Action 9: Grandparents say builder stopped showing up for work

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A grandfather and grandmother had their first grandchild, so they wanted an addition to their home.  When the builder stopped showing up, they said, they turned to Action 9.
 
Jerry Barnes and his wife are hands-on grandparents.  So much so, they were willing to spend $25,000 to add on to their southwest Charlotte home.  They hired Bainbridge Crew to do the job and say they put down half the money.
 
 "We paid our money for it. Not the whole amount and he was unable to fulfill that," Jerry Barnes said.
 
He said Bainbridge built the foundation, did some electrical work, and knocked out some interior walls.  He was supposed to wrap up the project by the end of August.  But, seven months later, it still wasn't done. 
 
Action 9 looked at the contract, which said Bainbridge can miss its deadline as long as it gives a new one.  But so much time elapsed Barnes wasn't convinced crews were coming back. 
 
"We're totally frustrated.  My wife --- she's even come to tears at times and this is ... we want it done," Barnes said.
 
When Barnes emailed Action 9, he wanted the work done right away or the rest of their money back to hire someone else.    
 
Better Business Bureau President Tom Bartholomy said things happen: bad weather, redesigns, and delays on materials and subcontractors.  Still, he said, stay on top of the builder and, if the company misses the deadline, don't pay. 
 
"That is your only leverage at that point, to withhold those funds until they meet the terms of the contract doing things to your satisfaction,” Bartholomy said.
 
The Barneses did that, which may have helped their cause when Action 9 got in touch with Bainbridge.  The owner emailed Action 9, outlining his next steps and promising to "begin building next week."  And he did. 
 
The following week, Barnes emailed Action 9, "For some strange reason, I'm receiving correspondence.  Amazing!!!"
 
At last check, the BBB gave Bainbridge an F rating and had an alert for the business.  It said the company had a pattern of not doing work in a timely manner, didn't comply with an arbitration decision or mediated settlement, and hadn't resolved certain complaints.
 
Click here for more information from the BBB.