Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Carmel on the Case: Roofer Nightmares
A promising record and a convincing slogan. That's all it took for some local residents to spend thousands of dollars on a roofing repair company. But one year later, these homeowners still have holes in their homes and in their wallets. Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero explains in tonight's Carmel on the Case.
WSVN -- Hurricane Francis hit Florida last year. And Jamison Roofing started signing up new customers shortly thereafter. With the slogan "Jesus Saves" on everything from its trucks to its contracts - customers thought they were in good hands.
Ralph Restive: "Uh a religious person? You can't go wrong. You know that was a very big factor in my signing the contract."
But now those same customers say they are out thousands of dollars.
Ralph Restive: "Yea, that was my nightmare. It was coming in here like a waterfall."
Ralph Restivo paid Jamison Roofing last April. It was a fifty percent deposit of three thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars.
Carmel Cafiero: "And what have you gotten for your money?"
Ralph Restive: "Uh…absolutely nothing, to this point."
Widow Bev Hutching also says she paid Jamison for hurricane repairs and got nothing in return. She wrote a three thousand dollar check back in January.
Bev Hutching: "Nobody has been out and I've called them and they said not to be bothering them."
Angelo Cacopardo also had damage - and also paid a deposit last November. After he wrote the three thousand four hundred twelve dollar check - he says no one ever came back.
Angelo Cacopardo: "I think it's disgraceful. I've never paid for anything in my life and not gotten anything in return - especially that kind of money."
Carmel Cafiero: "And when customers couldn't reach anyone on the phone, they came here, to the office. Here's what they found - a locked door and the Jamison Roofing sign on the ground."
There was no one to answer any questions at the Boca Raton office. The Better Business Bureau says the company only had one complaint in the last twenty years - until now.
Brodie White: "Sixteen - seventeen - and that's in just the last two weeks."
At the the BBB the complaints are coming in daily. The claims - Jamison took deposits and did no work.
Carmel Cafiero: "What does that say to you?"
Brodie White: "It sounds to me like they've taken the money and run."
State records show Norman Frey as the company's representative and major stockholder. When we went to his address in Alva, Florida we found a open mailbox with mail for Jamison Roofing inside and an empty lot. The only one home was a gator..and he wasn't talking.
Neither was Jerry Deneen - a former corporate officer.
Carmel Cafiero: "There are a whole lot of folks."
Jerry Deneen: "I have no comment. No comment."
Carmel Cafiero: "What happened to this company?"
Jerry Dineen: "It's - no comment. I was an employee that's all."
Carmel Cafiero: "You were down with the state as the president, your wife as the vice president."
Jerry Deneen: "I'm sorry - that's it."
A few days later Deneen and his wife Cheryl were in small claims court. Len Weiselman - a former salesman for Jamison Roofing - is trying to collect back pay. The judge put the case off for 30 days to give him a chance to find Norman Frey so he can join the Deneens as defendants. In the audience - more victims. This couple says they paid 13 thousand dollars.
Matthew Murrin: "And we've been chasing them ever since to get the roof. A lot of excuses, a lot of reasons and basically at this point - no work's been done."
Kurt Eismann: "Within the last month or so we've got a number of complaints."
Kurt Eismann is the Director of Contractor Certification for Palm Beach County. He says complaints to his department number 15.
Kurt Eismann: "Currently we are looking at it for the civil violations of licensing law and it may be turned over to the state attorney for criminal prosecution."
Meanwhile customers who were first impressed by the "Jesus Saves" slogan are not anymore.
Bev Hutching: "And I'm sorry but I'm sure Jesus doesn't like this, OK?"
If you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE