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State seeks restitution from home iImprovement contractor

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jan 17, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced a lawsuit against Johnny Poe, a Wellston home improvement contractor accused of performing shoddy and incomplete work.

“When you pay someone thousands of dollars for their services, you deserve to get what you pay for,” Attorney General DeWine said. “When businesses fail to live up to their promises, we will hold them accountable.”

Poe did business as Johnny Poe Construction and JP Construction. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section received three complaints from consumers who said they paid Poe $4,700 to $42,000 for work that was never completed as promised.

The lawsuit, filed in the Jackson County Common Pleas Court, charges Poe with violations of Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act. In the lawsuit, Attorney General DeWine seeks consumer restitution, civil penalties, and injunctive relief.

Consumers can protect themselves by taking the following steps:

Check contractors’ reputations with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau.

Get written estimates from several contractors before making a final decision.

Get all promises in writing. Make sure the written contract includes the start date and end date and an itemized list of all costs and services.

Be wary if the contract requires a large down payment, such as half of the total cost, or requires that you sign over an insurance check.

Keep in mind that door-to-door sales contractors are required to give you a three-day right to cancel and cannot begin the work until the three-period ends.

Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly in a home improvement transaction, or any consumer transaction, should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office at (800) 282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.

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