Window company takes man's money then takes off

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PHOENIX -- A Valley man says a window company by the name of Budget Windows and Doors took his money and then took off.

So he contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

We're not talking small change here. We're talking $3,000. That's how much money Bob Harris handed over for windows.

But in the end, he received nothing. So, 3 On Your Side caught up with the man who took the money. Harris likes his home, but he thought it was time to change all of his windows to double pane.

After shopping around, Harris settled on a company owned by a guy named Mark Wilson.

"He was very personable," Harris said. "He was a nice guy, played with our dog and, you know, a typical salesman, but he seemed honest at the time."

Harris says Wilson took window measurements and then asked Harris for $3,000, half of what the job would ultimately cost.

Harris says Wilson requested the check be made out to him personally, not the company.

"He says it would take four to six weeks to be fabricated," Harris said.

But four weeks came and went and Harris could no longer get a hold of Wilson.

"I called his cell phone and it was no longer a working number," Harris said. "At that point, I was really concerned."

So, Harris contacted 3 On Your Side and the first place we went was Wilson's business, which was completely empty.

It looks like Mark Wilson cleaned out his business and left absolutely nothing behind. It's completely wiped out.

Well, he did leave something behind. It's a decal saying what a great business he is with the Better Business Bureau. Really? Try telling that to Harris.

We also went to Wilson's home where his wife told us through the door we're not the only ones looking for her husband.

She says a lot of customers have come by knocking, looking for either their windows or their money.

After our visit, Wilson called 3 On Your Side, saying he owes around $20,000 to customers and vendors and that he's "tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul," so he's filing bankruptcy.

That's not good news for Harris.

"My wife always says I don't trust people and I think that basically at this point I have a lot less trust than I had in the first place," he said. Because the company was licensed with the Registrar of Contractors, Harris may recoup his money through their recovery fund.

But this is the reason I always advocate never handing over money upfront because that company may be in business today and out of business tomorrow.