Consumers who do business with San Antonio-area remodeling company All American Home Improvements report making large upfront payments followed by little or no work and a long wait in getting projects done or in getting their deposits back.
Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin found a common theme among complaints filed against All American Home Improvements. Several complaints allege the company does not complete remodeling jobs that were paid for in advance. Disputed amounts are in the $3,000 to $39,000 range.
As of April 8, 2014, BBB has received a dozen complaints against All American Home Improvements in the last year regarding project delays and trouble getting refunds. The business failed to resolve about half of those complaints. However, the business did resolve some complaints by issuing a refund.
Although All American Home Improvements is not accredited, consumers notified BBB that the company is using contracts with a version of the BBB Accredited Business seal. BBB has requested the company quit using the seal on its printed material, but consumer complaints continue to report the trademark violation.
The company is located at 2041 Universal City, Blvd., Universal City, but consumers report that contracts continue to list a closed storefront at 509 Main Street in Schertz as its address.
Audrey Ford of San Antonio said she hired All American Home Improvements after receiving a telemarketing call. She said she paid $39,500 up front for home improvements that were left incomplete. She said the business has made promises to continue the project, but has not returned to complete the job or issue a refund.
“I hired them before Thanksgiving,” Ford said. “They did some work, tearing stuff out in November. They left everything in an incomplete state. I’m disgusted. When kids come around here, I’m afraid they’re going to get hurt. Also, my husband had a stroke and his [physical] balance is not good.”
Joseph Turnbaigh of San Antonio said he and his wife paid All American Home Improvements $17,320 up front to install 11 windows and build a sunroom. He said five windows were installed and a slab—of the wrong size—was poured for the sunroom. After that, no work was done and Turnbaugh has been unable to reach the business by phone.
“He was supposed to install 11 windows, but only five were put in,” Turnbaigh said. “We wanted a sunroom in the back. All they did was pour a slab. I called about 30 times over the last four months to get the windows to the house. We signed the contract in Oct. 29 and he said it would be done by Thanksgiving.”
BBB offers the following advice when hiring a contractor:
- Do your research. Check the company’s BBB Business Review at bbb.org before signing a contract. For a list of Accredited Businesses that meet Standards for Trust, go directly to checkbbb.org.
- Get a list of references. The contractor should provide names, addresses and phone numbers of at least three clients who have projects similar to yours. Ask about their experience with the contractor. Also, tell the contractor that you’d like to visit jobs in progress.
- Don’t pay cash. Pay by credit card if possible. You may have additional protection if there is a problem. Otherwise pay by check so your cancelled check can provide proof of payment. Consider using an escrow company.
- Spread payments out. Do not pay too much up front. Make additional payments during the project contingent upon completion of a defined amount of work. Do not make the final payment or sign a final release until you are satisfied with the work and have proof that the subcontractors and suppliers have been paid.
- Shop around. Get at least three bids in writing based on the same specifications, materials, labor and time needed to complete the project. BBB’s Request-a-Quote service is free to use and contacts BBB Accredited Businesses to quote on your job.