Customers Angry After Roofing Company Takes Money And Runs

Posted at 10:25 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-03 17:46:54-05

When you pay a contractor to do work on your home, you expect they'll do the work or at least give you your money back.

Still, customers of one Middle Tennessee roofing company say they never got their roof or a refund.

They tell NewsChannel 5 Investigates they paid Exterior Energy Solutions to replace their roof. They were told the work would be done in a month or two.

But some of these customers have been waiting a long, long time and gotten nothing.

"You've been waiting 18 months to get your roof fixed?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Dan McCormick.

"Yes, ma'am," the Westmoreland homeowner replied.

McCormick hired Exterior Energy Solutions to replace his roof in July of 2015. The company collected nearly $4,500 from him, but never came back to do the work.

"Each time there was a different story. A sad story. We lost your contract. Or we lost a guy. He wasn't doing a good job. We had to let him go. It was just over and over and over," McCormick recalled.

Eventually, he decided to just ask for his money back, but he couldn't reach anyone from the company.

"So for six months, you called and you couldn't get through to them?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked.

"No answer. No response," McCormick said.

"And you couldn't leave a message because the mailbox was full?" we then asked him.

"Right. Exactly."

And McCormick's not the only one. We found customers have filed dozens of similar complaints with both the state Consumer Affairs Office and the Better Business Bureau while more than half a dozen unhappy customers have sued the company alleging the same sort of problems in just the last year and a half.

"I don't understand how they're still in business," Joan Durgin remarked.

The Hermitage homeowner said Exterior Energy Solutions had her sign over a nearly $4,000 insurance check to them last summer and promised she'd have her new roof by the fall.

"I have gotten nothing from them. Nothing," Durgin stated.

And what she didn't know when she hired the company was that Exterior Energy Solutions was working without a state home improvement license which is required in Davidson County.

State records show the company's license expired last June.

"So they had me sign a contract when they had an expired license? And they took that money!? They should be ashamed of themselves. I don't know how people sleep at night doing this to people. I really don't," Durgin told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Last May, the state of Tennessee fined Exterior Energy Solutions $1,000 after two customers complained they'd paid for new roofs and the company failed to do the work.

And then again in late November, the company was fined another $1,000 after a third customer failed to get their roof or refund. The state says the company still has not paid that fine.

We found the company's published phone number is not working. And, when we stopped by their offices in Donelson, we found the place had been cleared out.

We did track down the owner, Al Hartless, who initially agreed to do an interview with us and then suddenly backed out. He insisted though that Exterior Energy Solutions is still in business and that things are going well. In fact, he maintained there are no outstanding fines or unresolved complaints.

But the Better Business Bureau gives the company an F rating. And one of the reasons? Unresolved complaints.

And then, of course, there's Dan McCormick.

"It makes you furious," he said.

And there's Joan Durgin.

"I think this whole thing is a scam now," she told us.

Both say Exterior Energy Solutions did nothing but take their money and run.

"I have been hosed, okay? I just hope they get stopped so they don't do other people," McCormick stated.

Customers say the company had them sign over their insurance check when they signed the contract. But the Better Business Bureau instead recommends you wait until the work is done and you're satisfied before you pay. If the contractor insists you pay something upfront, the state suggests you pay a third when the work begins, another third half-way through, and then make the final payment when work is finished and you're satisfied.