ST. PETERS (KMOV.com) -- Frieda Latta needed some work done on her house in St. Peters but couldn’t afford to spend much. She and her husband are retired and on fixed incomes, so she looked on Craigslist to find a handyman.
"With me being on Social Security I needed somebody who could fix all this stuff because my husband's handicapped, he can't do this stuff," said Latta.
Latta said she hired Matt Welsh because she liked that his ad, which said he donates some of his earnings to charities that help children, and that he agreed to do her list of repairs for just $1,000.
She said he worked a few hours on the first day taking down the tile in the bathroom, and before leaving, convinced her to pay him $500. Latta said Welsh never returned to complete the job, so she reached out to News 4.
"He's not calling me anymore, he hasn't shown up to do more work. He took my money and cashed the check and now I’m out 500 bucks,” said Latta.
News 4 was able to reach Welsh who gave several excuses for why he hadn’t returned to complete the work, including a family emergency.
“I’m sorry, I had some important sh** going on that kind of takes place of everything else,” said Welsh.
Latta hadn’t heard from Welsh since Saturday but he agreed to come by her house on Wednesday and refund $150 dollars of the money she paid him.
"Well that's something but I don't think it's going to happen,” said Latta.
The Better Business Bureau has a lot of tips for homeowners before hiring a contractor or handyman to do home repairs.
- Research any business or its owner before paying any money.
- Ask for references and contact them.
- Before paying make sure you have a signed contract outlining the work and timetable for completion, which also explains what happens if the business or consumer reneges on the agreement.
- Ask for proof the contractor is bonded and insured.
- Don’t pay the full amount in advance. The BBB recommends paying a third at the start, a third in the middle and a third when the job is completed.
- When the work is completed and the contractor has been paid, make sure you have received lien wavers showing subcontractors and material suppliers have been paid for the job.