Mitzi Treadwell-Green, of Hartford, said she is worried about winter after a service repair man stole her money and never repaired her furnace.
Her current furnace is old and she needs to get it serviced if it is going to continue to work through the winter.
"My biggest fear is not having my money so that I can fill my oil tank," Treadwell-Green said. "And have my furnace properly cleaned."
Treadwell-Green said the money that would have filled that tank was given to a contractor last November to replace her current furnace.
Treadwell-Green said she's not sure how much longer her current furnace will last. So, she put down a $2,000 deposit with Edward Dearborn of ERD Contracting, but she said he never did the work.
"No one has money to just give away," Treadwell-Green said. "Or just stand by and be ripped off by so-called contractors, that aren't contractors. They're thieves."
Treadwell-Green first called us in January, and Eyewitness News tracked Dearborn down. Dearborn said he had been sick, needed to catch up on orders, and would call Treadwell-Green right away.
"Oh my God, yes, I need to get a hold of her," Dearborn said.
However, Eyewitness News recently visited Dearborn and was greeted only by a barking dog. People at the horse stables where he used to work told Eyewitness News he left Hartford, and moved to Virginia.
"He told me that his business was dissolved," Treadwell-Green said. "And he didn't have to pay me."
Treadwell-Green said she had trusted Dearborn because he did work for her before. However, it turns out his contracting license had lapsed when she hired him last year.
Treadwell-Green cautions all homeowners to do their homework before putting any money down by doing the following items:
Check the license
Check the Better Business Bureau and attorney general's office for complaints.
If you feel you've been ripped off, it's important to file a complaint with the attorney general. Connecticut residents can contact the attorney general's office by clicking the following link, http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/browse.asp?a=2224.
Treadwell-Green said she's tried to be patient, but her next course of action is to take Dearborn to small claims court.
Treadwell-Green said she'll have to come up with some money to get someone else to fix the furnace.
"(A) real contractor that's really licensed and has a long history of good customer satisfaction," she said.
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