Awning follow up - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side


Awning follow up

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - How does a company stay in business, and continue to take orders, despite a pattern of taking people's money and not delivering services? 12 on Your Side posed that question to the board of contractors, today.

The licensing board won't snatch a company's license, if consumers don't report the bad business to the state. We got results for some, now others have contacted 12 on Your Side asking to get on our list, so they can be made whole, too.

They're afraid, they won't get their money or the work completed, otherwise.

"Here we are 15 grand in the hole," said Barret Leipertz of Leipertz construction.

Drive Time is a valued client of Leipertz Construction. When the dealership needed new awnings, Leipertz V.P. subcontracted the work to Norvell Awnings. But, a different company did the job even though Barret paid a $5,200 deposit to Richard Reynolds, in January.

"We realized that we were chasing a ghost and that the work wasn't going to get completed so, we had to hire somebody else, pay more out of pocket," said Leipertz.

The awnings went up two weeks ago and Richard Reynolds kept that $5,200 deposit.

"He's out collecting checks and not doing the work so, at some point that's gotta stop," said Leipertz.

At first, he was willing to talk about his troubles and plans to correct his wrongs. Reynolds even requested our list of complaints but, Monday, he canceled - no comment on unfilled orders, or the year old, expired tags on his company trucks that are still being driven. Our complaint list is in the state's hands now.

"The Board of Contractors is the only officially sanctioned entity that can take away a contractor's license," said Mary Broz-Vaughan, Dept. of Professional & Occupational Regulation.     

But, there's not much the board can do, unless victims file complaints. While the board received only one, this year, 12 on Your Side, got roughly a dozen, we got three resolved, and three others being negotiated. Like the contractor, homeowner, Patrick Morris contacted 12 too.   

"I just want my money back. $1,425," said Morris. 

Morris hired Norvell Awning to furnish plexiglass for 37 windows at his home. The materials were promised in January.

"He did not fulfill his end of the contract. It's my money; I'd like to have it back," Morris said.

Leipertz and Morris took Reynolds to court; he failed to show up for either case. Reynolds blames the economy for his business troubles. The latest development, a competitor is negotiating to buy Norvell Awnings and resolve all complaints, customers made to us. We'll find out more, and let you know, Wednesday or Thursday.

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