BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Following the Contact Denver7 report about Boulder County landscaper Travis Goodspeed, more clients have come forward to share their stories and warn others.
If misery loves company, Shane Williams takes some comfort in knowing he is not alone.
"I was shocked and kind of redeemed in a way," said Williams, who read the Denver7 push alert on his phone about a Longmont landscaper accused of taking people's money and taking off without finishing jobs.
Court records show Williams won a $2,000 small claims court judgment against Travis Goodspeed in 2014, after he started a landscaping project in Williams' backyard and stopped abruptly.
Williams said he never received the money.
"There's a contract. It's signed, and the settlement is signed--and nothing," said Williams. "The system has loopholes. The judge just said, 'If he doesn't have the money, he doesn't have it. What do you want me to do?'"
For a year, he said he posted warnings on Criagslist to warn others about Goodspeed.
Several people reached out to Contact Denver7 about complaints against Goodspeed going back decades.
Goodspeed did not respond to requests for comment about multiple complaints coming in to Contact Denver7. He is currently serving a deferred sentence and probation on a theft charge, and the Boulder County District Attorney's spokeswoman said any victims should reach out to their office.
However, the system does not fully protect people from bad contractors, so consumers need to protect themselves.
1. Look for negative reviews online on Google, Yelp, the BBB, Nextdoor and other social media sites.
2. Never pay in full up front -- Stick with a staggered payment schedule so you can insure the job is completed as you pay.
3. If it seems to good (or too cheap) to be true, it probably is.
Williams never hired another Landscaper and is still trying to finish the work himself. Meanwhile, he is still hearing about new people feeling pretty miserable.
"Your intuition isn't good enough," said Williams. "He's a professional con artist."
Editor's note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here.