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Restitution sought from two Ohio contractors

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jan 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced lawsuits against two Ohio home improvement contractors accused of failing to deliver promised services to consumers. 

The lawsuits charge Michael Combs of Fairfield, who did business as Granite Designs, and Michael Evilsizer of Westerville, and his business Buckeye Exteriors, with violations of Ohio’s consumer laws.

“Consumers gave these contractors thousands of dollars for work that was not performed as promised,” DeWine said. “We try to resolve the issues out of court, but when months go by with no resolution for consumers, we must move forward.”

Granite Designs, which is no longer in business, offered granite installation services to consumers in Southwest Ohio. Six consumers filed complaints saying they paid an average of about $3,000 for work that was not completed as promised. The Attorney General’s lawsuit, filed in the Butler County Common Pleas Court, charges Combs with failure to deliver, performing shoddy work, and violating the Home Solicitation Sales Act by failing to give consumers proper notice of their right to cancel.

Buckeye Exteriors specializes in home window replacement, vinyl siding, and roofing. The Attorney General’s Office currently is aware of six unresolved complaints from consumers who said they paid between $950 and $10,000 for construction work that was not delivered as promised. The Attorney General’s lawsuit, filed in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, charges the business and its owner with failure to deliver, performing shoddy work, and violating the Repairs and Services Rule.

In the lawsuits, the Attorney General seeks restitution for consumers, an injunction to stop further violations, and civil penalties.

Consumers can help 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-day period ends.

Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at (800) 282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.

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