Contractor Richard Jackson Facing State Action, Could Be Back in Business as Basement Champs, BBB Warns

  
     
October 10, 2017

A St. Charles County Circuit Court judge has granted a request by the Missouri attorney general’s office prohibiting St. Charles contractor Richard Jackson from accepting contracting work. The state alleged Jackson violated the state’s Merchandising Practices Act. Better Business Bureau (BBB) previously warned consumers about Jackson and his business, Arch Homes Contracting, in September 2016.

Jackson appears to be operating a new business, Basement Champs, a venture that may be in violation of the court’s order. BBB advises consumers to use extreme caution when considering doing business with Jackson or his businesses. Complainants about his prior businesses told BBB they gave Jackson money to do work that was not completed or ever started.

Arch Homes Contracting has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible, as a result of unresolved complaints and government action against a previous business, Network Property Solutions. BBB has received 17 complaints about Arch Homes Contracting, nine of which went unanswered.

BBB was alerted about Jackson’s involvement in Basement Champs after a consumer shared an estimate he received from Jackson on Aug. 27. The state secured a preliminary injunction against Jackson on Sept. 6. In an interview with BBB, Jackson denied he is operating a new business.

“I’m not making a living from the business,” Jackson told BBB. “You’d have to call me and beg me (to work).”

In its application for a temporary restraining order against Jackson and co-defendant Sheri Snyder, both of whom operated Arch Homes Contracting, the state of Missouri alleges

the business received $69,500 from at least 10 families for work he failed to perform. In addition to approving the restraining order, the judge granted a state request to have three of the business’ bank accounts frozen.

“(The defendants) never did any contracting work or did not complete the work for those consumers despite repeated requests,” an assistant attorney general wrote in the state’s application. “Further, they never made refunds despite having funds available.”

Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, commended the consumer for alerting BBB to what appears to be Jackson’s new business.

“The consumer did his research before hiring someone to work on his residence, which is something we stress,” Corey said. “We’ve seen too many instances where businesses will change their names in order to hide from past failures. By looking into who he was dealing with, this consumer may have saved him some future headaches.”

Jackson left a trail of disgruntled customers with Arch Homes Contracting. BBB continued to receive complaints about the business after its last warning.

A St. Louis man told BBB he paid Jackson $31,000 between April and December 2016 to finish the basement of his home. The man said Jackson failed to finish the job and cut off communication with the man in April 2017. The man said it cost him $10,000 to hire a contractor to redo some of Jackson’s work and to finish the work.

“He never came back,” the man said of Jackson. “He knew he had taken my money.”

A Wentzville woman told BBB she paid Jackson $3,500 to install an egress window in the basement of her family’s home in August 2016. The woman said she made a $1,500 down payment and a second payment of $2,000. The woman told BBB Jackson didn’t return after receiving the second payment.

“He hasn’t lifted a finger since we wrote him that (second) check,” the woman said. “There’s always an excuse with him.”

A Chesterfield woman told BBB she signed a contract with Jackson in April 2016 to have a retaining wall at her residence repaired. She made a down payment of $2,500 on the $10,000 job. The woman said the work never started. The woman told BBB that when she asked Jackson to return her money he told her he “didn’t have that kind of money.”

An O’Fallon, Mo., man contacted BBB on Sept. 19 asking about Jackson after he said he received an estimate from a business called Basement Champs. The man told BBB he found Jackson’s business via a search on Home Advisors’ website. Jackson met with the man at his residence on Aug. 27 and gave him an estimate. The man told BBB that Jackson disparaged other companies bidding for the work.

“He said the other companies weren’t as good at it as he was and that the work the others would do wasn’t going to hold up,” the man told BBB.

The man wound up using another company for his project.

Jackson, whose full name is Richard Dale Jackson, entered into a court-approved compliance agreement with the Missouri attorney general’s office in August 2014 after the office accused him of violating state law. As part of the agreement, Jackson admitted he failed to provide some consumers with services they paid for and failed to issue refunds.

In the agreement, the attorney general’s office alleged that Jackson violated the state’s Merchandising Practices Act. The agreement noted that Jackson denied the allegation. Jackson was required to pay $17,515 in restitution in that case by January 2018. Jackson told BBB he is “a little over halfway” toward finishing those payments.

A default judgment for $25,506 was entered in September 2017 in favor of a Lake St. Louis woman who claimed Jackson did “minimal work” on various home improvement projects she hired Arch Homes Contracting to do in March 2016.

Jackson told BBB he had made whole those who filed BBB complaints against Arch Homes Contracting.

Missouri secretary of state records show Basement Champs was registered in March 2014. Records show the business being located at 621 Lewis St. in St. Charles. The business listed 2318 A Lindbergh on the estimate given to the O’Fallon consumer.

In addition to Arch Homes Contracting and Network Property Solutions, Jackson also has operated Jackson Contracting, which received several BBB complaints.

BBB offers the following tips for consumers hire a reputable contractor:

  • Research the business and owners carefully before signing a contract, providing any sensitive personal information or paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling 888-996-3887.
  • Ask for references and contact them.
  • Before paying, make sure you have a signed contract outlining what work is to be done, a timetable for completion and an explanation of what happens if the business or consumer reneges on the agreement.
  • Ask the contractor for proof that he or she is bonded and insured.
  • Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the payment.
  • Do not pay everything in advance. It is a good rule to pay a portion when you sign the contract and the final payment only after you are satisfied with the completed work.
  • When work is completed and the contractor has been paid, make sure you have received lien waivers showing subcontractors and material suppliers have been paid for the job.

 

St. Louis area media contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), cthetford@stlouisbbb.org

Shellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), skreter@stlouisbbb.org

Don O’Brien, Investigator, (314) 584-6727, dobrien@stlouisbbb.org

Columbia media contact: Sean Spence, Columbia Regional Director, (573) 886-8965, sspence@midmobbb.org

Cape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, jkeys@capegirardeaubbb.org

Quincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), mclingingsmith@quincybbb.org

About BBB

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