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Homeowner learns $1,100 contractor lesson

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Valley homeowner says he was ripped off for $1,100 when he hired an unlicensed contractor.

Brian Gladieux and his wife enjoy their Sun City home, but they're tired of the ever-increasing electricity bills that come with an older home.

“This is the old-style window,” Gladieux said as he was showing us around his home. “It's from the 1960s, double pane. Not very energy efficient at all."

Gladieux says they do what they can to keep costs down, even if it's not quite appealing, like putting up tinfoil in some windows. "We're on a budget right now. Our electric bill is like $160 a month, so we're trying to lower that as much as we can. Tinfoil is over this window just to keep the heat out."

So, the couple recently decided to upgrade a few things, like installing new energy-efficient windows. But they didn't stop there. They also wanted to put in new security doors so they can enjoy the weather when it cools down. That's when they came across a guy by the name of Patrick Neil. "Oh yeah, he said for the windows it would take three or four hours to do and he would have the windows replaced, no problem," said Gladieux.

The couple gave Neil a check for $1,100 to start the $2,100 project. For that, they say Neil installed one window and did some other minor work around the house. But then, he never showed back up again. “My wife has text-messaged him like 80 times, and nothing," Gladieux said.

3 On Your Side got involved but soon found out Neil has next to no information available. The address he gave on that handwritten invoice doesn't even exist. 

As for the $1,100 check he got, Neil had to have someone else endorse it so it could be cashed at that person's bank. Our many phone calls to Neil’s only known number were never returned and neither were our text messages. And as far as the name "Patrick Neil," it's too common of a name to pin point the right "Patrick Neil."

Gladieux says it's a shame he handed over so much money to Neil.

Remember, all consumers should:

-Check to make sure the person is licensed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

-Always ask for references and check them out.

-And try not to hand over any money up front.  

"I just don't understand how people lie and cheat and you know, it just amazes me," Gladieux said.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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