Homeowners say contractor's poor business practices cost them thousands

Posted at 8:25 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 21:25:55-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly 20 different households across the metro say they're out hundreds of thousands of dollars because of a Lee's Summit contracting company, Building Pro. 

Those customers seem to be in the middle of a dispute between two men regarding the ownership of the company. 

Everyone wants to know who has their money. 

Dave and his wife, who didn't want to use their last name, showed 41 Action News their unfinished basement. It was supposed to be a $50,000 job. 

"We paid them a total of $18,000 and have very little to show for it," Dave said. 

They paid Building Pro a down payment, plus a deposit. On Jan. 5, the company sent one worker out to start the job. 

"I've got a pile of lumber and a basement that has a little bit of framing done, but this was supposed to have a bathroom, it was supposed to have drywall, ceilings, a lot of lighting," Dave explained. 

Eighteen other customers have come forward with the same complaints against Building Pro, saying they gave them money but the work was either never started or never completed. 

The Gorajewskis said the partial work on their kitchen is subpar. Gordon Gorajewski said they paid $31,542.

"I feel hurt. This was the kitchen of my dreams, it was taking us into retirement," said Gordon Gorajewski.

Pat Paulsen showed 41 Action News invoice receipts directly from Building Pro that shows he paid them nearly $116,000 for a home remodel.  Paulsen showed 41 Action News pictures of unopened boxes of cabinets in his kitchen and other unfinished rooms without furniture. He is now staying with relatives. 

"I saved and sacrificed for almost 20 years to be able to afford this house and remodel it. I was looking forward to making it home, but now I just want this nightmare to end," Paulsen said. 

The customers say in early January they got a call from Building Pro saying the company was sold, and to talk to the new owner. All work stopped because the former owner and the man who was allegedly buying the company are in a dispute. 

Customers claim they paid a total of $384,000 out-of-pocket.

"Nobody was ever scammed," Mike Ross, the former owner of Building Pro, told 41 Action News over the phone. 

Ross says he's not to blame.  He says he sold the company to a former employee, but that employee backed out of the deal almost immediately. Ross says that forced him into bankruptcy. 

41 Action News reached out to that employee about Ross's claims but didn't get a response as of air time Monday. 

"He made it so it was impossible to help those people out, which is not what I would ever want to do. I would never, ever try to hurt anybody," Ross said. 

Neither Ross or the employee have provided any proof that a sale took place and who is responsible for the company. 

Ross disputes the customers paid him $384,000 but said many customers paid with credit cards, so they'll be getting their money back. He claims he's working to give refunds for the rest. 

"We tried to call Mike Ross and no answer. He has not returned our calls," Dave said. 

The customers say they're stuck in a back-and-forth game with Ross and the employee, who both refer customers to each other. 

"It feels horrible. We're honest people," Dave said. 

The Missouri Attorney General's office says they recently received seven complaints on Building Pro and are investigating.