RALEIGH, N.C. — A Raleigh decking company faces a dozen complaints and owes thousands of dollars in court judgments after customers said they forked over thousands in deposits but don't have any decks to show for it.
Homeowner Monty Monteith was among the seven who complained to 5 on Your Side about Dimensional Decking, owned by Phil Piurkoski.
Monteith hired Piurkoski in May 2006 and paid a $2,000 deposit on a $5,500 total. Over the next two months, however, Monteith could not reach Piurkoski, despite "multiple phone calls and e-mails. Multiple," he said.
"I understand if you can't get to your phone for a week because you're on vacation, but when you own a business, you need to be able to get back to people within several weeks regardless," Monteith said. "Especially when you're holding their money."
Monteith said that Piurkoski only returned a phone call once, so he took Piurkoski to small-claims court and won a judgment.
During that process, Piurkoski "never showed up. Never responded to the summons. Never responded to the lawsuit. Just took our money," Monteith said.
More than a year after hiring Piurkoski, Monteith saw 5 on Your Side's October story about Dimensional Decking on WRAL.com.
Paige Briggs and her husband also paid Piurkoski a $2,000 deposit and also don't have a deck to show for it. After 5OYS called Piurkoski in October, he met with Briggs, but she still does not have a deck.
Seven customers complained to 5OYS about Piurkoski, and 12 filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB gives Dimensional Decking an unsatisfactory rating.
Records show that courts have issued five judgments, totaling more than $19,300, against Piurkoski in the past 18 months. Six other judgments date from 1989.
When Piurkoski stopped returning 5OYS's phone calls, we went to his business, which he operates out of his home in north Raleigh. He was not there, but 5OYS has since talked to him by phone.
Piurkoski said he had a "lousy year," that he got "way behind schedule" because of "problems with crews" and that he should be "back on schedule by mid-March." He promised to refund Briggs $2,000 and pay Monteith his $2,000 in two weeks.
Piurkoski emphasized that he wants people to know he is “not a bad person” and reiterated that his work got delayed. He admitted that he could have done a better job communicating the delays to customers.
Monteith said he does not care what caused Piurkoski to get behind and only hopes that he will follow through with the promised refund.
"I don't care. We all have issues. We don't have to steal money," Monteith said.