On this past Tuesday, I agreed to have some cement work done on my home by a private contractor. His references were reputable and I agreed to the work without a contract
, he agreed. I gave him an advance of $1,100.00 for materials as he requested. He said he would be at my house at 0900 on the next day Wednesday to begin the project. Two big mistakes already I know.
On Wednesday at 0900 he was nowhere to be seen. He did not call, email or text me. Finally, late that afternoon I emailed him asking why he didn't show. I got no response.
I just figured he had gotten busy with another job and, as he seemed a "good" guy, he would probably show on Thursday morning. I was in no hurry for the work and in Bozeman, contractors are crushed with projects. However, I contacted the bank where he cashed my check and they said he had cashed it not 15 minutes after I gave it to him, paying a 10% fee because he apparently had no bank account in town. RED FLAGS No show for two days, he paid a $100.00 fee to cash the check and had not answered my texts, emails, or calls.
As I could not contact him by any means, I called the contractor who recommended him
to see if he knew where he was and told him I was going to see the Police as I, of course, suspected fraud. 10 minutes later my guy calls me with one excuse after another. At that point, I told him our deal was off as I didn't trust him to be reliable.
I ask him to return my money ASAP and I wouldn't give him any negative reviews. He was full of excuses and said he would start the work that afternoon. I told him no I can't be waiting around for him and am postponing the project. He hung up mad.
He called again later trying to make amends but I had had enough. He gave me the old song and dance about having already spent the money on materials. I said that's too bad but he could return them to the supplier if he was a valued customer.
Finally, after two other calls, I told him to send me a money order or cashier's check for the full amount. I told him to put it in the mail today Friday so that I received it in Monday's. mail. I told him even though we had a verbal agreement, consumer law allows three days for a change of mind and that I had met that requirement.
He called again arguing. I told that I was tired of all his shenanigans and should I not
receive the full amount by Monday, I was going to contact the Bozeman Police. I believe I am within my rights as he failed to meet his original obligation. I have a feeling that had I not contacted his friend who recommended him he would be long gone.
I don't feel he will return my money. Is the Police the best recourse or do you recommend another manner of making him pay me back? I would also like an opinion as to whether I am on solid legal grounds in canceling the work and requesting my down payment be returned. Thank you.