What to do about a roofer taking money but never showing up or returning calls?

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What to do about a roofer taking money but never showing up or returning calls?

We hired a roofer that a family member has used and loved. He was extremely nice. He told us to cash the check and he would buy the supplies with it and they would be delivered 2 days ago and the build would also be that day but no supplies or people showed up. It’s now 2 days later and we still haven’t heard anything and he won’t answer any means of contact. I don’t have any paperwork he said it would be emailed to me but never was? Do I call the police or the insurance company. We are young first time home buyers with no experience with this sort of thing. Do I call the police or the insurance company?

Asked on November 13, 2011 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A two day delay is going to get an eyebrow raised, but probably not going to get much action from the police.  Depending on your coverage, your insurance company may or may not assist-- they usually don't reimburse for these types of claims.  This doesn't mean you shouldn't contact them, but you might want to do some research first.  You mention that you don't have any paperwork yet.  Did your relative have any paperwork.  If so, maybe they can let you see what they received.  It may have an address to which you can direct a demand letter for performance or return of the deposit that you placed.  If you do file a complaint, you will need some contact info for the roofer.  Next, contact the Better Business Bureau and see if any complaints have been filed against this roofer.  If this is a roofer that does not take care of their business, they will have multiple complaints on file against them (or they are really new to the industry).  Similarly, do a google of the roofer.  Many consumer watchdog groups now offer information on businesses.  This could be a case of a roofer just not handling their business, and they will get it together and perform the work they promised.  However, if an extended period of time comes and goes, (like two weeks), then contact the police to file a complaint. By that time, you can give them a better idea of who and where to investigate for theft by deception or fraud charges.    You should also file an online consumer complaint with the Office of the Attorney General. It's a free process and fairly simple.  If that doesn't work, you may need to file a private lawsuit to get your deposit back.


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