5 On Your Side

Customers say contractor took money but didn't finish projects

Posted March 9, 2009

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— A contractor previously investigated by 5 on Your Side has run into more legal trouble and garnered more complaints from customers who say he took their money but didn't do the projects.

Ricky Stacy_02 Contractor garners customer complaints

A dirty, dusty hole in Debbie Dunkley's basement was supposed to be a finished workroom.

"It was the most expensive hole I've ever paid for. It cost me $3,900," Dunkley said.

To do the job, she had hired Rick Stacy, owner of Customized Contractors, previously named RPS Contracting and RPS Builders.

"There were blatant lies and just not turning up, and I've heard every story known to man," Dunkley said.

Dunkley said that Stacy told her he couldn't work because his mother was sick, his daughter was sick, a worker's relative died – and then he was in jail.

"His mother called me the first time he went to jail and asked me if I would lend him $3,500 because they couldn't quite find the rest of his bail money. And she would have to pawn an extremely expensive watch valued at $12,000," Dunkley said.

Dunkley called 5 on Your Side after seeing its January story involving Stacy and another customer, Nancy Welsh.

"He has an excuse list longer than the (Great Wall of) China. It goes on forever. (Excuses) just flow like water," Welsh said.

Welsh paid Stacy $9,000 on a $12,000 job to build an addition. He never finished it. At one point, rain poured into the existing home because of how he left the project. Another homeowner who paid $5,500 said that Stacy tore the siding off his house and left.

So far, 5 on Your Side has heard from 11 people who say that Stacy took a combined total of more than $83,000 from them but never the finished his work.

In January, Stacy told 5 on Your Side that he "underbid" for jobs and couldn't complete them for what he charged.

Stacy has a long court record showing arrests in both Johnston and Wake counties. He has faced multiple charges of forgery and writing bad checks, as well as taking money without doing work.

At a recent arraignment on drug charges, Wake County Assistant District Attorney David Sherlin told the judge that he is also looking into cases involving Stacy's contracting work.

"(He) would go to one job and get a check and do some or none of the work, then got to another job, get a check, do some or none of the work – that process just kept going and going," Sherlin said.

After the arraignment, Stacy's attorney Robert Hedrick said he had "no comment."

While the case goes through court, Stacy is free on a $106,000 bond. In his Johnston County cases, he was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $10,000 each to two companies to which he wrote bad checks.

As for Stacy's other customers, they say they want their money back, although they doubt they'll see a penny.

13 Comments

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  • swimfast Mar 11, 2009

    I work for a contractor and you should certainly get multiple estimates and check references and insurance. We do require a deposit prior to work commencing. We have been burned by customers who have not paid in the past when the work was completed. The deposit should not be substantial as it was in this case.

  • itsnotmeiswear Mar 11, 2009

    Don't just trust the certificate of insurance, call the carrier or agency and make sure they are current on their premiums.

    A contractor expecting a customer deposit in itself is not a problem. It's a good business practice. Be wary when they need something exceeding 25%. They are probably at best using your money to finish another job.

  • WRALblows Mar 10, 2009

    These people will never see their money. He snorted it.

  • JJJ919 Mar 10, 2009

    I agree that everyone should do there homework when hiring someone to do a job. But c'mon, why does everyone always blame it on the parents? Do you know how he was raised Animal Lover? My guess, probably not. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

  • skylar Mar 10, 2009

    There is a guy in Wilson that has done the same thing. Has been arrested twice and still out working. they set his bail way to low. It has been continued twice in court. I am one of his victims. and yes I got references. Just didn't get the right ones.

  • juppinjack Mar 10, 2009

    Forget references....hire reputable companies that don't need to be paid up front...if his business is such that he can't make enough to front his own work...must be a problem!!

  • Johnny Da Lounge Mar 10, 2009

    The law should regard this activity as grand theft. Make the penalty higher. Maybe that will deter scumbags from doing this type of thing. Where are you at, Government? No wonder people people take matters into their own hands. I know I would. Probably wouldn't see that guy walking around, anymore. Look out for us, right!

  • XARABELLE Mar 10, 2009

    I totally recommend Solid Builders from Cary, NC. They are wonderful!

  • Rolling Along Mar 10, 2009

    Also if you ask for references, get them, check them out. FWIW we had one clown that gave references; I am guessing he figured we wouldn't check them. First one was not a happy customer and wanted to know where the guy was, second and third one had no clue who he was.

  • tooter9565 Mar 10, 2009

    People do your homework do not assume all people are hardworking and honest. If the price sounds to good to be true well, as usual it probably is and be sure to read the contract.

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