Greece grandmother gets refund from contractor

June 15, 2017 07:49 PM

A Greece grandmother got a $3,700 refund after her son called us for help. She hired a contractor about a year and a half ago. When he didn't honor his warranty, she Dialed Deanna.

Tom Kosmicki showed Consumer Investigator Deanna Dewberry the cracks that splinter across the chimney of his mother's home. While it’s been a year and a half since a contractor worked on the chimney, Kosmicki says the cracking actually started just a month after the work was done.

It's now been a year and a half since now 85-year old Regina Summers paid Louis Piccirillo $3,700 to repair her bricked chimney with a masonry product.

"And then when he came here and gave a 20-year guarantee, what more could you ask for?" said Summers. She was referring to a written warranty against cracking that Piccirillo gave her. But when she asked him to honor the warranty and repair the cracking chimney, he didn’t show up.

"He thinks this is just going away,” said Kosmicki referring to contractor. But Kosmicki decided to fight back and contacted consumer investigator Deanna Dewberry.

Dewberry went to Piccirillo’s home numerous times but no one answered the door. She finally was able to reach him by phone. He wouldn't answer questions about his “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and numerous customer complaints.  But he did promise to pay Summers back in full.

Days after Dewberry called Piccirillo, he mailed Summers a full refund. Her son says he’ll use the money to get the work done right.

"We'll get somebody who knows what they're doing, and they're going to be on the job to complete it," said Kosmicki.

After News10NBC first aired a story about Piccirillo, other former customers contacted her with complaints about the contractor, including a woman who won a settlement against him in small claims court three years ago and still hadn’t gotten her money. When Dewberry called Piccirillo about that case, he sent the woman a check for the money he owed her.

Before you hire a contractor, here's Deanna's Do List.

1. Get at least 3 bids.
2. Do a background check, like checking the Better Business Bureau.
3.  Ask for proof of insurance.
4. Get a written contract.  The Better Contractors Bureau has provided an example of what it should look like.
5.  Never pay full price up front.  The BBB suggests pay a third up front, a third in the middle, and a third at completion.
6. Report problems to the BBB, the Attorney General’s Office or the Better Contractors Bureau.

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