(CINCINNATI)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a consumer protection lawsuit against a home appliance repairman accused of failing to deliver promised services to Cincinnati-area consumers.
The lawsuit accuses Terry Haynes, doing business as A Plus Appliance Repair, of violating Ohio consumer protection laws.
According to the lawsuit, Haynes offered home appliance repairs under the name A Plus Appliance Repair and also reportedly under the name Rescue Appliance. After accepting money from consumers, Haynes allegedly failed to deliver the promised services or did repair work that was shoddy or incomplete.
Twelve consumers have filed complaints, with reported losses totaling more than $5,000. In most cases, consumers said they paid for services they never received. In a few cases, they said the work was shoddy or incomplete.
“Most contractors are reputable and do a great job, but there are some people who just don’t finish the work they were paid to do,” Attorney General DeWine said. “In these cases, our goal is to protect consumers. We take action to try to get people their money back and prevent this from happening to other people.”
In the lawsuit, filed in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, the Attorney General seeks a permanent injunction to stop any violations of the Consumer Sales Practices Act and reimbursement for affected consumers.
Attorney General DeWine offered consumers the following recommendations to avoid potential home repair scams:
- Research contractors carefully. Don’t rely solely on online search results. Research the company’s name and the name of the owner or other individuals involved. Search for complaints filed by other consumers. Find out if the business name is registered with the Ohio Secretary of State. Keep in mind that some operators change business names regularly to make it harder for consumers to find their record of poor service. If possible, talk to previous customers to learn about their experiences with the contractor.
- Be wary if you’re asked to make large upfront payments. Some operators take a large down payment, do little or no work, and leave without finishing the job. Be skeptical if you’re asked to make a large payment before any work begins. If possible, pay in increments as the work is completed.
- Consider paying with a credit card, if possible. Compared to cash or check, paying with a credit card generally gives you greater ability to dispute charges if a problem arises.
Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.