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Metro West Painting Complaint - Fraudulent Contractor

Review by Anonymous on 2004-08-09
MAYNARD, MASSACHUSETTS -- Re:
Dino DiStefano
Metro West Painting
738 Main Street
PMB 196
Waltham, Ma 02451
508-722-0078

On May 2, 2004, my wife and I entered into an agreement with Mr. Dino DiStefano of Metro West Painting in order to have our house painted. The contract included replacing 89 sq feet of damaged clapboards in addition to the painting, as proposed by Mr. DiStefano. The contract totaled $5000 and we paid a $3000 deposit via check made out directly to Mr. DiStefano.

On July 15, Mr. DiStefano prepped the house by power washing it and removing shudders. He called us and spoke with my wife the next day to let us know that, only after power washing the house, his carpenter had found extensive damage to the clapboard as well as the plywood underneath. He informed us that he now needed to replace almost 1200 sq feet of clapboard and replace the plywood underneath. His intention was to replace both sides of our house. He said if we did not do this work he would be unable to honor his warranty and would refund $500 off the price of the original quote to compensate us for that. He said that are options were:

1. Have Metro West do all the proposed work,
now quoted close to $10,000
2. Have another contractor do the carpentry
work and Metro West would paint the house
3 Have Metro West paint and replace the 89 sq
feet of clapboard as specified in the
original contract. Mr. DiStefano told us
that he would no longer be able to honor the
warranty in this case.
4. Cancel our contract with him.

After meeting with other carpenters to discuss the additional work, we decided to cancel our contract with Metro West Painting. When I informed Mr. DiStefano via phone he was very understanding and offered to refund our entire deposit. He requested a formal letter from us that he needed to produce to his insurance company to get his insurance binder refunded. The letter was dated 7/27/04. A few days later we received his reply (attached) in which he refused to cancel our contract and return our deposit.

After further research of our rights on the Mass Attorney General’s consumer protection website we learned that the contract contains violations of state regulations. The company claims in to be licensed in their advertisement, however the license number was not included in the ad or in the contract. The contract also does not include a physical address for the company. In addition, the deposit was for more than 1/3 of the cost of the original contract.

We are requesting your assistance in securing our deposit from Mr. DiStefano given that the terms of our original contract are no longer valid. We appreciate any help you can provide in this matter.
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