Contractor pressures unhappy homeowner to write negative reviews
Homeowners making major renovations from kitchen renovations to basement finishing are leaving negative reviews about their experiences with fake contractors.
One of the victims, Delia Cole, reached out to a contractor to renovate the kitchen in her Mississauga home; and rather than getting her dream kitchen, she has been living for months with plastered walls and exposed ducts because her contractor disappeared with the $15,000 she had paid him.
“We chose [the contractor] because we wanted to save money,” said ArlindoPeixoto, Cole’s husband. “Now we’re going to end up paying more than double.”
Cole and Peixoto went shopping back in March for a home contractor and settled with Can Dec Kitchen Inc., a company located quite close to where they live.For the couples, choosing them meant they would save $1,000 by paying the total cost upfront, said Peixoto.
In mid-March, the couple paid with two separate cheques and were informed that work would commence in a few weeks. However, when nothing happened, they began to get very suspicious of the company.
“We called and he told us we have to wait … Then he kept giving us the run-around, so we went to the [office] and it was closed,” said Cole.
Peixoto says he continued calling the contractor who had earlier introduced himself as RizwanAkrem but still couldn’t get a direct answer.
“[Akrem] said he was closed down… When we asked for the money back, he said that our kitchen was cut out, but he couldn’t get the pieces because the [building’s] landlord had closed his business.”
Now, after several weeks of waiting, Peixoto says Akrem has stopped picking their calls.
It is evident that Cole and her husband have been swindled by this contractor and the only way to avoid future occurrences is to choose to work with the best general contractors for all kinds ofmajorrenovations—whether residential or commercial.
This way, homeowners are provided with not only the best prices but the best contractors which would eliminate the chances of you having such terrible experience. So, you’re saving more money on renovation cost and the aggravation of unethical contractors who would engage in the kind of conduct displayed in Cole’s case.
Can Dec Kitchen’s headquarters on Dunwin Drive in Mississauga is currently locked and their front showroom emptied out, according to CBC Toronto.
A 2013 Ontario compliance letter from the Ministry of Environment for Can Dec Kitchen Inc. is signed by RizwanAkram, whose last name is spelt differently from the business card presented to Cole and Peixoto. On the card, the couple received his last name is spelt with an “e”, not an “a.”
However, the corporation’s record for Can Dec Kitchen Inc. doesn’t carry the name RizwanAkrem or RizwanAkram as being the active administrator. Instead, the record lists someone with the last name Rizwan as the company’s director—whose first name is entirely different.
All attempts to contact RizwanAkram (Akrem) using all the numbers connected to both spellings of the name were futile.
Right next to Can Dec Kitchen, the owner of the neighbouring business says different people have come in search of the contractor since the company closed operations in March.
A notice—dated March 19, 2019, just four days after Cole and Peixoto made their final payment for their kitchen—was posted on Can Dec Kitchen’s door from a Toronto law office stating that the lease for the Dunwin Drive location has been terminated due to failure to pay up $18,500 in rent.
After realising the scam, Cole and Peixoto called Peel Regional Police but were informed that this is a civil matter and they can file a lawsuit. The couple hopes that by letting the public know about their experience, other victims will come forward.
“This has been very frustrating,” said Cole. “It feels like our hands are tied behind our backs.”
A complaint has been filed against Can Dec Kitchen Inc. with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS), says Cole. The agency has also confirmed there is an existing complaint against the Mississauga company.
When it comes to home renovations, MGCS advice homeowners to ensure there’s a contract between both parties and homeowners should check for reviews or references before making any commitments. Hiring the best general contractor will essentially help your renovations run smoothly by finding the right contractors for the job and scheduling their work accordingly.
Now, four months after beginning renovations in their home, Cole and Peixoto are searching for a new contractor—though this experience has left them worried and with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
“We’re now way over budget,” said Peixoto.