PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — All they wanted was to fix their homes, yet the company they hired took their money and never came back! Customers say it’s a pattern of deception and they want it stopped. Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has this warning.
I just wanted to ask some questions. But when I knocked on the door, only a family dog seemed happy to see me. I had questions from consumers like Francine Warring. She says, “Why do you want to rob me out of hard-earned money?” All Francine wanted was a reliable roof over her head. She says, “When the heavy rains come, it leaks.” But 11 months after paying a $1,000 dollar deposit to a company called Omega Window Systems in South Jersey to replace her roof, she says, “They did not do the job. Ninety percent of the time when I’d make a call, it goes to voicemail, and when they do call, they’ll lie and say they’re coming and they’ll never show up. Never.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney Says He'll Be Happy When He's Not Mayor Following Fourth Of July Shooting
Jupi Das knows the feeling. She handed over a $4,300 dollar deposit to Omega for a roof too. She showed 3 On Your Side mold and water marks that she says grew by the day while her family waited for the new roof. She says, “They said it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for it to be delivered.” But six months later she still doesn’t have a new roof. She says, “We cancelled our vacation, our wedding receptions, because every other week he would say ‘I’ll be next week’, they never showed up.”
“People work for their money and it’s not fair for people to just scam them and just take it,” says Carletta Mays. Last February she paid Omega Window Systems $500 towards new windows. According to Carletta, “It was some type of “deal.” But she says Omega took the money and never came back. She ended up hiring someone else. She says, “I normally check Better Business and I did not.”
In fact, Omega Window Systems has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau. 22 complaints were filed against the company in the past year. Complaints have been filed with the New Jersey Attorney General’s office too.
“This is an established pattern, and it’s criminal,” says Omega customer Vanessa Slocum-Williams. She went so far as to sue the company and its owner, Roderick Arce’ for windows she never received. She too had to hire another company to do the work. She says, “I had to pay again.” The court awarded her $3,355. But she hasn’t yet seen a cent. She says, “He’s been unresponsive to Better Business Bureau, to me, to the courts system.”
These four complaints alone add up to over $8,800 dollars.
After 3 On Your Side visited his home, Arce’ called to say he’d meet with me. But true to form he never showed up. Last Thursday his texted a message which said, “I’m stuck on a job because of weather right now.” Then while we waited him for on Friday he texted, “May have to run wife to hospital, let you know shortly.” We haven’t heard from him since.
In prior phone conversations with Arce’ he said refunds have been mailed out, yet customers say they aren’t delivered. Plus he says he’s never heard of some of the people mentioned in this report, yet those customers have text messages and voicemail messages that they’ve gotten from him.READ MORE: Sources: Authorities Investigating Whether 2 Police Officers Struck By Stray Bullets On Ben Franklin Parkway
Vanessa Slocum-Williams says “I’m glad that you know Channel 3 has been so responsive, because it doesn’t look like anybody else cared.”
We’ve learned that there is at least one active police investigation into the company. If you’ve given Omega Window Systems money and they failed to do the work, file a complaint with your local police department and with the Attorney General’s office.
NJ Attorney General:
PA Attorney General:MORE NEWS: Kyle Schwarber Homers Twice In Phillies' 11-0 Romp Past Nationals