DENVER -- The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a concrete repair company based in Aurora.
Several homeowners allege that Expert Concrete LLC took their money and didn't perform any work.
Cynthia Campbell told Denver7 she was doing some yard work when two men pulled up and asked if she wanted her driveway repaired. That was in May.
Campbell said she had been thinking about the cracks and settling panels and wanted them fixed. She asked the duo how much it would cost.
She said one of the men, who gave his name as Michael George, retrieved a measuring wheel and pushed it around her driveway, then told her he could do the job for $3,700.
According to the "proposal" document, the work was to include excavation, applying rebar and tie-ins and pouring four inches of 6,000 psi commercial grade concrete.
Campbell signed off on the deal and paid half up front for work that was to commence in June. She said George told her he’d be back on a specific Monday to get started.
“I waited and waited and nothing,” she said, “so I called them, and they said ‘oh, we’re kind of behind on some projects, so it’s going to be a couple more days before we get that done.’”
The homeowner said she waited another week and when no one showed up, she called again.
“A lady answered and said, ‘well, now it’s been raining so we have to put those things on hold,’” Campbell said.
Days later, Campbell called again and left a message. She hasn’t heard back.
Ezra Coopersmith, the investigations coordinator at the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau said they’ve seen quite a few instances involving driveway repair crews operating in tandem.
“We’re always on the lookout for door-to-door, fly by night scammers who go around offering contracting work, then don’t intend to do it,” he said. “They just want to collect money up front.”
There have been four complaints about Expert Concrete LLC filed with the BBB, and multiple other complaints/negative reviews posted on YELP.
The BBB has not been unable to locate the company.
Denver7 tried calling Expert Concrete LLC multiple times but couldn’t get through to even leave a message.
The recording stated: “The subscriber you have dialed is not in service.”
A news crew drove to Expert Concrete’s listed address and learned that it is a mailbox at the UPS facility at 13918 E. Mississippi Avenue in Aurora.
Campbell noted that Mr. George’s business card didn’t include his last name, nor the company address. The document that he used to provide a cost estimate, was a “boiler plate form,” that included the Mississippi Avenue address, but not the box number, 260.
Another customer has filed a civil lawsuit against Expert Concrete LLC. That homeowner, who asked that we not use his name, told Denver7 that he hired the company through HomeAdvisor.
He said he put a down payment on his project, and that Michael George never did any work.
“I called HomeAdvisor,” he said, “they didn’t help.”
The victim filed a claim in court, but said the Sheriff’s Office wasn’t able to serve the defendant a civil warrant because they couldn’t locate him.
Warning for Others
Ms. Campbell told Denver7 that she should have done more research. Now, she wants to warn others not to fall into the same trap.
Coopersmith said it’s unlikely that victims will get money back.
“It’s difficult,” he said, “when you can’t track down the actual person.”
He said homeowners should research companies before they sign any agreement or hand over any cash.
“Look not just for the absence of negative information,” he said, “but for somebody who has a positive, established relationship with the community, because that’s going to be your best bet.”
Coopersmith said sometimes you have to put a down payment on a project, so the contractor can purchase materials.
“If you are going to pay money upfront,” he said, “you want to be really careful that you have it in writing how much you’re going to pay and when you’re going to pay it.”
He said the agreement should outline the work that will be performed after each payment is made.