St. Louis, Mo., March 20, 2014 – St. Louis plumbing contractor Ladell M. Owens, who has left behind dozens of unhappy customers since 2005, is again receiving complaints over substandard and incomplete work, Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns.
BBB advises caution when dealing with Owens or his newest company, Right Now Plumbing.
The business has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible. Records show that Owens has failed to respond to 10 complaints in the past 36 months. Customers said the work was either poorly done or never finished.
Right Now Plumbing operates out of Owens’ home at 1297 Oak Court in St. Louis. The company’s name was first registered with the Missouri secretary of state in August 2012, showing Owens as the sole owner. A new registration as a limited liability company was filed in December 2013.
Several of Owens’ past companies, including All Phase Plumbing and Precision Plumbing, were the subject of BBB news alerts in 2006 and 2008. In 2008, a St. Louis County plumbing official said of Owens: “He gets his money and runs.”
A St. Louis homeowner said this month she has been unable to lease a rental home for nearly a year because promised plumbing work has not been finished.
A Wellston homeowner said that water continues to leak from an upstairs bathroom into her living room after Right Now Plumbing replaced pipes in the home.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said Owens has become infamous for “doing whatever he wants whenever he wants to do it. To continue to operate like this for nearly 10 years is incredible and inexcusable,” Corey said. “It is time for it to stop.”
A company supervisor, John Weaver, defended the work of Right Now Plumbing, refuting allegations of shoddy work. He said company officials would discuss recent complaints with BBB and said company owners would respond soon. Despite repeated attempts to contact Owens in recent weeks, he has not responded.
The website for the company, www.rightnowplumbing.com, calls the company “the St. Louis area’s most trusted plumbing professionals. We’re prepared to stand behind our work with a guarantee of excellent service and 100 percent customer satisfaction.”
The homeowner in Wellston said she first contacted Right Now Plumbing in April 2013 after seeing an online advertisement. She said she hired the company for extensive plumbing renovation work and, to date, has paid the firm more than $30,000.
“There are leaks everywhere,” she said. She said that at one point raw sewage came into the bathtub whenever the toilet was flushed. She said workers finally came in to repair the problem, but leaks have continued. “It’s been horrible,” she said.
A BBB investigator who visited the home found water leaks dripping from several spots in the downstairs ceiling.
The St. Louis homeowner said she had hired Right Now Plumbing last spring and has paid about $11,000 for plumbing and electrical work at a house on Hamilton Avenue. She said most of the electrical work had been completed satisfactorily by another company, but the plumbing remains unfinished. She said that she confronted Weaver on the street in June, and he promised to meet her at the house that same day, but he never came. She estimates that she has lost $7,000 in rent because of the ongoing problems.
Another consumer told BBB she had paid Right Now Plumbing $2,000 as partial payment for work at a property in the 4500 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. She said she had to have the work redone by another firm. “It was a mess,” she said.
BBB offers the following tips to consumers looking to hire a contractor:
Contacts (News Media Only): Michelle L. Corey, President and CEO, (314) 645-0606, firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), email@example.com; or Bill Smith, Investigator, (314) 584-6727, firstname.lastname@example.org
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