A man who police believe scammed Florissant residents into paying for roof repairs that were never made during the last several months is now in police custody and could face jail time.
Steven Robert Anderson, 35, who owns Griffin Roofing and Construction in Maryland Heights, is being charged with unlawful merchandise practice, a Class D felony, after police say he deposited a check worth $3,900 meant to serve as a downpayment for a roofing repair project and then never performed any work on the home.
According a a St. Louis County Police release, a Florissant man contracted with Anderson's company to repalce a roof on his house. After giving Anderson the downpayment, no work was ever performed and the man called Anderson's business—Griffin Roofing and Construction—in order to have the work performed or get a refund.
The man never made contact with Anderson.
Police believe Anderson's business is responsible for scamming several others in the St. Louis-area on both sides of the river.
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In October, 2012, the Better Business Bureau wrote a blog on Patch outlining an investigation of Griffin Roofing and Construction, which at the time had ties to companies and owners who have spawned complaints and government action in several states. Homeowners in Florissant and other parts of the area had complained about poorly executed repairs or a failure to do any work at all.
One Florissant woman paid Griffin $4,100 to repair her roof, but the major leaks developed after the job was completed, and the company has failed to make further repairs.
The BBB recommends that consumers check BBB Business Reviews before hiring any business. The reviews will show whether the company has a history of complaints and how those complaints have been addressed. Other tips for hiring contractors:
- Beware of possible scams. Watch out for contractors in unmarked trucks or for companies requiring advance payment. Don’t succumb to high-pressure techniques, such as notices that the price is good for one day only.
- Try to verify the company’s true identity. Get a business card and a physical location of the company. It is always better to deal with well-established businesses.
- Ask for references. Make sure the company that wants your business has satisfied other customers.
- Make sure you get a written contract in advance of approving any work. Read it thoroughly and make sure you understand everything before signing it.
- Be sure the contract includes a start date and a completion date for the work to be performed.
- Do not be coerced into paying for work that you did not approve. If you feel pressured or if a contractor will not leave your home when asked, contact police.
- Do not pay the full amount in advance of the work being completed. You may need to make a down payment in advance if there are materials that need to be purchased, but always wait to pay in full until the job is completed to your satisfaction.
For more information or consumer tips, go to the BBB website.