News 4 Investigates: Negative online reviews lead to nasty dispu - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Negative online reviews lead to nasty dispute

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A bizarre dispute between consume & business. (Credit: KMOV) A bizarre dispute between consume & business. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KMOV.com) -

It all started off as a normal business transaction, and ended as anything but.

Jeff and Debra Jones of St. Charles County hired Prodigy Restoration to install new windows and doors. The Jones family also hired Prodigy for various home repairs.

According to the Jones', money was paid to Prodigy's owner, Brian Darnell, but the job was never completed.

Brian Darnell said the Jones' "are in breach of contract." Darnell claimed the Jones' held back funds obtained from an insurance settlement. The Jones' said they paid $10,090 and received no work and no material. 

The Jones' went online to voice their opinions about Prodigy Restoration. The couple also created the website prodigystlsucks.com to alert the public about their experience with Prodigy Restoration and Brian Darnell. 

In bold print the Jones' wrote "avoid a potential headache and choose a different contractor." 

The online postings resulted in a lawsuit filed by Brian Darnell. According to Darnell's lawsuit, the Jones' internet campaign "constituted defamation and breach of privacy." 

In addition to the legal action, Darnell admits he created the domain debra-butler-jones-sucks.com, but says he did not create a website. 

Darnell did convert his website prodigystl.com into a post about the Jones' and made the following claim about Debra Jones online. 

Now for the bigger picture…  At some point Debra Jones developed feelings for the owner of Prodigy and she had told him that she fell in love with him, which would have led to her breaking her wedding vows.

Debra Jones says those statements are false and calls Darnell a "lunatic, absolute sociopath." 

Jeff and Debra Jones sued Darnell, and obtained a judgment in their favor. The Jones' have not received any money, but they did receive a letter from Darnell congratulating them on the judgment. 

Darnell told News 4 he would have given the Jones' a refund if they would have "taken the crap off the internet." 

He added "I spent $25,000 in attorney fees for a $10,000 BS claim." 

It's not the only legal action Darnell is facing. 

Rick Ludwig is representing a Frontenac homeowner that's suing Prodigy. Ludwig said, "there are about $20,000 worth of windows we haven't seen yet." 

Darnell said he performed most of the work for Ludwig's client, and that his client refused to work with her insurance company to get additional funds for items like dust containment on the job site. 

Ludwig stated, "there is always some issue that is preventing us from finishing the contract. 

Darnell says Prodigy Restoration is out of business, and he has no plans to pay either homeowner at this point. 

The Jones' never received their windows or doors. 

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