Last month I bought an old farmhouse in Zion Grove, PA ,out in the middle of nowhere. I decided to post an ad on Craigslist to find a roofer in the area that would give me an estimate on a roof replacement. I did some research so that I knew what the project required and what to look for in a contractor. Then the emails came in and I met with several contractors. I scheduled a meeting with one of the responders whose name is Nick Forte. Mr. Forte told us (me and bf) that he has a business in Delaware, but has relocated to Pennsylvania where his sons are living to set them up in business. He said the name of his company is APJ Home Repair Service. and that he is licensed in Delaware. He said he also works for Home Depot as a contractor for them, and he referred us to his website on Facebook Business to see photos of his work. On the Facebook website he had APJ Home Repair Services, Frederica Delaware, and stated that he would be relocating to Barnesville, PA. He also states on the website that “APJ is a home improvement company working with Home Depot to give you the best price and quality of work”. I also found APJ on Angie’s List, Thumbtack, and Redbeacon, AND found no complaint on the Better Business Bureau website. So I contacted Mr. Forte by email with additional questions concerning his license number and insurance. In email reply he gave me his license number and stated he was fully insured. We then arranged to meet again where he was to provide a contract and I would give him a check for $1500 for materials to get started. He said it would take two days for him and his “crew” to replace my roof. He gave me a form with an APJ heading on it and license number that listed the materials and cost of the job. We noticed that the contact name on the form was “Thomas Brown” with a phone number that was different. When we asked him about it he said, so casually that it was believable, that Thomas Brown was his former partner and they went their separate ways. After several weeks and one excuse after another, including that his father died, he finally went to the house to do work. He and his crew of three teenage boys worked about two hours after which he called and said his the roof needed repair (his crew put holes in the roof) and he would need $350 for plywood and 2×8 boards. I did not see what work (or damage) was done because I was not living at the house. So we met where he showed me some phone pictures of the holes and where I was to give him $350. But when I pulled out my checkbook he asked for $1850 since the roof was now torn off and he had the materials. SO I gave it to him. I then went to the house to see the work. Hardly anything was done, shingles torn off about 1/8 of the roof, and holes that were obviously done intentionally by force. Shingles and trash all over my yard because no dumpster was ever delivered as promised. I immediately contacted Home Depot, his “affiliate” and where he said he purchased all the materials, no purchase was made. We called Nick about this and he said he had to go to Lowes (we did not tell him we called Home Depot, only asked him where it was he said he bought the materials). Of course that was a lie too. He never purchased anything anywhere, which he admitted after we confronted him, but promised to make it ALL right. In the meantime I contacted my bank and cancelled the check for $1850. Forte came back one more time, again for two hours. We had told him he would not get more money until the roof was torn off. He did not realize my bank caught and stopped the second check, so he thought if he worked a couple more hours he would get the final check from me. He never came back. He ruined my roof, not mentioning he broke(and I mean BROKE) a window to gain access to my house, ruined all my gutters, and left all the torn off shingles and other trash on the grass in my yard. That same week I again checked the BBB. NOW, a complaint showed up where a man in Delaware was scammed out of $3700 from APJ the same week I hired him! I contacted Angie’s List, Home Depot, Thumbtack, and the Better Business Bureau, but really they do not want to help stop this man. I have lost about $5000 and there are no consequences for him. Now I do not have the money to start over. But I am doing everything I can to stop this criminal from scamming. I have filed with the Attorney General, and will be filing with the local magistrate. But you can’t get blood from a stone. Let this be a warning to everyone out there. Don’t believe Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, or the like. They do not check people out, all they do is check the same things you can check yourself online, BBB and state license. Same with Home Depot, I contacted them and they will do nothing to disassociate from him even though he uses their name. I contacted Thomas Brown, he said it is a case of Business Identity Theft; According to my phone conversation with Thomas Brown, owner of APJ, Nick Forte was his employee in Delaware but never a partner. Who can you believe? Only hire people you know, or have worked for people you know. The IS the only way to know who and what you are dealing with.
This complaint and/or review was posted on HolySmoke.org on 14:24 pm, July 11, 2017 (CST) and is a permanent record located at: https://www.holysmoke.org/scam/apj-home-repair-services-review/.
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