Worst Seattle Contractors of 2009
Beacon Plumbing & Mechanical | Renton, Wash.
"They have zero interest in customer satisfaction," says Angie's List member Jim Roberts, who hired Beacon Plumbing & Mechanical in December 2008 to replace his garbage disposal.
Roberts, who eventually took his complaint to the state attorney general, says he was overcharged and the work was poor.
Roberts learned he was not alone. The attorney general has received 95 complaints totaling more than $100,000 in disputed goods and services about Beacon since 2005.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, which issued Beacon's plumbing license, has cited the company dozens of times since 2006 for complaints such as sending unsupervised plumber trainees to do plumbing work, which is against the law, says spokeswoman Elaine Fischer.
The company has been fined a total of $24,250.
Robin Jones says she and her late husband, Bob Purser, paid Beacon $6,000 for a sewer connection, but the job was left half done. When they tried to obtain a partial refund, they received no response.
Owner Bill Cahill declared bankruptcy in April. He says the number of complaints they receive are just a small fraction of his yearly business and each one is addressed immediately. "If they have a problem, we're going to respond," he says.
Case Remodeling | Redmond, Wash.
Carol McLaughlin paid Case Remodeling $50,000 to remodel her kitchen and bathroom in 2008, but the job was never finished and an electrical subcontractor threatened to put a lien on her property because Case didn't pay him.
McLaughlin, who didn't secure a lien waiver from Case, says she paid the subcontractor $1,782 to prevent the lien.
Case and its president Saeed Kaley landed in the Penalty Box on Angie's List for failing to respond to McLaughlin's complaint, and earned an alert on its record.
Angie's List member Chris Lucas says he paid Case Remodeling $5,000 to install a new bathroom floor, shower and shower door.
"The door didn't close and they sent out a guy with a pocket knife to shave it down," he says, adding that the company sent crews to his home five times to try to fix the issue. "That was more than three years ago - it's still not fixed!"
The state suspended Case Remodeling's contractor's license in December 2008 due to failure to renew its bond. The company, which also faces lawsuits and civil judgments in King County Superior Court, filed for bankruptcy in April. Kaley didn't return calls seeking comment.
Community Paving | Seattle
Community Paving owner George Stanley landed in jail in June on charges of felony grand theft, fraud, elder abuse and contracting without a license.
Authorities say he ran a paving scam for more than 18 months throughout Washington and three other states. In September, Stanley pleaded no contest to one count of felony grand theft by false pretenses. He's set to be sentenced Jan. 28.
Investigators say Stanley conned dozens, including many elderly victims, of tens of thousands of dollars by going door-to-door and offering them a "good deal" on repairs using asphalt he had left over from other jobs.
Kathy Frasier of Lakewood says her father, who owns a wrecking yard, gave Stanley $45,000 in August 2008 to repair potholes around the company's property, according to her complaint to the attorney general. Frasier says the quality of work and materials were poor.
The state suspended Stanley's contractor's registration in September 2008 for failure to maintain a bond. "Be wary of contractors who solicit door to door," says Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna. "Many are fly-by-night operators. They might take your money and never complete the job." Stanley could not be reached for comment.
– reporting by Staci Giordullo