A Silver Lake home improvement contractor has been sued by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on allegations that he failed to deliver and performed shoddy work.
DeWine filed the lawsuit on Thursday against Wayne Given and his Basement Waterproofing Solutions.
Given operated his basement waterproofing business out of his Silver Lake home. Losses reported from three consumer complaints totaled more than $12,900, DeWine’s office said.
A call to a number listed on the Better Business Bureau report for Given’s business, which had an F rating for failing to respond to four complaints, was not returned.
“When consumers pay thousands of dollars for home improvement services they never receive as promised, there’s a problem,” said DeWine in a press release. “We are committed to enforcing Ohio’s consumer protection laws and holding violators accountable.”
Separately, a second lawsuit by DeWine was filed against Mike Walker and All American Restoration LLC of Avon Lake. Walker’s business offered major home improvement services, including room additions and roofing projects. Reported losses from 28 consumer complaints total $135,000.
The lawsuits charge the businesses with violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Sales Act. DeWine is seeking restitution for consumers, injunctions to stop the business from further violations, civil penalties and other costs.
DeWine’s office said consumers should take the following steps in a home improvement transaction:
• Get at least three written estimates from different contractors.
• Ask the contractor to provide references of past customers, and check the references.
• Make sure the contractor has the proper permits to perform the work.
• Ask the contractor to show proof of licenses, insurance and bonding. State law does not require home improvement contractors to be licensed, but many Ohio cities do.
• Check with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau to determine if complaints are on file against the company.
• Get everything in writing, including any oral promises.
• Do not provide full payment up front. Pay when work is finished or for portions of work as they are completed, for example, one-third in the beginning, one-third in the middle, and the final third upon satisfactory completion.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.