A Quad City couple says they were hoping for a piece of the American dream, but instead they are living a construction nightmare.
“This was supposed to be a bedroom for the grand kids. We are hard-working people, we got a little bit, but it’s our money. We work for that, we earn it, we have never had nothing for free,” said Lucy Martinez of Moline.
Lucy and her husband, Jesse, paid Art Beshears of Taylor Garages in Milan $34,000 to build a one-bedroom, one-bathroom room addition on the tiny house they’ve lived in for 40 years. Another $17,000 was supposed to be due upon completion.
That was in June of 2012.
The shell and frame of the addition are up, but nearly 23 months after the contract was signed and the check cashed, it is not even close to being finished.
The Martinez’s cashed in part of their 401(k) to pay for the project, and even paid a $10,000 penalty for early withdrawal.
“In the beginning we were mad, but now I’m sick. I’m disappointed. He’s taking advantage of us, because my English is not too good. He (my husband) is deaf, he talk to him, he ignore,” Lucy Martinez said.
“He feels like all his work is for nothing. Down the drain,” she said, crying.
Since December, Lucy has called Beshears about the job, leaving message after message, almost daily. She gets his answering machine.
When WQAD-TV tracked down Beshears, while he was bidding a new job for a garage in Rock Island, he admitted what he’s done is wrong and promised to make it right.
“I’m not going to make any excuses,” Beshears said.
Today, the Martinez’s are still waiting for work to begin again, but they are not holding their breath.
Apparently, they aren’t Beshears’ only unsatisfied customer. The Better Business Bureau says Beshears and Taylor Garages have been on its radar for three years.
“Taylor Garages currently has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau. We have seven complaints on file currently with Taylor Garages. All of those complaints are related to customers that are not satisfied with their products or services. Out of the seven complaints, six of those are unanswered by the company itself,” said Jamie McKenzie with the BBB out of Bettendorf.
The Martinez’s may have to file a civil lawsuit to try and recoup their money.
“I want justice, it’s not fair. You trust people, you think they’re honest. The only thing they’re good for is to take your money and walk away. And that’s not fair. We work real hard,” Lucy said.