BBB warns: Use caution when using America's Choice Construction - KMOV.com

BBB warns: Use caution when using America's Choice Construction services

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The Better Business Bureau warns customers to use extreme cautious when using the services of America's Choice Construction. (Credit: BBB) The Better Business Bureau warns customers to use extreme cautious when using the services of America's Choice Construction. (Credit: BBB)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to be extremely cautious when dealing with America's Choice Construction because customers said they have paid for work that was not completed.

"In most cases, [people] paid him a down payment of ran advanced fee for the work and he just either never showed up or began the work and then disappeared and nobody seems to know where he is now," said Bill Smith of the BBB.

Owner Kelly F. Mullins and his company are under investigation after recent complaints from customers across the St. Louis region. Christine Cronin of St. Louis said she hired Mullin's company to install a deck and fence. The total cost of the project was $6,600, but after Cronin paid Mullins $3,340 up front he never showed up to do the work.

"After a month went by of him saying tomorrow and later, I just asked him to cancel and he obliged but he never gave me my money back," said Cronin.

The BBB tried for months to reach Mullins to get him to respond to complaints against his company, but they have been unable to find him or get him to respond to letters and emails. However, Mullins contacted News 4 after seeing the story about his company.

In an email, Mullins admitted to making mistakes and said, "I have gone through some incredible personal stuff. I had a terrible ex-business partner and I'm trying to make amends with the people that I still need to take care of." Mullins wen on to say he plans to pay back the money he took from customers for work her never finished.

The BBB cautions that despite good intentions, contractors who rack up numerous complaints often make promises they never keep.

An unidentified man from Creve Coeur said he hired America's Choice to do an extensive renovation of his new home that required he pay $81,000 up front of the total contract price of $117,000. The homeowner said Mullins abandoned the project after doing about $40,000 worth of work. 

 "He wouldn't even return my phone calls. He just grabbed my money and moved on," the man said.

Customers said the company took payments ranging from $800 to more than $80,000 and then abandoned the work. 

The BBB originally thought America's Choice Construction company closed in June, but a homeowner in Manchester reported he was ripped off by Mullins in August.

To avoid getting ripped off, the Better Business Bureau advises: check several references before hiring a contractor, do not make large down payments, slick websites are no guarantee of a company's trustworthiness or the quality of their work, and pay with a credit card when possible so you can dispute charges later if needed.

To read the BBB's warning about America's Choice Construction, click here for more information. 

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