OTTAWA -- Ottawa homeowners are at a loss for words and money after a snow removal business suddenly goes out of business

Resident Helmut Ortner says he hired the business Snow Vaporizers this fall to clear snow throughout the winter. “The first time I had to call them to even come over here, they says ‘oh we forgot because you are a new customer.’”

Ortner says they did not return after other snowfalls, despite paying nearly 400 dollars for the entire season. “I feel taken it’s kind of not so easy,” Ortner says he has also fired a police report.

Jason is another customer who is not getting service or his money back. He says, “We were in position where we were moving, we had to find a company, I didn’t like the policies of the other companies that were jacking up the price, so took a chance of this, and I guess I am paying the price.”  

CTV New has reached out to snow vaporizers and its owner Michael Labrecque, but has not heard back.

The City of Ottawa confirms Snow Vaporizer did not have a license.  

Kyle Donaldson with the city’s by-law department says customers should ask whether the business is licensed, for their own protection.

Donaldson says, “It’s important for the public to know who is licensed and who is not licensed, this licensed is for public protection.” Donaldson says there are criteria operators must also follow. “A licensed contractor is obligated to have plow plate on all vehicles that are operating in the business.” The plate has a registration number as well as a city sticker to mark its permit.  

The Better Business Bureau is investigating.