This week I received an email from a homeowner who hired a contractor to do some house painting. After meeting with him several times, he decided to hire him and gave him half of the money upfront (big no-no). They continued to discuss the project and then the contractor left.

And that was the last time he saw him.

An all too common problem that occurs everyday to unsuspecting homeowners, somewhere in our country. When the consumer fails to do their research on a contractor they’re considering using, it almost never fails that they get burned. They simply trust that because he is a contractor, or is licensed, that he will be ethical and perform the work according to their written agreement. And sometimes there isn’t even a written agreement signed by both parties. This is simply a recipe for disaster with money be thrown right out the window.

To add insult to injury, turns out the guy had a criminal record and 13 complaints filed against him with various agencies. Had the consumer at the very least done a background check, even by simply trying google using both his DBA and name, would have revealed some questionable activity the homeowner could have avoided. Also, the contractor was not licensed, which the homeowner assumed but did not properly check through his state agency.

As a forewarning to consumers, I’m including the homeowners email to warn others in his area of Lincoln, Nebraska:
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Very nice guy (I thought) DBA All Star Painting in Lincoln Nebraska. He is Alastar Blanding and offered to paint my house for $5400. He required half up front for supplies. See the contract attached. He came over numerous times and I confirmed that he HAD painted some houses and he did have a Lincoln Nebraska address.

So I wrote him a check and we talked about the project. Well, he never showed. So I turned him into the police. That’s when I found he had a criminal record and that there were 13 complaints filed against him. Shortly thereafter the BBB gave him an F. And then I find out he isn’t even a contractor and not registered with the Department of Labor and he’d been cited! Then I filed with Angies List..so people will know.

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