Construction company accused of taking military family's money, not doing work
Family waited weeks for roofing work to be done, I-TEAM efforts prompt refund
CALLAHAN, Fla. – A military family that waited weeks for a construction company to do the work they had paid for now has relief, thanks to the I-TEAM.
Candace Adams and her husband live in Callahan, with their 8-month-old child. The roof on their home was falling apart and they got three bids from companies who might be able to replace it. Tight on money, they selected the lowest bidder, VQuest Construction.
VQuest quoted the Adams family $9,350 for the job, and required a 50 percent down payment to cover supplies. It was a stretch for the couple to scrounge together the needed $4,675 since insurance did not cover the replacement.
“We are both hard-working citizens,” Adams said. “My husband works for the U.S. Navy and I work as a veterinary technician.”
Adams wrote the check to VQuest on July 20, and two months later, still did not have a new roof.
“What about supplies?” asked the I-TEAM. “No, we haven’t seen him since,” Adams replied.
“It was excuse after excuse. ‘We have to have two dry days in a row and we have these jobs that we have to catch up on,’” Adams recalled. “So we would send him pictures – ‘Hey, the weather is looking good, can we do it this day?’”
Adams said her check was cashed immediately. When the rest of July and all of August went by – seven weeks in all – and no one showed up, Adams and her husband just wanted their money back.
The couple made that request Sept. 7, and was told they would get their money back in seven to 10 working days. After those days came and went with no refund, Adams contacted the I-TEAM.
We learned that the owner of VQuest Construction, Shane Kevin Clement, is in trouble with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations. Clement’s roofing and contracting licenses were suspended last year, and again last month, after two other homeowners complained about work to their roofs. His licenses are now on probation.
The I-TEAM also discovered that VQuest Construction has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau, which cites a “pattern of failure” involving other roofing complaints.
Also, when we called the Nassau County building department, we were told a roofing permit had not even been requested to replace the Adams’ roof.
When the I-TEAM went to check out the company’s business address, we found not an office building, but a home – belonging to company president Shane Clement. We also found Clement working for a different roofing company, not the business he owns.
I-TEAM: “Mr. Clement, my name is Jennifer Waugh with Channel 4. I have a contract here that your company signed with Candace and Robert Adams up in Callahan.”
Clement: “They’re getting a refund. They’ve been told that.”
I-TEAM: “And why has it taken two months?”
Clement: “It hasn’t taken two months. They signed a contract in July.”
I-TEAM: “Well, to get the refund, they asked for a refund.”
Clement: “It’s been the weather. It’s a steep metal roof and it took us forever to get there and they decided they were unhappy, we decided to give them their money back.”
I-TEAM: “OK, now you did tell them 7-10 days, two weeks ago, so you can understand why they don’t believe that.”
Clement: “Sure, I understand I don’t think it was two weeks ago, I think it was last week.”
I-TEAM: “So you’re telling me now, that you absolutely guarantee that you’re going to return them $4,675?”
Clement: “Promise, next week.”
The I-TEAM took Clement at his word, and 13 days later, Candace Adams received her refund for $4,675 – money she paid for roofing supplies nearly 12 weeks ago, and never received.
“Oh my God, thank you so much!” Adams said to I-TEAM reporter Jennifer Waugh. “I got my money back because of the I-TEAM.”
Clement did email the I-TEAM after we spoke with him, reiterating that there was too much rain for him to replace the Adams’ roof, and insisting there was no ill intent. Thursday morning, he sent a third email, with a letter responding to the I-TEAM’s story and inquiries regarding the work to the Adams’ roof.
Clement said he regretted the delay they experienced, and cited extenuating circumstances, stating that they had a steep roof, and wanted to replace the shingles with a metal roof. Clement explained that because of an unusually wet summer, and the nature of the job, they needed a two to three day window of dry weather in which to complete the job. Clement stated that information was passed along to the customer.
Clement also sent the I-TEAM a copy of a mediation letter from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations. Candace Adams filed a complaint against VQuest Construction. According to the letter, now that VQuest has returned Adams’ money, her complaint is satisfied and she does not want to pursue the complaint further.
The I-TEAM has also discovered, it appears someone else is also using Clement’s licenses, which again, are currently on probation. The I-TEAM found a company named “Roofing Professionals of Florida” advertising for business on Facebook. It lists a business address and two state license numbers, all of which trace back to Shane Clement, even though his name does not appear as a point of contact anywhere on the company website.
The I-TEAM did call Freddie Reinwald, who was listed as a contact on the company Facebook page. Reinwald would not answer any of our questions about why his name and the company are using someone else’s licenses. He hung up on the I-TEAM when we asked for comment.
Most of the complaints sent to our I-TEAM involve homeowners, like Candace and Robert Adams, who pay deposits for work that is either never started or not completed. Here’s what you should know to protect yourself:
- Never pay for work not completed, ie: deposits.
- Google the company, owner, worker’s name. You would be surprised what you can find with a simple internet search.
- Search the Better Business Bureau website for any complaints filed against the company you are thinking about hiring
- Search the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's website and type in the company or owner’s name to check if the company is licensed and if any complaints have been filed against it or its owner.
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