Consider pulling plug if contractor delays over medical issues

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A Laveen woman says a contractor she hired disappeared after claiming to have medical problems. She says she struggled with how to proceed when presented with this awkward situation.

You want to be sympathetic to an illness or injury but how do you even know the contractor is telling you the truth? Remember, you are conducting a business transaction. If you're told the job will be delayed due to a medical issue, you might want to ask for a refund right then.

Diane Friday got tired of manually moving a backyard fence that keeps smaller animals away from her horses. She drew up her own design and hired JBC Metal Works to build her a gate. She says she paid the contractor, Jasper Bowman, half of the $1,400 job up front.

"He wouldn't send me anything on the progress, and usually if someone is up front with you, there will be some update," Friday said.

Jasper Bowman's Facebook page is loaded with pictures of his work with JBC Metal Works, but Friday says she couldn't get him to provide any of her job in progress. After the four-week window to do the job had passed, Friday says Bowman called about an unexpected surgery.

"Couldn't lift anything and if we would mind delaying the delivery of the gate for another two weeks and I said, 'That's fine,'" Friday said.

But Friday says the delays went past two weeks with no response to calls or texts. Then she heard from a friend of Jasper Bowman's.

"He had re-ruptured himself and he had an allergic reaction to the medications," Friday said.

When Friday asked for a refund of her $700, she says Jasper Bowman stopped all contact with her. She had a friend call him pretending to be a new customer.

"And he was on the phone, I was listening in, nothing appeared to be wrong with the gentleman," Friday said.

Friday says Bowman told her friend he could come out right away, that he'd bring pictures, that he could finish the job in four weeks and that he'd need half the money up front. That was the same story he told Friday. It doesn't sound like someone with a medical issue that is keeping them from performing work.

CBS 5 News talked to Bowman. He would not discuss the nature of his alleged medical issue but he did promise to return the $700 he took from Friday by a specific date and he did not. Jasper Bowman broke his promise to both Friday and CBS 5 News and we, therefore, warn Phoenix-area consumers about doing business with him or JBC Metal Works.

Bottom line: Act quickly in asking for a refund when medical issues cause a delay with a contractor.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Dave CherryCBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry works to resolve your consumer problems and protect your money. If he can't help, he'll do his best to point you in the right direction.

Click to learn more about Dave.

Dave Cherry
CBS 5 Advocate

Dave was born and raised in Philadelphia and considers himself one of the biggest Philly sports fans. At 6-feet, 5-inches, he's probably right! Dave started on a different career path before fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news and helping consumers. Dave graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; he later earned an MBA degree in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dave also spent ten years as Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for two of America's leading real estate franchise companies. Dave started his 21-year news career at WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as news anchor and reporter, then moved to KOLD in Tucson, as the morning news anchor. From Tucson, he went to KRON in San Francisco as a freelance news reporter before moving east to COMCAST in Philadelphia as a general assignment reporter. In the fall of 2003, Dave moved west and joined KPNX in Phoenix and spent nine years as the station Call for Action Consumer Reporter. Through his on-air advocacy work in 2011, Dave and his team were able to help consumers save more than $1 million. Dave joined CBS 5 News as our CBS 5 Advocate in December 2012. Dave is a vegan and likes to eat the amazing vegan food prepared by his lovely wife, Carmen. Dave's also a big Bruce Springsteen fan (he's seen more than 70 shows!), the man who inspired him to learn the guitar. Besides playing many of the boss' songs, Dave writes and sings his own songs and recorded a CD of original music.

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