CHARLOTTE, N.C. - John Lincoln bought a house near East Mecklenburg High School. "It had never been redone so it was a blank slate, so it was from 1958," he said.
He hired Bainbridge Crew to give it a major facelift and said he paid the company about $130,000.
That was 2015. Lincoln told Action 9 Bainbridge Crew missed deadlines, like in September of that year. "September came and went and there was absolutely no progress in the month of September. None. None."
He said the project took so long, he had to move from a rental house where he had been living into an Airstream RV behind his house. "[I was] living in the trailer from October, November, December, January."
Lincoln also claimed Bainbridge Crew didn't pay some of the subcontractors who did work on his home. "It's pouring down rain outside. There's a woman standing there with an umbrella," he said. "And she said she was the wife of the guy who had done the sheetrock work." Lincoln said she told him she had just come from ICU because her baby had just had open-heart surgery and, "We need to be paid for the work."
Lincoln told Action 9 two subcontractors still have liens on his property. "I would pay them, but I've already paid."
Action 9's been reporting on customer complaints against Bainbridge Crew since 2012. In 2015, the company made the Better Business Bureau's Dirty Dozen list, the 12 businesses with the most unanswered complaints the year before. Then, in 2016, North Carolina revoked Bainbridge Crew's license.
Lincoln hired someone else to finish the work for, he said, another $30,000.
Action 9 asked the man who owned Bainbridge Crew, Rick Bainbridge, for his response to the lawsuit. His lawyer emailed back. She didn't address Lincoln's claims. She just said, "This suit is being handled through the legal system."
If you have a complaint with a company that goes out of business:
- You can sue, but if the money isn't there, it isn't there.
- It's all the more reason to make sure you research companies well. Look up the owner's name, not just the business name, which is easy to change.
- Try to pay as little as possible each step of the way.
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