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'I don't think I've ever felt this cheated': Jefferson County man says local business took down payment, never performed work

A full year later, Jim Creswell still doesn't have a garage, and has since sold his house, so he asked for his money back.

FESTUS, Mo. — More than a year after spending big money on a new garage, a Jefferson County man said he's tired of waiting for construction to start and he wants his money back.

When Jim Creswell wanted to build a garage, he settled on M&P Nursery in Winfield for one reason.

"I like the place that was local versus one of the national places that was a little harder to deal with,” Creswell said.

April 9, 2021, the two sides struck an agreement for just over $12,000.

"I put down 20%,” Creswell said. “$2,600."

According to the contract work was supposed to be finished in 5-7 weeks.

"No shed a year later,” Creswell said. “He claimed that the steel companies weren't manufacturing the heavy gauge frame material required by the building."

A full year later Creswell still doesn't have a garage, and has since sold his house, so he asked for his money back.

"That's when he told me he wouldn't refund the money,” said Creswell.

A quick search online shows similar stories on M&P Nursery's Facebook page, and the Better Business Bureau website where the company has received an F-rating.

"I have never seen anyone with an F-rating,” said Creswell. “I find it very suspicious that so many people are claiming the same problem."

5 On Your Side emailed, called and texted the owner of M&P Nursery, but he has yet to respond.

"I don't think I've ever felt this cheated,” said Creswell.

The contract Creswell signed with M&P states explicitly there are no refunds on down payments.

"I don't know if that's legal or not,” said Creswell.

We reached out to attorney John Lynch to clarify if such language is binding.

"He's entitled to a refund,” said Lynch. “It is not legal to take somebody's money under the guise of a contractual obligation but not perform under that contract. Otherwise we would do that to each other all the time."

"He didn't meet his agreements of building in 5-7 weeks,” said Creswell. “He didn't build within an entire year. Visa has conditionally returned the money to me, but they are now going after him. Just be careful and watch who you're dealing with."

A spokesman from the Better Business Bureau said any time you make a big purchase you need to do what Creswell did and get everything in writing.

It's also important to use a credit card for big purchases since you can dispute any charge.

This story came from a 5 On Your Side viewer. If you would like to pitch a story you can email Holden at hkurwicki1@ksdk.com or text us at 314-425-5355.

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