ELYRIA — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has sued a Lorain landscaper in county Common Pleas Court for allegedly performing shoddy work and failing to deliver services, ripping off customers who now want more than $37,000 in refunds.
Attorney General Dave Yost announced the lawsuit Monday. It alleges that Master Landscaping Sprinklers LLC and its owner, Alejandro Sanchez, violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Home Solicitation Sales Act.
“Rip-offs like this are every homeowner’s nightmare,” Yost said. “This guy took money from trusting clients but delivered nothing but an empty wheelbarrow of promises. Now he’ll have to answer for it in court.”
Yost’s office has received four complaints against the business from consumers who are requesting refunds totaling $37,200. The complaints allege shoddy work, incomplete projects and damage to property. In one case, Sanchez is accused of taking payment for a project he never started, while in others he was asked for refunds but refused to provide them.
Sanchez offers home improvement services, including patio replacement, lot grading and landscaping. His company is registered with an address on West 23rd Street in Lorain.
The lawsuit requests an order preventing Sanchez from engaging in further customer transactions until he pays restitution to victims, in addition to civil penalties.
Yost reminded consumers to take the following steps before signing a contract for home improvement services:
- Review any complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office or Better Business Bureau.
- Make sure you receive notice of your right to cancel a door-to-door sale. Contractors generally cannot start working until the three-day “cooling-off” period ends.
- Get written estimates from several contractors before making a final decision.
- Check to make sure that the written contract includes any verbal promises, the start and end dates, and an itemized list of all significant costs, labor and services.
- Be wary if the contract requires a large down payment or requires that you write a check directly to the contractor instead of his or her company.
- Check with the Ohio Secretary of State to confirm that the business is registered properly.
Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive business practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at (800) 282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.