Family wants money back from contractor

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PEORIA -- A Peoria family says all they wanted was new windows, but instead they got one big headache.

The total paid for the windows is $1,400, but the Hernandez family says they never got what they paid for and had to buy the windows on their own and hire someone else to install them.

In the meantime, they want their money back from the first guy they hired.

Rosa Hernandez wanted to update her home.

"I wanted to put in new windows because the other ones were very old and cracked," she said.

"What she wanted was to fix her house so it could look nice," said Hernandez's daughter, Claudia Veray.

Veray says it took years for her mom to save for the window project.

"She just saved little by little and she said finally, 'OK, I can get my window," Veray said.

Hernandez contracted William Waite and his company, Simple Solutions, to do the job. And why not? He clearly states on his business card that he's a licensed, insured and bonded contractor.

So, Veray says her mom had no problem giving Waite money up-front.

"He said he needed money to first buy the windows so she gave him a deposit of $1,400," Veray said.

But after the windows arrived, Hernandez and Veray say they didn't look like what they had ordered.

"They put like a fake film on it and I told my mom I don't think they're new [windows]," Veray said. "They didn't re-do them so they took them back. He said, 'OK, we'll order them."

But months later, Hernandez and Veray say the windows never did arrive and they were forced to buy windows on their own.

"I said, 'OK, we'll buy the windows, just come and do the work,' since we had already paid him $1,400," Veray said.

Some of the windows, but not all of them, were installed. However, the few that were put in were reportedly installed wrong, and then they say Waite just stopped showing up altogether.

"I couldn't sleep," Hernandez said. "I went many nights without sleeping because of the stress."

Now, we went over to Waite's Phoenix home. Of course, we wanted to talk to him about this. But Waite didn't want to talk to 3 On your Side, so he sent out his girlfriend instead.

3 On Your Side stuck around, though, and eventually Waite did come outside.

"I'm not trying to avoid you, man," Waite said. "It's just this thing has become way out of hand."

Waite claims he's gone above and beyond, saying he did install most of windows but says that Hernandez kept changing her mind and was hard to please.

He claims he tried calling the Hernandez family several times to finish the job but says they never called him back and then after finding out they hired another contractor, he stopped showing up.

"I just want it over with so I can go about my business and not have to worry about this no more," Waite said. "I'd rather just be done with it."

Hernandez and her family say they just want it over with too. They say they just want their money back for what they claim is an unfinished job.

They're now hoping the Registrar of Contractors, which is currently investigating Waite, will slap him with a citation for claiming to be licensed when, in fact, he's not.

The Hernandez family says it's an expensive lesson.

"He saw how my mother and grandma live and he still stole money from them," Veray said. Waite says he didn't steal anything and he's so upset he tells 3 On Your Side he has called immigration on Hernandez and her family.

Hernandez tells us good luck with that because they are all legal citizens.

This all goes back to what 3 On Your Side advocates, verify that a contractor is licensed and hand over minimal money.