Tuesday, May 8th 2018
by Deirnesa Jefferson
Gainesville, Fla. — A local roofing company is accused of being paid thousands of dollars for work, but leaving home owners with unfinished roofs.
“Every time I got well they’re backed up, they’re waiting on such on such… There was always some kind of excuse.”
When Rachel Tate signed a contract with Carlson Enterprises for roof repairs she expected the work to be done, but months after the company cashed her $9,000 insurance check all she got were excuses and unreturned phone calls.
“The sales agent actually quit the company and he told me you might want to look into this there might be some issues,” Tate said.
She’s not the only one— Shannon Nelson from the Better Business Bureau says nearly 100 complaints have been filed against the company.
“The volume of complaints that we’ve received have been that the consumers have paid them a large of sum of money up front and have had no work done,” Nelson said.
Tate said later she found out that a permit had never even been filed to do the work.
“After all of that and never being able to get a hold of anyone, that’s when we knew there was a real issue and we we’re going to have to pay out of pocket to get the roof done ourselves,” Tate said.
The company had offices in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa and the complaints have become so numerous that the attorney general has stepped in.
Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a civil lawsuit against the company alleging that they failed to begin numerous projects, but continued to solicit new customers as recently as February.
Meanwhile many customers have unfinished roofs and the doors of Carlson Enterprises remain closed.
Nelson said home owners who paid Carlson Enterprises and have unfinished roofs are victims of contractor fraud.
“At that point, it’s a crime. If it’s been so many months and they just took your money, its contractor fraud.”
As for Tate, she said she didn’t expect to be taken advantage of by a company that she believed was reputable, but looking back she wishes she had done some things differently.
“Maybe not paying as much up front, but saying okay when you deliver supplies you can have this chunk of money.”
If a contractor asks you to sign a waiver for an estimate make sure you know what you’re signing. Some people fall victim to fraud by signing over their insurance benefits without even realizing it.
“When you don’t realize you’re signing over everything you have to this company and they have no intention of coming back, that’s when you run into problems,” Nelson said.