Couple looks to ABC13 for help after contractor problem

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After a Harris County family hired a company to raise their home, they said there were warning signs they couldn't fix and turned to ABC13'S Ted Oberg for help. (KTRK)

After a Harris County family hired a company to raise their home, they said there were warning signs they couldn't fix and turned to ABC13's Ted Oberg for help.

When last year's Tax Day floods hit Darlene and Tom King's Cypress-area home, they knew it was time to make big changes. It was the second flood in five years.

"We thought, 'How about we lift the house?'" Darlene said.

They interviewed a few companies and chose Abry Brothers to raise their home nine feet.

"They said we needed to wire them $10,000 dollars to save the date."

They signed an agreement and wired funds the following morning, but tell us they asked for, but never got, the paperwork FEMA needed to pay for it.

"The only thing we had was the pencil drawing that he had on a piece of paper," Tom said.

A few days before the project was supposed to start, Tom said stop. He says he told Abry Brothers, "You give me my money back, and we'll both go our separate ways."

Abry claimed it handed over the FEMA documents and had told the Kings the deposit was non-refundable. The Kings deny both and showed us their signed contract, which says nothing about a non-refundable deposit. After months of trying to solve it without luck, the Kings called us and shared their extensive paper trail with Abry Brothers with us.

Abry Brothers' owner told us he didn't return the deposit because he'd already been billed by his suppliers for part of the job, even though the Kings canceled.

Mark Dimitrijevic said in a statement, "Two days before the work was to be performed, Mrs. King called and simply stated she is canceling... All communications ended without ever explaining what their plans were."

The Kings dispute that too and worked for months to resolve it. We asked numerous questions of our own, and Abry Brothers finally sent the full refund, which the Kings put into a new house -- this time on stilts.

ABRY BROTHERS FULL STATEMENT

"Abry Brothers Foundation went into contract with the King's to raise their home. After several meetings, an agreement was reached and all parties, including their contractor, were present at signature time where I reinforced the policies regarding deposit refunds, work expectations, reviewed scope and plan of work to be performed, etc. Michael, the salesman, explained in detail that the main reason for the non-refundable deposit is that so much materials and tools need to be purchased way in advance just for that specific job.

Two days before the work to be performed, Mrs. King called and simply stated she is CANCELLING and office manager insisted that she should speak to Michael, the salesperson, To understand their concerns. All communications ended without ever explaining what their plans were.

At the beginning, Mrs. King insisted that she NEVER canceled but that we never presented to do the work. Then she indicated that we didn't provide the documents necessary. After that she came up with another reason. So, it is evident that she is coming up with excuses knowing that they were "BREACHED OF CONTRACT" when she called in to cancel.

The below is the timeline of the actions between the Abry Brothers and the Kings. See below the information from the city of which states that we were told we could use the Open Flood Permit to do the work. Plus, the 811 call was placed and expedited prior to us beginning the work.

07/21/16 MR & MRS KING PLUS THE CONTRACTOR ALL MET TO SIGNED CONTRACT
THURSDAY w/ OUR INSPECTOR IN THE EVENING. FROM THE BEGINNING THEY WERE
INFORMED OF THE NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT

07/22/16 MRS. KING PROCESSED WIRE TRANSFER FOR DEPOSIT OF $10,000
FRIDAY WITH A START DATE OF AUGUST 01, 2016 -

THE APRIL FLOOD EVENT PERMIT WAS CONFIRMED ON THE 22nd THAT
IT WOULD COVER ALL REPAIRS. IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE 27th THAT WE
THAT WE WERE ADVISED ELEVATION WAS NOT COVERED. BY THIS TIME
WE WERE NOT SCHEDULED TO START WORK.

TEXAS 811 CALL TICKET # 1670448474 ISSUED THIS DATE

07/26/16 MRS. KING PHONED THE ABRY OFFICE AND SAID SHE IS CANCELLING THE
FRIDAY JOB AND I ASKED IF I CAN HAVE MICHAEL CALL HER. THE OFFICE MADE
MANY ATTEMPTS TO CALL BOTH MR. AND MRS. KING PLUS THE CONTRACTOR.
07/27/16 ABRY EMAILED MRS. KING TO ALLOW MICHAEL TO SPEAK WITH THEM IN
FRIDAY ORDER FOR US TO GET AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHY THEY CANCELLED.
MRS. KING EMAILED BACK SAYING THAT HER HUSBAND TOM AND
CONTRACTOR WOULD BE CALLING MICHAEL

Abry Brothers have always exceeded expectations and believes in providing our customers with higher standards and higher level of service. This is a very rare case that the customer had second thoughts and/or concerns and felt they had to come up with something so they would not be penalized for "BREACH OF CONTRACT".
Abry can appreciate your work and concern for the King's position but we made numerous attempts to speak with them and our intentions from the start had been to perform the work to the Kings satisfaction. From the beginning, I felt there was a great business relationship with the Kings but all of a sudden they became disconnected.
Abry Brothers has the cashiers check on hand and prepared to mail out. We are NOT a company who takes from nor mistreats our customers. Nor did Abry ever commit any Breach of Contract by not performing the work as Mrs. King indicated at first."

--- End of Abry Brothers Statement ---

Abry Brothers' asked ABC13 to post their website information to avoid confusion with a different Abry Bros. located in New Orleans. The Houston-based Abry Brothers involved in this story is www.abrybros.com.

Do you have a story tip, idea or question for Ted Oberg Investigates? Let us know, at abc13.com/tedstips
Report a typo to the ABC13 staff


Related Topics:
consumer concernsturn to tedreal estatefloodingCypress
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