LAKE ST LOUIS, Mo. — A St. Charles County man said his dream home has quickly become a nightmare.
Drew Stevens of Lake St. Louis reached out to 5 On Your Side after he paid a contractor an advance for work that was never completed.
“We bought a home that needed a lot of tender love and care,” said Stevens. “The theology was that it’s probably going to take 3, 4, or 5 months to get everything rocking and rolling.”
His contractor got right to work, but COVID-19 knocked him out of commission in November, so Stevens sought outside help to keep his renovation on schedule.
“The house is sitting here,” said Stevens. “I’ve got drywall, I’ve got drywall dust, but I don’t have anything moving. The thought was let me look on eBay, Craigslist and Facebook marketplace just to see if there is a taper and drywaller to move the project forward.”
Stevens said his search lead him to a man named Dave Diekmann, who after multiple conversations asked for a $300 deposit before he began work.
“I paid $300 through Venmo,” said Stevens. “We had him out here the next day or the day after.”
However, he said Diekmann never did any work, and messages between the two show that he failed to show up on multiple occasions so Stevens asked for a refund.
“To this date I’ve got nothing,” the frustrated homeowner said. “He has ghosted me and not paid a cent. Once he didn’t return the money, and once he went stealth, I said something is wrong with this picture. I need to figure this out.”
Stevens turned to the Better Business Bureau, where he found similar complaints against Diekmann, whose business has a C- rating.
“If you see other complaints that aren’t being answered or you see other customers are having issues just use caution whenever you do business with that company,” said BBB spokesperson Sarah Wetzel. “Ask questions, and get everything in writing, to protect yourself.”
5 On Your Side reached reach out to Diekmann, who said he has been scheduling and making payments that have been documented by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office.
A spokesman for the AG’s office said their records show Mr. Diekmann repaid one customer, but still yet to respond to at least one more customer complaint.
“When we hear stories about this, we just really want to remind consumers to do their research before doing business with any of these companies before paying them any money,” said Wetzel.
“I’m more concerned about the other poor jerk like me that’s going to get scammed by this guy because you know once bitten, twice bitten, it’s going to happen again,” said Stevens.
The Better Business Bureau has a full list of steps to protect yourself when doing home improvement work.
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