JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A military veteran who called the I-TEAM for help is hoping that he will soon get more than $8,300 he paid a Jacksonville roofing company for roof repairs that have not been completed months after he signed a contract.
Like thousands of other Floridians, Raymond Libby suffered roof damage at his Westside home during Hurricane Irma. Libby paid $8,348.69 to Superior Roofing & Restoration in November, but since then, no work has been done, and Libby hasn’t been able to get any workers to return his calls in four months.
“I want my money back, No. 1, and No. 2, you can’t be ripping people off in the time when you need them,” Libby said.
Libby, who spent 20 years in the Navy, said what is happening to him now is a disservice.
“It’s a shame, and they take advantage of not only people like me, but also elderly people,” Libby said.
The homeowner said the Superior Roofing salesman who promised to put a new roof on his house never gave him a reason why the work was never started last year. Libby said he’s been calling the company’s Jacksonville and Orlando offices, and even visited the Jacksonville office, which appeared empty when the I-TEAM stopped by.
Libby has been hoping to get his money back, and said at one point, the company promised to return what he had paid. He said he had been told he could pick up his refund at the company’s office, but as he was leaving to do that, things changed.
“He called me and said, ‘I’m out of town. I can’t go, and you can’t get your money today,’” Libby said. “And since then, I’ve not heard anything, even when I call Mr. (Luis) Figueroa, no response.”
The I-TEAM tracked down Superior Roofing roof restoration consultant Luis Figueroa in his St. Johns County neighborhood. At the time, he appeared to be doing some work on his own house. I-TEAM investigator Tarik Minor questioned Figueroa at his front door.
News4Jax: “Do you still work for Superior Roofing? A man named Mr. Libby says you owe them about $8,000. Did you take their money?”
Figueroa: “No, sir.”
News4Jax: “Can you tell me anything about the company, are they closed or what?”
Figueroa: “You should look up the incorporation.” (closes door)
A neighbor told the I-TEAM that Superior Roofing & Restoration installed a new roof on his property a few months ago, and that two other neighbors were planning to submit their deposits for new roofs as well.
The I-TEAM then learned that Figueroa’s business partner, roofing contractor Michael Beard, lives right around the corner from Figueroa. A woman who answered the door at that home said Beard was not home at the time, but promised to pass along contact information for the I-TEAM.
The I-TEAM checked on Superior Roofing & Restoration’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. Right now, they have an F rating, and the BBB has posted an alert labeled a “Pattern of Complaint.” The BBB wrote that customers reported paying for work that was not completed and not being able to get answers from the company.
The Better Business Bureau also reported having a hard time contacting the company. It contacted Superior Roofing & Restoration on Feb. 27 and asked the company to cooperate in resolving the complaints it had received, but still hasn’t heard back.
After his experience, Libby has a warning for other homeowners.
“This company is no good, and don’t do business with them,” he said.
Roofing contractor Michael Beard called Minor several hours after Minor left his business card at Beard’s house, and gave the following statement to the I-TEAM:
“We are behind in our work and we are desperately trying to catch up. We have no intention of stealing anyone’s money. The cold weather and business after the hurricanes put us behind schedule. All of our customers will be contacted within the next 6 to 8 weeks when we are able to catch up.”
Beard added that he’s hiring new office managers, and asked all of his customers to contact the company via email.
Beard also told the I-TEAM that his company pulled a permit to do roofing work at Libby’s home, but when we checked with the city’s building inspection division, we learned a permit has not been pulled.
Beard told News4Jax that he promises to give Libby back his deposit and the I-TEAM will follow up on that promise.
As part of its efforts to keep consumers informed, the BBB this week started sending a letter to roofing contractors in the area. The letter asks businesses to submit various items, including a copy of their business license, a copy of their insurance, sales and marketing materials and reference letters.
In addition to profiles on businesses, BBB's website offers advice for consumers on hiring a roofing contractor in Florida.
You can also check the state’s website to make sure the business is licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
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