WHNT NEWS 19 has urged people to do their homework before hiring a contractor. A New Market woman is learning that lesson the hard way. Kristina Bicigo is out of hundreds of dollars. She paid a contractor to make repairs to her home and has not seen him since.
Bicigo wanted someone to fix her garage door, shingles on her roof and paint the columns on her porch. She found the help when two men approached her. Bicigo was told the contractors were licensed, but made an unsettling discovery weeks later. She could clearly see the unfinished work, but could not find the contractors or her money.
"It was brand new. It was exciting. I think it is always exciting for your first house," said Bicigo.
Bicigo moved into her first home in December 2011. The excitement started to fizzle a few months later.
"There's been some struggles, that's for sure. You know, when the damage came through," added Bicigo.
An early March tornado hit Bicigo's New Market home.
"My garage door over here got beat up pretty bad during, there was some damage to a couple of my shingles and there was some minor painting that needed to be done on the column right there," added Bicigo.
Bicigo signed a contract with Precision Roofing & Restoration to fix it all.
"They started to fix it. They came out to do the shingles and paint the column," added Bicigo.
Chris Davidson and Travis Martin started the work. Davidson owns the company. Martin is Davidson's former employee. The two didn't see eye to eye.
"You got to watch him. He's a talker. He's a smooth talker. He knows what to tell you and how to smooth things over to make you feel comfortable," said Martin.
Martin quit the company a few weeks after starting the project. Bicigo started to see red flags around the same time.
"They started telling me they couldn't do the door, they ordered the wrong door and there was a problem with him and his employee," added Bicigo.
Work at Bicigo's home stopped after a few weeks. She's had a headache for months.
"It's very frustrating. You hire someone to do a job, you think they are local and they are licensed. You believe them and they just kind of run out on you," added Bicigo.
Bicigo tried contacting the workers, but could not find them. She also looked for the company's business license, but never found it. She decided it was time to get WHNT NEWS 19's Venton Blandin.
"I was actually watching the news one night and I saw a piece you had done that you had went after people who had done people wrong, whether it was a neighbor or contractor. I decided to give you a call," added Bicigo.
WHNT NEWS 19 made several several calls to two numbers listed for Davidson over the last several weeks. WHNT NEWS 19's Venton Blandin sent two emails to Davidson three weeks apart. WHNT NEWS 19 has not heard from Davidson by phone or through email. Martin has apologized to Bicigo.
"I've told her I would do anything I could to try to make up for it. I feel, in a way, responsible, but I did not take the money. He was the one to control all the money. He was the one the check was wrote out to. He controlled the money. I didn't have no say in the matter," added Martin.
Bicigo confirmed Martin's story. She said her issue is not with him. WHNT NEWS 19 checked with the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama to see if Davidson had a business license for Precision Roofing & Restoration. A spokeswoman for the BBB says she could not find records for the company or in Davidson's name.