ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A contractor News 4 once featured as an angel is now accused of flaking out on his customers.
In fact his website proudly boasts about his appearance on News 4 but now some of his customers say Ron Briddell took their money and disappeared.
By all accounts Ron Briddell appears to be a reliable contractor; he has videos all over YouTube.
In May 2001, Briddell looked like a saint when he poured a patio for free for a Metro East family facing cuts to state aid.
In February of 2011 Vern Egbert hired Briddell for a big remodel.
“I had 5 contractors but Ron was the one who stood out because of his media coverage” said Egbert.
But things didn’t go so well and Egbert he made his own YouTube videos.
Egbert says he paid Briddell, but Briddell didn’t pay his sub-contractors. So the sub-contractors then threatened liens on Egbert’s property.
So he paid them for work he already paid for once through Briddell.
“I had to pay for this same contract work twice” said Egbert.
All told Egbert is out at least $13,000.
But we were also contacted by Orville Griffin who says he paid Briddell Remodeling $6,000 for a job that was never even started.
“He (Briddell) had the channel 4 airing of the video and I thought oh what a nice guy” said Griffin.
Griffin told News 4 that Ron Briddell took the money for the job in July and has not been back to his house.
Griffin complained to the Better Business Bureau, which as of now gives Briddell Remodeling an “F”, and the Illinois Attorney General.
Briddell did not respond to the complaints.
News 4’s Chris Nagus got a hold of Briddell on the phone last week and he said he would call back after looking at his records.
He called back on Tuesday and said he was out of town and that we did not have all of the facts.
Some of Briddell’s customers say they would like to hear Ron’s version of the facts. Vern Egbert told us “what I hope happens is somebody puts up an advertisement that says don’t hire this guy.”
Turns out someone did. One of Briddell’s sub-contractors emailed News 4 a picture of a Briddell Remodeling billboard in Collinsville. It had been covered up by a large “non-payment” banner.
Bottom Line - these customers saw the positive testimonials and thought they hired a safe bet.
Even if you do your homework there’s a chance your contractor might flake out.
Make sure and know your rights when it comes to putting money down for a contracting job.
The Home Builders Association provides this checklist when you are looking to hire a contractor.