Complaint Category: Failure to correct billing errors
Complaint: Was given a balance for completed work, paid with receipt of paid in full. A week later they say error and threatened lien and revoking guarantee.
After worker reported job completion (unfinished), was given a call stating balance for job on XX-X-XX and made arrangements for walk-through and payment in full on 10-9-13. Discrepancies were discussed but as of yet, not remedied. I have a paid receipt for payment in full. On XX-XX-XX I left a complaint about large accumulation of dust/powder residue on the walls, carpet, curtains, blinds throughout the house from unauthorized mixing of cement, mortar, and grout inside the home causing severe allergic episodes. I received medical attention and had the entire carpet professionally cleaned, as well as having to replace four a/c filters clogged with dust. I then started receiving erroneous invoices always showing different balances, but was assured earlier when I paid in full that all credits would be eventually posted. I finally decided to call and arrange a meeting with the president of the company. On Oct 23, 2013 I met with the president, the worker, and his supervisor and they agreed to pay for cleaning and medical expenses. I played the message showing balance for job of 1017.66 and copy of cancelled check with paid in full inscribed, accepted, cashed and cancelled by Specialty Contractors. They said the 1017.66 was for a separate invoice they hadn't sent me and kept to themselves in error and that the invoice I was getting was not paid in full and monies were being applied to the second separate secret unsigned invoice all their workers admitted was never sent and verified by the president of the company was also never signed or sent. UNBELIEVABLE ! Then stated they were due an additional 3676.69, threatening liens and not honoring their three year guarantee unless paid but would take off 500.00. I have a phone message stating the balance due was 1017.68 because of additional credits to be applied. I issued the check with paid in full which they agreed to, accepted and cashed. I am asking for resolution of 3676.69 of additional secondary balance due for job, plus 400.00 on cleaning and medical bills they initially agreed to pay prior to threatening liens and revoking of company's warranty unless paid, with only 500.00 off for their errors and no longer are willing to take responsibility or pay for my cleaning or medical cost with paid receipts I incurred due to their work, for a disputed total of 4076.69.
Initial Business Response
In response to this complaint this homeowner contracted our company to repair his home after a water leak. The signed contract amount was for $4,967.64. When we began work we found further damages and a supplement was submitted to the insurance company for $665.38 which was approved bringing the total contract to $5,633.02. His insurance company paid him $4,633.02 on his loss. When the work began in his bathroom, the homeowner wanted to do accent tiles and additional border tile work. The tile he picked out was more expensive and at a specific store and we had to go and get it and pay for it. He was informed that this would be extra and he agreed. When the tile work began, the homeowner latched the back door with rope so we were not allowed access in the back yard to mix the mortar but he informed them to use the bedroom that the carpet was just removed because it was going to be re-done. The homeowner was informed by the tile guys that it would sling some material but we hung plastic on the walls and put it on the floor, but it would still be a mess. A wet saw was used which does not produce a whole lot of dust. The mortar was mixed in the room with the door shut and put in a bucket. The mortar came in small bags. Because of this special accent tiles, the job took a lot longer to complete. During the final clean & touchup, the homeowner told us that he was doing some cleaning himself and was cleaning the AC and changing the AC filter. On XX-X-XX the superintendent took a change order to the homeowner for the extra work and he wrote a check for that amount and it was paid in full. The change order was the amount we had to pay for his special tiles and we have a receipt for that amount -- $1,017.68. How did he know this amount if he did not receive this change order. At this time nothing was said to us about any problems. On 10-13-13, a Sunday, the superintendent received a text from the homeowner indicating he had cleaned for a week and had itchy watery eyes and even though he said that we could utilize the room to cut tile but that we should not do in the future inside the home, but thanked us and was missing a carpet credit. On XX-XX-XX a revised invoice in the amount of $3,676.69 was sent to him including the carpet credit of $567.40, a credit for $388.93 for the shower door and a payment by him at the start of the job for $1,000. When the homeowner met with the president of the company, this was the first time we knew of any of his medical bills, carpet cleaning, etc. If he would have informed us, we would have addressed these issues promptly, but we were not given the opportunity. During this meeting, he was informed that if he did not pay us for the work completed, then the only recourse we have is to file a lien and not warranty the work since he did not pay for it. An offer of $500 for his medical bills and cleaning was offered, but was not agreed upon. Our costs on this job that we have paid out is over $4,000 so we cannot accept a final payment of 1,017.68 for all the work that was done. The total amount of the revised contract with supplements and change orders is $6,650.70 minus the credits of $956.33 which equals $5,694.37 minus previous payments by the homeowner of $2,017.68 leaving a balance owed to us of $3,676.69 which is the amount of the invoice that was emailed to him. We have documentation and pictures to support our case.