North Texas

Woman Calls NBC 5 Responds After She Says Builder Ran Off With Cash

April Givens wanted to have a shed built in the backyard of her Garland home.

"My daughter loves playing and putting her stuff everywhere, so just to have more room in the house, the shed would really come in handy," Givens said.

Givens said she visited one of her favorite websites to find a builder: Thumbtack.

"I've used Thumbtack on three different occasions. The guys who did my roof, I found them on Thumbtack," she explained.

Givens said she discovered a profile for Harpers Roofing in Plano and scheduled a meeting with Steve.

"When Steve came out, he brought Tony with him. He said Tony is his finance manager."

She said Tony Yobnovich gave her a quote of $2,600 and asked for half up front.

"Usually I don't do a deposit, but he's coming out with a crew the next morning and everything, so that's fine. He's on Thumbtack. I've used Thumbtack before," she said.

She said she made the check out to Tony Yobnovich and was excited.

But the next morning, she said Steve and Tony were no shows.

"I said, 'Are you guys still coming?' He said, 'I think it'll be better because there's rain in the forecast.' I said, 'There's no rain in the forecast in Garland,'" Givens explained. "At this time, I'm really nervous."

She said Tony and Steve told her not to worry, because they'd be in the next morning with the materials.

But she said once again, they didn't show.

"You guys already have my money. All I have is your word. You said that you would be here. What's going on," she said she asked.

Givens said she contacted Thumbtack, hoping they could help get her money back.

"They have a guarantee. So, you're responsible for people you have listed on your site," Givens said.

Thumbtack emailed her and said, "We've set the expectation for Steven and Tony to reach out to you by Friday to work towards a resolution."

But when Givens reached back out to Steve and Tony, she said she got this message from Tony:

"Yeah, blah b**** you wrote me a check for the work, but I am getting my lawyer that handled this to figure out the best way to straighten this matter out thank you."

It was at that moment, Givens realized she had one more call to make.

She called NBC 5 Responds.

"I called because I feel like you will get the job done," she said.

NBC 5 Responds reached out to Steve and Tony and their assistant answered the phone.

She said Steve was dealing with a death in the family and Tony was injured on another job.

When asked if any other customers were affected by this, she said it's none of anyone's business.

However, the assistant promised to hand deliver the money to Givens herself.

About an hour after NBC 5 Responds called, the assistant agreed to meet with Givens.

"She pulled it out her purse and then she started counting. I have $1300 here," she said

"You guys were on the job. Give you a call, you'll get the job done," Givens said.

Thumbtack told NBC 5 it has high expectations for the businesses on its platform and when they receive a complaint, they investigate and try to work with both parties on a resolution.

The company said when a business doesn't meet its standards, it will be removed from the platform.

I checked Thumbtack's site today, and the contractor's page has since been removed from the site.

Givens said the company still owes her $50, but said they can "keep the change."

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