Snow-clearing company agrees to reimburse customer
Published Monday, December 2, 2013 5:58PM EST Last Updated Tuesday, December 3, 2013 12:12AM EST
Ottawa Police confirm they are investigating a London-based snow-clearing company operating in Ottawa. Police say 7 people have filed complaints against Property Connect for failing to fulfill their contracts. The owner of the company, Dave Havers, says he plans to meet with all 283 Ottawa clients to make things right and offered to meet with CTV Ottawa as well. But when CTV showed up at the arranged meeting place outside a west end home, Havers hid around the back; refusing to go on camera.
His regional manager, Ron Michaels approached our camera to say, “I would like you to appreciate that we've received some very serious threats.”
Michaels said Property Connect had received threats from some customers after our initial story aired last Friday which they say they have taken to the Ottawa police.
"It's not that we're hiding from the public,” says Michaels, “We are here in Ottawa today to see every single customer that we've signed up, offer them a full refund or continue the service as planned.”
Several customers have taken their complaints to the police as well, arguing they paid hundreds of dollars to Property Connect for a snow clearing service that did not fulfill the contract terms for which they paid.
Cst. Chuck Benoit is with the Ottawa Police, "The company can be charged with fraud if they don't do up the remainder of the contract with the client, if the client doesn't get reimbursed or get the work done, then it constitutes a fraud.”
Benoit says two of the seven cases so far meet those parameters.
Annie Woo is one of the complainants. After her story aired on CTV Property Connect agreed to reimburse her 300 dollars, slightly more than half the amount she had originally agreed to pay.
She had given the London-based company $565 to clear her driveway, in two separate cheque instalments. The company cashed one of those cheques for $283. Two days after the big snowstorm, she was the one doing the shoveling. Now that she has been promised a refund, two of her neighbors have also chosen to get their money back.
The company claimed to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau but the President of the Western Ontario Better Business Bureau says it is not and had previously asked the company to refrain from using that information on its handouts.
Phone calls from customers and the BBB to the business office were not returned; and phone lines were disconnected.
Ron Michaels would not explain why the company continued to use the BBB accreditation nor why the phones were not operating, “I am not at liberty to answer those questions right now.”
Annie Woo says there's one silver lining to this: another company plowed her driveway for free though they couldn't take her on as a customer.