A Guilford homeowner said he tried to put up a new shed in his yard, and now he's being ripped off. He said he never got the shed and now the company is keeping nearly $1,000.
Homeowner RJ Bunch recently had another shed built, but it's not the one he ordered from New England Sheds earlier this year.
Bunch said the ordeal started earlier this year when he called Demetrios Katras, the owner of New England Sheds.
"He knew everything about sheds," Bunch said. "Different versions, and brought pictures and took pictures of our house. We were trying to make a shed that would look like our house."
He said he placed an order for the custom shed and put down a deposit of more than $3,000. The shed was supposed to be delivered by the end of May, but that came and went.
By the middle of June, Bunch said, Katras started rattling off excuses.
"The driver got in an accident, the trucks are down, the windows were specialty windows and they couldn't find them," Bunch said. "They were taking longer than anticipated. It was just one delay after another. It continued for months."
Bunch said he started to question the company, so he started looking at reviews online.
"Others were having the same thing. They were promised a shed, their money was taken and there was no shed delivered," Bunch said.
By August, his skepticism was growing.
"They said that the windows were the hold-up," he said. "And I said, 'Either bring me the shed without windows and I'll complete the shed, or I'd like to get my deposit back.'"
But he said the company wasn't going for that. After numerous pleas for a refund, the company eventually returned part of the deposit but kept a $927 restocking fee.
"There's nothing to restock," Bunch said. "I don't think the shed was ever built. I asked to see the shed, they said I could go to the factory, but there was no factory."
Channel 3 Eyewitness News went to the business in New Britain, the same place Bunch said he was told he would find the factory. When the Channel 3 Eyewitness News crew got there, there was no sign of New England Sheds, and folks in the neighborhood said the business moved out of the area months ago.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News was able to get in touch with Katras, who was out of state.
"He signed a contract which included a clause which stated that because his purchase was a custom order, his down payment was not refundable," Katras said. "Instead I made an adjustment and gave him a portion back, but I left it open since I stated to him that I am awaiting legal advice if to sue him for the full cost of the shed."
Katras said they couldn't deliver the shed because Bunch never got a building permit.
Bunch said that's news to him.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News checked with the town, and there was never a permit issued for the property to build the shed.
"This was clear-cut," Katras said. "He just didn't want to pay the fees for the permits and didn't want to pay the taxes for the additional structure on their property."
But Bunch said that's not the case at all, and a building permit never came up in any of his discussions with Katras. At this point, he said he just wants all his money back.
"I don't think I'm responsible for anything," Bunch said. "I never got a shed."
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