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
In response I was contacted through voice-mail by the company where I was told the balance for the work was 1,017.68. Per my request, I played this message for the president of the company. He had no response. Also at this meeting with the president of the company, after he spoke to his employees and had additional research done through his secretary, he verified that no change order was ever sent, e-mailed, faxed, presented, signed nor ever shown to me. His employee that had the change order, had actually changed his story several times, and finally admitted to both me and the president of the company that he had planned to e-mail or fax this change order I wasn't aware of to me, but never did. It was later found stuffed in a company file unsigned and never sent, so I had no knowledge of it. Invoices received were never complete. I called, texted,or e-mailed the company and they would update just one single item, so I'd called, text,or e-mailed the company again and they would update just another single item. Finally I both e-mailed and spoke with a company representative to schedule to meet with the company president at his convenience. At this meeting it was discussed and verified with the employee present that the man they had sent primary job with the company was as cabinet maker, who hadn't done a shower bed in over 10 years, who admitted he had to watch several you-tube videos on how to, and also needed to google material because unsure of the proper types to use. The integrity of the work came into question, which is why I feel the company no longer wished to honor their three year warranty as promised. I also showed the president several pictures and videos of uncompleted and improper work performed. Basics such as caulking improperly performed with gaps where water could seep in, and also an entire section of work performed to the shower jamb improperly installed to the point that water would continuously run out of the shower! After review, the president agreed the work was not properly performed. I went into that meeting believing everything was paid in full, I wrote the check paid in full with balance given me, they accepted it, and cashed it. They apologized and said it was an accounting error on their part. A month later, they responded by forging a document, updating their invoice and back dating the whole thing with a hand stamp rotated back to reflect XX-X-XXXX in response! At the meeting, I showed them everything, I presented them with everything paid in full. The president was even able to verify after speaking to his employees in length, that that they had made an error. They offered me two weeks to consider their proposal to once again pay everything in full. I stated it was a lot to digest going into that meeting believing everything was paid in full and they're wanting additional monies, not guaranteeing the work, and with major discrepancies in the work that one can see and serious questions on what can't be seen, so I filed a complaint with the BBB. In response, I got a letter in the mail yesterday 11-19-13. In it after three weeks thought, they concocted a "second invoice" arguing that "invoice" I never saw, witnessed, or signed, was paid in full. Then they had the audacity to erroneously back date the whole thing and now asking for money on another entirely different invoice. Somehow doing this, makes sense to them. A prime example of bad billing practices by this company. I seek that this company:
1) accept this job paid in full and proven by me with voice-mail heard by the president for the balance and cancelled check accepted and cashed paid in full by the company.
2) apologize and dismiss the fraudulently back-dated "second" invoice they concocted in response.
3) In matter of fairness and compromise on my part, you keep your (3) three year warranty, I pay to have extensive work redone by a professional to correct work done by the cabinet maker you sent to re-model shower, and I also assume the 500.00 bill you agreed to pay in medical and cleaning cost to me after I had shown was due to gross negligence on your part.
I have documentation and pictures, videos, voice-mail, texts, e-mails, and cancelled checks and bills to support my case.
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined that while the company addressed the complaint issues, the complainant was dissatisfied and the matter was outside BBB Rules of Arbitration.