Scott Benham, Inc Complaint - Promises trash removal - NOT!!

Review by Deb2963 on 2011-07-30
FITCHBURG, MASSACHUSETTS -- My husband and I were doing a cleanout of our basement. I called this guy who was advertised on Craiglist and in the Gardner MA newspaper who claimed that he takes anything and everything. I met him at my house so he can look at the basement and our backyard. He told me that he can do the job...2 truckloads for the outside and 2 truckloads for the inside. He was available that afternoon so told me that if I paid him for 1 truckload he will fill the truck and come back in a couple of days for the rest. I paid him but I had to return to work. When I returned to the house, I saw that he barely took anything.

Two days later, he arrived with his teenage and 11 yr old son. He told me that he can only do two truckloads and will come back the next day. He asked me and my daughter to bag the stuff that will be going but also indicated that he is going to have to add another trip due to the amount of stuff as it seemed more than he remembered. Mind you, I loaded 2 vans of stuff that I was keeping and brought to my new home.

He took all but 15 minutes to fill the truck both times and as me and my daughter were busy bagging...we failed to see if the truck was indeed full.

After he left we saw that he barely made a dent.

When he returned the next day, he called me and said very rudely 'Is someone going to pay me for this load I just did?'. My husband showed up which surprised him. Upon seeing that my husband was there watching, his sons continued to load the truck for 45 more minutes.

He came back the next day and my husband told him that he will pay for one more load but it alll has to be gone. Scott agreed.

He arrived without his sons the next morning. He asked my husband to pay him for the first load and he will do the last load for free. My husband told him that he will pay when it is all done. Scott mumbled something...got in his truck and left. When my husband called him and asked where he went, he said he gets paid by the load and will not take anything. He hung up on my husband. Then Scott called and said he will have a guy come and take the first load ... we can pay for that and Scott will come back for the rest. We told him that we will pay when the job was done. He hung up on us. Then he would not take our calls.

Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2011-07-30
Posted by T on 2011-07-30:
I had a similar experience with a guy that I called (without references) to deliver firewood. He came in a full-sized pickup, and had his grandaughter with him. Nice guy, but after two loads, and I stacked it, I determined I was being "shorted". When he arrived for the third load, I pointed out I had 2/3 of what he said he delivered. I got a measuring tape and calculator out and proved it to him. I paid him what I thought I should, plus slightly more. Naturally, he was not happy at all.

Moral of the story is, IMO, check people out carefully before using them, and WATCH what they do until you can trust them.

Posted by Nohandle on 2011-07-30:
I think many members could write a book about past experiences when they did what they thought was the right thing. They went ahead and paid before completion of the project and no one ever showed up again to finish. Ask me sometime about the recommended tree cutters I contracted with back whenever. I'm still sore about that one.
Posted by Old Timer on 2011-07-30:
Thanks for the review, maybe it will help someone else avoid some grief.

In California there is a state law that a legal state licensed contractor is not allowed to take more than a 20% deposit. The balance can be paid as the work is performed. The crooks and unlicensed contractors still find people to rip off everyday anyway. Many of the licensed guys will demand more of a deposit but by law you don't have to give it to them unless you want to. But then it's on you if they rip you off.

Solid referrals between friends can help keep the bad guys away. That has always worked for us anyway. And watch out for all the fluff on Craig's List, a lot of that are the contractors own reviews placed by employees etc.

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