Homeowners angry with snow clearing company
Published Friday, November 29, 2013 5:20PM EST Last Updated Friday, November 29, 2013 7:03PM EST
An Ottawa homeowner is warning residents about a snow clearing company. They paid their money but the snow is still there. Annie Woo says a company called Property Connect is leaving her and several neighbors snowed in and they're out hundreds of dollars. The Better Business Bureau says the company is on their radar but it is too late though for the homeowners who paid good money for no service.
Homeowner Annie Woo wasn't counting on shoveling snow this winter.
“I have a bad back and I really don't want to move this snow,” she says as she looks at the pile of snow on her laneway. The guy who normally clears her 80 foot driveway couldn't do it this year. So, with winter coming and little time to research, she and her neighbors hired Property Connect Inc.; a company based in London, Ontario.
“I paid $565 for the whole season,” says Woo, “November to March 31 in two installments by check and today I haven't received barely any service.” Two young guys she says did show up at 2;30 a.m. to shovel a bit of her walkway. Her neighbors ended up shoveling their entire driveways themselves. Woo has called the company to complain but the toll-free number is no longer in service.
“I guess they have skipped town, eh?”
Woo put a stop order on her second check and called police.
Property Connect Inc. dropped off advertisements in people's mailboxes a couple of months ago, claiming to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau. But that's not the case, according to the BBB.
The Better Business Bureau in London says the company is on its radar. The owner of Property Connect, Dave Havers, ran another snow clearing company last year called Precision Property Solutions that the BBB says had at least 10 complaints launched against it.
Deborah Brady is the President of the Better Business Bureau for Western Ontario, “They also had the same complaints last year and didn't respond to consumer calls or to BBB calls so we graded them an “F”, says Brady.
The story is a common one. Remember Tony's Snow Blowing? Tony Putinski was charged with 17 counts of fraud after more than 14-hundred clients were left in the cold.
"I don't know how to stop these guys,” says Annie Woo, “they sign on 1000 people at $560 and they've walked away with half a million dollars.”
While Annie and her neighbors try to find a reputable snow clearing company, they're left shoveling their own laneways.
Late Friday afternoon, Annie Woo says she decided to file a formal complaint with the Ottawa Police. The difficulty will be convincing police this is a case of fraud and not just poor service.