Way back in April, many homeowners in the St. Louis area sustained roof damage from a major hailstorm. Most sought out repairs right away. So it's hard to believe that some homeowners are still waiting for the repairs to be made despite paying deposits and signing contracts five or six months ago.
The Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers to a large number of complaints about All Seasons Contracting of Creve Coeur, which has told some homeowners that their roofs won't be fixed until next spring. When the homeowners asked to cancel the contracts because of long delays, All Seasons told them they would forfeit 25 percent of the contract price.
Here's where it gets tricky. Although the BBB deplores the long delays, the consumers signed contracts including the 25 percent penalty if they wanted out of the contract. If the consumers agreed to the contract, we can't ask the contractor to refund the entire amount, even if we believe that's the right thing to do.
Today's BBB press release details complaints from people who have paid thousands of dollars in deposits to All Seasons from across the St. Louis area, including victims in St. Louis, Hazelwood, Breckenridge Hills, Vinita Park and Lake St. Louis. Consumers have filed more than 60 complaints in the last two years.
The lesson here is that consumers should read contracts thoroughly and understand what they're signing. If the contract is hard to understand, you should ask questions until you're comfortable with what you're signing. If a contractor requires a deposit, you should pay no more than the minimum required, and you should avoid paying the rest of the money until you're satisfied.