A group of homeowners are frustrated with a website that listed glowing reviews for a contractor who is alleged to have left projects unfinished that clients paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for.
Karim Hajee is among homeowners who paid the GarCon Building Group to do renovation work on his home.
Hajee told CBC News that he paid more than $100,000 to the company, which has now closed.
Some GarCon clients have told CBC News they are taking the contractor to court. And some have called for police to investigate their claims.
Clients recently received an email that is believed to be from Adam Gardin, the company’s owner, in which he said GarCon grew at a rate that he could not manage. It indicated that he had “not defrauded anyone.”
Hajee and some other GarCon clients say they are upset with a website called HomeStars, which lists reviews of contractors.
“All the families that I have spoken and been in contact with said they relied on HomeStars,” he said.
The site listed an A+ rating for GarCon, along with multiple positive reviews.
“It’s highly unlikely that [the reviews] would all be legit and that’s the question that comes to mind now,” he said.
Nancy Peterson, the chief executive officer of HomeStars, said it’s possible that some false reviews slipped by. She said the site is making changes.
Peterson said that Gardin paid $150 a month for services that could include advertising on the site and having a hand in posting reviews.
Hajee said that information should be disclosed to HomeStars users.
“At least tell the end user that you’re doing that, you know, post that on the site,” he said.
Hajee said homeowners should rely on word of mouth when selecting a contractor.
Click on the video to see a full report from CBC’s Kate Adach.