HAS THIS HAPPENED TO YOU? Let us know.  One Broome County woman tells her story below.  While there are many good, responsible contractors out there, some are bad actors who cause enormous trouble and expense for homeowners.  Please add your comments below if you have had a similar experience. It’s time to get the message out, and to do something about it.

In 2006, when my house with wood shingles needed painting, I chose instead to have it vinyl sided.  I ended up choosing an independent contractor who’d been recommended by close friends.  It was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made!  Even now as I write this, it brings back the emotional upheaval it caused in my life.

In hindsight, I was too trusting and gullible, allowing this con artist to bilk me out of thousands of dollars.  Periodically, he asked for various amounts of money to buy supplies, which I foolishly gave him-something I never should have done.

Work began in the fall of that year.  I soon realized the work was not right, the siding was going on the wrong way.  Then he “disappeared” over the winter, leaving the scaffolding up in my driveway.  This prevented me from parking in the garage for a rather lengthy period of time that included over the winter.

In an effort to recoup at least some of the money, I’d paid the contractor, I engaged the services of my attorney who attempted to locate the guy.  When he finally did, the contractor was in jail.  I did some of my own investigating and did find the name of another woman who’d had a similar experience with this contractor.  This woman, an intelligent person with a supervisory job having to do with finances, had lost much more money than I had.

I certainly believe that something should be done to protect us from incompetent workers and unscrupulous people who manage to evade laws and abscond with large amounts of money.