gave Home Town Improvements $4,500 to build a deck on her home and the job was poorly done.
She says the city shut down the contractor for three weeks until they obtained the proper permits, and the crew left nails, jagged piles of wood and tools in her yard during that time.
The Central Ohio BBB has logged nearly 40 complaints about Home Town Improvements, 10 of which remain unresolved, and neither the company nor its president, Richard Hatfield, are trade registered with the city of Columbus, as required by law.
The company's phone number is disconnected and no one could be reached for comment.
Premier Design Consultants Inc. | Columbus, Ohio
Premier Design Consultants Inc., a home improvement company, failed to deliver promised services or honor warranties, says Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray in a lawsuit filed in June.
The suit filed against the company and its president, Jeffrey Shalayda, requests restitution and civil penalties. Twenty consumers have filed complaints against Premier, Cordray says.
Neither Shalayda nor his company are registered with the city of Columbus.
"This company took thousands of dollars from consumers," Cordray says. "But after collecting the money, the company either did nothing at all, or, at best, did substandard work, leaving consumers with sinking decks, broken fences and unfinished basements."
Laurie Street of Hilliard, who hired Premier Design Consultants to install a new deck and pergola in her yard, says financing her deck through Premier was delayed several times.
"In the end ... it will end up costing us in excess of $37,000 if we pay it through the life of the second mortgage," she says. "We feel like we were taken advantage of."
The AG says Premier Design Consultants is out of business. Phone numbers for Shalayda and the company have been disconnected.
ABC General Contractors | Columbus, Ohio
Home improvement contractor Jeremy Adams has several criminal convictions in Champaign County, including assault, possession of marijuana, passing bad checks and performing work without proper trade registration.
Now, Adams and his company, ABC General Contractors, face a civil lawsuit filed in May by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray for violating the state's Consumer Sales Practices Act.
There is also an ongoing criminal investigation into his business practices in at least two counties, according to Union County Prosecutor David Phillips.
Officials say Adams went door-to-door in five counties, offering remodeling, electrical, roofing, window installation and other handyman services.
He collected deposits from homeowners but did little, shoddy or no actual work, according to the lawsuit. The AG's office received 15 complaints.
"Jeremy Adams has refused attempts to resolve problems out of court and has misled consumers every step of the way," Cordray says.
Adams remains jailed on one count of theft. He's expected to be released this month.
— reporting by Leslie Benson