3 On Your Side

Senior citizen loses $300 trying to have flagstone cleaned

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

Susan Rufrano has a relaxing backyard, but it's her flagstone patio that's really bothering her.  

"OK, so as you can see, this is all flagstone that's been here since I got the home back in 2004," Rufrano said as she showed 3 On Your Side around her backyard.  

Rufrano said her flagstone patio just hasn't aged well over the past decade. It's flaking in some places, stained in others, and sand from the stone, she said, is a constant nuisance. In fact, she said it seems like she's constantly outside sweeping up sand. Rufrano thought it might be a good idea to get her flagstone patio repaired, cleaned and sealed. She started looking around for a company to have it done, and she thought she found one.   

Rufrano said the company she hired is called Arizona Soda Blasting, and the guy she dealt with is Steve Mocek. According to the invoice he wrote up, he was going to charge $1,400 to repair, clean and seal Susan's flagstone.   

Rufrano said she was instructed to make a $300 down payment to another company run by Mocek, called Southwest Stone Care. However, after accepting that money back in May, Rufrano said, nothing has been done to her flagstone patio, and she said she's been more than patient.   

"So, where are we at with this?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked Rufrano.  

"Where we're at is he's not answering my phone calls. There's always a voice mail saying, 'This is Steve with Arizona Soda Blasting. I'll call you back,'" Rufrano said. 

However, Rufrano said he never did.     

3 On Your Side got involved and went to Arizona Soda Blasting, which is located in south Phoenix. Their office was closed, but after leaving a business card and a voice mail, Mocek called us, saying that even though it's been nearly five months, he always intended to start Rufrano's job.   

Regardless, he agreed to return her $300 and hand-delivered her a check for $350. Mocek said he added an extra $50, just for the inconvenience.   

Rufrano said she never would have seen her money again without 3 On Your Side. In a letter to 3 On Your Side, Rufrano wrote: "I want to say thank you for recovering my deposit money. Gary Harper is definitely the person to go to when you feel you have no other option."   

3 On Your Side also wants to thank Mocek and his company for quickly getting involved and resolving the issue at our request. 

Arizona Soda Blasting sent the following statement:

"We deeply regret the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Ruffrano's job and the breakdown in communication that occurred regarding scheduling. Although Mrs. Ruffrano rejected offers to refund her deposit in favor of later scheduling, it is clear that a refund should have been issued when circumstances delayed her job far longer than expected. In the future, we will strive to better communicate with customers regarding scheduling issues.  In addition, we have been in contact with the Registrar of Contractors to clarify licensing confusion and to place our company in good standing with the state.

"We have resolved that the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Mrs. Ruffrano's job and the lessons learned from our errors will teach us to be a more responsible company serving Phoenix residents in the future."

-Arizona Soda Blasting

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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