Valley woman pays contractor $6,200 and then she says he vanished

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PHOENIX -- A Valley homeowner paid nearly $6,200 upfront to a contractor, but now she says she can’t seem to get a hold of him so she contacted 3 On Your Side to see if we could get a response and 3 On Your Side did.

The contractor is Tony Nichols and although he was a little surprised at our visit, he did stop what he was doing to talk to 3 On Your Side.

"I don't rip people off," he said.

Well, he claims he doesn't, but Sharon Becker isn't so sure. She hired Nichols, who owns a company called All Paint and Repair, in December to work on her Sun Lakes home. But after paying Nichols nearly $6,200 in advance?

"He didn't show up," Becker said. "I could not get a hold of him. I waited every single day thinking he was going to show up."

Now, for all that money Becker says Nichols was supposed to paint a couple rooms and replace two doors. But the big-ticket project Becker says was to remove the carpet from her bedroom and install some nice tile.

"I have been saving and I chose to do this rather than taking a trip," she said.

The doors were installed and the painting was done, but as for the big tile job, Becker says Nichols never returned.

"I have called him without exaggeration about 1,000 times and text him," she said.

Nichols claims to be a licensed contractor, but the license number on his Web site doesn't even belong to him, it belongs to someone else, which is illegal.

As for finishing Becker's project, Nichols maintains he would never consider abandoning her job after he was paid.

"I've never in my life taken money from somebody ever," Nichols said.

Tony Nichols says he got tied up finishing other jobs and admits he should have returned Becker’s phone calls.

"It's lack of communication on my part because I've been overwhelmed," he said.

Overwhelmed or not Nichols, says he's a big fan of 3 On Your Side and actually enjoys when we find contractors who took off with someone's money.

"I respect you guys," he said. "I'm glad you guys do that stuff. I sit there and I think it's funny. I feed off of that because there are so many people like that who rip people off."

But Nichols claims he's not that kind of guy and although it's been weeks since he stopped talking to Becker or working on her home, he promised 3 On Your Side over and over that he would return to finish.

Becker says she's not asking for too much. She paid more than $6,000 in advance for a job and she wants to know that Nichols will return to finish.

Nichols has one more room left to paint and, of course, he has the tiling that he promises to have done by late next week.

3 On Your Side will keep you posted on what happens.