Attorney General Josh Stein Files Suit Against Contractor Over Deceptive Trade Practices
RALEIGH, NC (January 23, 2019) — Attorney General Josh Stein today filed a suit against George Edward Hall, Patricia Roberts, Carolina Structures, Inc., Titan Concrete, Inc., Valley Sheds, LLC, Carolina Buildings, LLC, Titan Outdoor Impressions, Inc., Kahuna Concrete, and Affordable Contractors over an alleged contractor scheme in the Triangle area. The suit alleges that these defendants take money from consumers without doing the work they’ve promised to perform. The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and other civil penalties for victims.
“It’s simple: when you take someone’s money and agree to do a job, you have to follow through,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office is taking these contractors to court to keep them from taking advantage of more North Carolinians.”
The suit, filed over deceptive trade practices, alleges that Hall, an unlicensed contractor, and Roberts, who assists his daily business operations, operate a contracting business under multiple names. Hall enters into an agreement with people, requiring them to pay significant advances before work begins – but fails to do the work or refund the advance.
While Attorney General Stein has received 18 complaints about Hall, Roberts, and their companies, NCDOJ does not know how many North Carolinians have been scammed. Consumers who believe they have been the victim of a contractor scam by these defendants or any other contractor should file a complaint with Attorney General Stein’s office here.
Contractor scams related to patios, driveways, decks, etc. are on the rise in North Carolina. To avoid becoming the victim of such a scam, follow these tips:
- Check out a company before you decide to work with them. Contact the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau to learn about any complaints against the company. You can also ask the company for references.
- Get written estimates and compare bids. Ask friends and neighbors for references instead of deciding to do business with someone who knocks on your door. Get at least three estimates in writing if possible. Before work begins, make sure you get a written contract that lists all the work to be performed, its costs, a payment schedule, and a completion date.
- Beware of up-sells. Some companies will come to your house to perform a service or repair at a low advertised rate but when they arrive they point out various expensive and alarming problems that supposedly need attention right away. By the time they leave, you may have paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for unneeded services.
- Ask about guarantees. Most companies will guarantee their work or the product for a certain period of time. Make sure to get this information in writing before you sign a contract.
- Do not pay for work up front. Inspect the work and make sure you’re satisfied before you pay. A reasonable down payment may be required, but don’t pay anything without getting a written contract. Avoid paying with cash; use a check or a credit card instead.
- Remember your right to cancel. Transactions that take place at a location that is not the seller’s normal place of business, including your home, are eligible under state law to be cancelled up to three days after you sign the contract. The seller should include instructions on how to cancel in the written contract. You must notify them in writing if you change your mind within that three-day period.
A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.