Brian Ecker, a contractor cited in a 2007 lawsuit for defrauding area consumers of nearly $90,000, is again prompting a rash of complaints to the Better Business Bureau for failure to complete work or provide refunds.
Ecker, former owner of B&C Custom Pools, has recently been using the name Brian Thomas and operating a company called Buildings of Steel.
Consumers tell the BBB that they have paid Ecker sums ranging from $1,250 to $15,000 for construction work that has never been completed. The victims include a quadriplegic who paid $15,000 for a wheelchair ramp that was just 20 percent complete when Ecker quit working on it.
Consumers also tell the BBB That Ecker failed to refund money he was ordered to pay in the 2007 lawsuit in St. Charles County. A judge ordered the repayments and banned Ecker from the pool business as well as from accepting funds from consumers "in any commercial context whatsoever."
Today's BBB press release summarizes complaints filed recently against Ecker and Buildings of Steel.
The BBB has these tips for consumer to consider if they're planning to hire a contractor.
- Be cautious about hiring contractors through classified listings such as Craigslist. It is usually best to deal with a company in your area with a solid track record.
- Ask for references and contact them to learn about the company’s work.
- Make sure you have a signed, written contract, spelling out the work to be performed.
- Don’t be fooled by professional-looking websites and online testimonials. Such testimonials are easily fabricated.
- If you have any concerns about a contractor, ask to visit its offices or showroom to help assure yourself that it is a legitimate business.
- Do not pay the full contract amount until the work is completed to your satisfaction.
- Check BBB Business Reviews at www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.