KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — A New Braunfels roofing company is hit with dozens of complaints after not completing work. Customers said Bow Tie Roofing Systems signed contracts after some hail storms going back to more than a year, but work never started.
Cynthia and Kenny Felton’s roof was damaged after a hail storm in April of 2016. The couple made a deal with Bow Tie to get it repaired several months later. “I put my faith in some people that knocked on my door,” said Cynthia Felton.
Her husband researched the company and said he didn’t come across any red flags. “I checked on their status with the Better Business Bureau and they had an A+ and I thought that was good enough,” said Kenny Felton.
The Feltons’ are among a growing group who believe that ownership changes have cost them thousands of dollars, and they’re not alone. The Better Business Bureau has gotten 82 complaints against Bow Tie, investigators have confirmed at least 37 consumers have yet to get refunds or have the work completed.
A BBB spokesperson said they got an increase in complaints against Bow Tie in early 2016 following a series of hailstorms that impacted Central Texas. The BBB said consumers allegedly paid upfront fees for services without any work being done months later. Customers also had trouble reaching anyone with the company. The BBB said, “Bow Tie’s response to complaints typically consisted of an apology and an explanation that the delay and customer service issues were due to a backlog of contracts as a result of the hail storms and severe weather.” BBB investigators discovered that Bow Tie continued to take on new clients who paid upfront fees.
Bow Tie was sold in April to some of its employees. In a lawsuit filed against the original owners Jason and June Roberts, the new owners Jasmine Norris and her husband Joshua said, the sale of the business was a sham. The lawsuit said tens of thousands of dollars which the Roberts’ promised would remain in company accounts — disappeared. The suit goes on to say that money was being spent on personal things.
In a statement, the Roberts’ attorney says the Norris’ abandoned the backlog of roofs — and instead completed newer contracts, ultimately taking the money and walked away from the business. The statement also said, “They are greatly saddened by the situation of the homeowners and regret that the sale of the business allowed such a thing to occur. The sale was intended to help the homeowners by providing a more present management team but instead caused harm. Neither of the Roberts were aware at any time (either during or after the sale of the business) of any fraud or underhanded tactics being utilized by Bow Tie employee.”
Jeffrey Kelly, who represents the Norris’ said, “Since there is pending litigation naming the true party at fault, we cannot comment any further than to say that we maintain our client’s innocence, believe that the Norris’s will be exonerated of any wrongdoing, and hope for expeditious resolution for all parties involved.”
KXAN requested to speak with the previous and current Bow Tie business owners, but attorneys declined.
The BBB says just recently Joshua Norris started a new roofing company also in New Braunfels named R & R Company, LLC. and was looking for work after Hurricane Harvey. Their Facebook page has been taken down, but the BBB said it stated, “We are new to the area but not the roofing and restoration business!”
“I need to stop it,” said Cynthia Felton “I don’t want them to do this to anybody else.” The Felton’s are now hoping and pushing for criminal charges and are working with investigators in Bexar County. The BBB said victims have gotten an attorney and are filing a large class action lawsuit against Bow Tie.
The BBB has these tips to help consumers:
- Do your homework. Check with BBB before choosing a roofing contractor. Get referrals, compare price quotes, and confirm the contact information of the contractor you choose.
- Work closely with your insurance company on repairs. Make sure you understand how your homeowner’s insurance company will reimburse your repair costs. Before spending money, call your insurance company first to make sure all necessary procedures are followed according to your policy. If you do not follow your insurance company’s guidelines, you may be stuck with the entire bill.
- Ask about warranties. Warranties and workmanship are only as good as the company that stands behind them. Trustworthy businesses will offer information about how they plan to handle any repairs covered under their warranty, particularly if they are coming in from another area.
- Get everything in writing. Make sure all work is explained in the contract, including cleanup, waste disposal and start and completion dates. Any verbal agreements that were made should be included in the contract. Pay close attention to the payment terms, estimated price of materials, labor and any guarantees. You should also get a copy of the contractor’s insurance. Any changes to your contract should be done in the form of a change order. Be sure the contract includes a physical address and phone number of the contractor. If you can, visit the address.
- Beware of rogue contractors. In the wake of a storm, dishonest roofing repair businesses will solicit work, often going door-to-door in unmarked trucks. They may require advance payment or make big promises they won’t deliver on. A common sales tactic is to tell the homeowner that their roof is severely damaged from the storm, but that their insurance company will likely cover the cost. The homeowner is then required to sign a contract and make an advance payment. In many of these cases, BBB hears that the job is never completed and the insurance company does not cover the cost.
To check out a company and find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.