The lawsuit filed in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas accuses Master Landscaping Sprinklers LLC and its owner, Alejandro Sanchez, of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Home Solicitation Sales Act.
“Rip-offs like this are every homeowner’s nightmare,” Yost said. “This guy took money from trusting clients but delivered nothing but an empty wheelbarrow of promises. Now he’ll have to answer for it in court.”
Yost’s office has received four complaints against the business from consumers who are requesting refunds totaling $37,200. The complaints allege shoddy work, incomplete projects and damage to property. In one case, Sanchez is accused of taking payment for a project he never started.
Sanchez offers various home improvement services, including patio replacement, lot grading and landscaping. His company is registered with a Lorain address.
The lawsuit requests an order preventing Sanchez from engaging in further customer transactions until he pays restitution to victims, in addition to civil penalties.
Yost reminds consumers to take the following steps before signing a contract for home improvement services:
• Review any complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office or Better Business Bureau.
• Make sure you receive notice of your right to cancel a door-to-door sale. Contractors generally cannot start working until the three-day “cooling-off” period ends.
• Get written estimates from several contractors before making a final decision.
• Check to make sure that the written contract includes any verbal promises, the start and end dates, and an itemized list of all significant costs, labor and services.
• Be wary if the contract requires a large down payment or requires that you write a check directly to the contractor instead of his or her company.
• Check with the Ohio Secretary of State to confirm that the business is registered properly.
Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive business practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.