Margaret Cantu is a disabled grandmother who says she was ripped off by a rogue roofer.
Cantu said the roof received her insurance check. But for more than a year, she got nothing in return, until NBC 5 Consumer Specialist Deanna Dewberry got involved.
"I trusted them," said Cantu. "I'm too trusting."
It was last spring's storms packed with high wind and hail that caused Cantu's problems. Soon water started leaking into her house.
A friend told her about Castle Rock Construction. They promised to fix her roof for $8,753.36. Her insurance company sent her a check for about half of that.
"I feel like such an idiot," said Cantu. "But I have never done this before so they told me to give them the check."
But after giving the company the money, Cantu heard nothing.
After months went by, Cantu's insurance agent got involved.
"In the beginning, there was a receptionist who would answer and say 'oh, I will email them. They are out of the office.' Then it became pick up, hang up," said Cantu's insurance agent Amy Mashburn.
The company's office in Allen is now closed.
The Better Business Bureau says it revoked Castle Rock's accreditation because of six unresolved complaints very similar to Cantu's.
In the State of Texas, roofers don't need a license. In fact, you don't need much at all to get into business.
"You need to go get some business cards and a sign that says you're a roofer," said Dan Pitts, President of the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas.
Pitts says the industry is actually asking for regulation, but that there is no political will to do it. That's why his organization decided to create a voluntary license. Roofers must take a test, re-qualify yearly and show proof of insurance.
That advice comes too late for Cantu. Since no work has been done, her insurance company can't release the rest of the money to fix her roof. She doesn't have the money to fix it herself.
NBC 5 reached out to the former owners of Castle Rock Construction on Wednesday.
We're happy to report a former partner returned Cantu's money the next day. The former head of the company, Mark Rodriguez, told NBC 5 via email that he was unable to do the work because "Castle Rock was closed in March of this year due to partnership issues."
Here's what to do if you need a roofer:
- Ask to see their insurance certificate
- Ask if they belong to professional roofing organization
- Ask whether they use a national supplier for materials