I hope this helps someone before they make the same mistake we did. I am posting this as a warning to others, this company has ripped us off, in short, we put down a deposit, they delivered materials for the project, after many delays(excuses) did some of the demolition and then the owner, Michel a Bastille, informed us of employee issues, we discussed a possible solution, he agreed to return the unused money from our deposit and we would seek a different contractor to finish the job. At this point in time he hasn't returned the money, and doesn't return our calls or e-mails. We have filed a complaint with the BBB, and are currently seeking legal advice. I'm going to assume he probably has changed the company name ,etc. by this time, as I doubt we are the only victims of his scam.
Was their price extra low to make you pick them? Or anything else? I just want to make sure the renovation company I'm using right now is okay. :)
hehehehe ,,, i know what u mean ... i am a contractor myself and see alot of other contracting businesses doing this kind of thing to homeowners all the time ... i worked for a contracting company as a contractor for them and they would pay me cheap and price the homeowner jobs wayyyy too much $$$$ and i really couldn't say anything ... but then as years went by i started talking to homeowners about how i felt about the $$$$ they were priced and i told them the truth "WAY TOO MUCH $$$" ,,, i charge cheap compared to this company and they got all teh jobs and not to say that they asked for deposits upfront and bought the cheapest materials and told me the wrong way to do things even though i knew to do it differently but they didn't care ,,, he robs elderly people ,,, i hate contracting companies that say they will include materials in there prices ,,,, i charge by job and i never include materials in my prices ever ... i know it saves time for the homeowner but how do u know u are getting the best quality and materials ??? u don't !!! but i never get jobs ... and then u have the older contractors that do the jobs old style and they get the jobs and then people like myself quote them jobs and they say i'm too young ... i've been doing renos since i was 20 years old and its by myself not with my dad like others learn with by there fathers or grandfathers ,,, actually i am teaching my dad the business (renos) he was a butcher .... i've been in business for 14 years now and have worked for many contracting businesses so i know how they work .... be-ware of expensive or reallllllyyyyy cheap contractors as the saying goes "u pay cheap, u get cheap" ,,,, anyways not only homeowners get scammed some contractors do too .... and remember do not pay deposits for anything ... i've seen disasters happen all the time where i had to finish another contractors work ... i even know elderly people who have a 2nd mortgage at the bank ... alot goes on so keep an eye out ...
We had an idea on the cost of our project from talking with others in the business, their qoute was abit on the high end, but also included what I would call above code building. We checked them out to the best of our ability and all seemed to be good, but as I've talked to others about this it seems it's just a craps shoot and a gamble when hiring a contractor. Not saying all are bad, it's just you never know until it's too late. As one legitmate contractor said, they'll give a business licensce to anyone who wants to call themselves a contractor no skill required.
You are not the only victim of this company. I know of 2 others, along with myself who have been ripped off by Michel. I to have been in contcat with the BBB and have a letter sent to him from a lawyer to try for money he owes for material and work not completed, if I don't get my money I shooting for jail time for him. I sent photos to the BBB to help my case. All I can say is don't lay down for this guy, use all avenues to have his buisness taken away.
I would very much like to talk with you about this more in depth, if you could please contact me, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org , I would really like to see this con man go to jail as well.
So sorry to hear of your misfortune with this theif. I just wanted to add something with regards to taking a deposit. We are a legitimate contracting company and we never used to take deposits from our customers ever. We have now been forced to implement a policy where we now take a deposit when the materials arrive. Much like you, we too take a chance on our customers character and when you think your dealing with someone staight,you find out quickly when it comes time for payment they are not. We have to supply materials, pay our trades etc and essentially finance the job which depending on the size can be quite costly on our part. Way too often we end up having to chase our customers to get paid. Many of whom we would speak to several times throughout the day during the couse of the project and when complete, they suddenly would become impossible to reach. While you may think this is rare, it actually happens alot. I completely sympathize with you, no one should ever have their hard earned money stolen. But at the same time you must realize that we too as legitimate hard working and honest contractors take the same gamble as you, and are also victims. I wish you luck in getting your money back, and I hope this guy pays for what he did.
Hi all. I am also a contractor and would like to add my voice to what Mr. Levy from Arrow has said. Unfortunately the cons are working both sides of the fence. We too require a deposit for the same reasons mentioned and also because of scheduling. If we schedule a job that never actually happens and miss legitimate jobs that is also a loss to us. I hate to hear of the troubles you had with that guy. It goes against my principals as a human and also takes away any trust between contractors and clients. It's bad all around. I hope you all get your money and he gets shut down.
I agree with Dave and Trevor I too am a contractor on a small scale And i usually require at at least material cost up front I also explain to the consumer that they can buy the materials themselves. I do not have a large credit line nor am I independently wealthy so one or two consumers not paying could ruin me. not every contractor out there who asks for a deposit is a bad contractor. as always one bad apple spoils the bunch.
This is where a contract comes in to place so you the consumer can stipulate that if the work does not start in a reasonable amount of time after the agreed start date, there will be a refund of the deposit. a reputable contractor would not hesitate to sign this. also for the contractor to keep within the budget providing there are no changes or unforeseen circumstances. I have heard of people getting estimates and receiving bills for double the amount. thus the need for multiple estimates say you get 4 estimates three are pretty close and one is considerably lower this contractor is likely low balling to get the job and is a big red flag.
The worst part about being ripped off by this guy is that he is a BBB member. I figured that this would make it a safe choice, but I was wrong.
Even if a contract was signed stating returns if the job is not satisfactory or there are issues with them not doing the work does not mean the contractor is just going to hand over the money. Either way when one party is shafted they, are going to have to pay legal fees to get some sort of redemption. If people aren't willing to pay these legal fees and just write the whole situation off as a loss, the person will continue with their scamming people because they don't get what they really deserve.
My name isn't dave :)
Anyway, this guy did the same thing with references. I dicovered later that his references were people he lived with and a family friend.
You're right about the BBB, I will never trust this to be a deciding factor ever again.
I know that both sides can be crooked, I am a mechanic by trade, I've done work for people and when the time comes to get paid sometimes it can be a chore to collect, fortunately, for me they don't get their vehicle till I get paid in my trade you have that advantage for the most part. Being a contractor I understand that you are taking more of a risk and asking for a deposit isn't out of the question. What is unfortunate here is that the next contractor I want to hire to finish the job is going to have to be pretty understanding to my situation as I'm not putting a dime out up front this time or ever again. I think the best way is going to have to be on completion of certain points of the job then a percentage of the payment will be made. As for right now, all I want is to see this crook shut down and if possible put in jail for awhile, although, this being Canada, I doubt jail time would happen.
I give up. I've tried CTV Consumer reports, they don't care. The BBB is a useless organization with no power to do a thing. I've tried contacting Alberta Government Services and have heard nothing from them. Calgary Sun....nothing. I sent an email to the other guys who have been victims, about filing the complaint to the Government Services as well and have heard nothing there either.
This is the very reason people like Michel exist, we can't spend the money to go to court and receive nothing in return, and nobody else cares enough to stop them as there is no money in it for them. When there is no consequences for these actions they will just continue doing it.
I'll chalk it up as a $14,000.00 loss and move on, and so will Michel with ripping people off.
Good luck everybody,
I am sad to here about your experience. I too had a similar experience with several renovators in calgary on my house (bbb didn't register any complaints on research).
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