May 13, 2019

itigate, mitigate, alleviate, or punch-in-the-face-igate?

The end of my rope was reached so very long ago in regards to our kitchen addition/renovation that BEGAN in June of 2017.  That’s right . . . ALMOST 2 YEARS AGO!

If you have followed this unbelievable saga, then you know we rid ourselves of the first contractor who was robbing Peter to pay Paul.  He didn’t pay his subcontractors - maybe they weren’t named Peter or Paul.  Fearing a lien could be taken against our house, our neighbor sent him a letter to put an end to his nonsense. 

Next Luigi entered the picture.  That IS his real name-too perfect to change.  He was recommended by the woman who sold us our appliances.  She now regrets recommending him.  Supposedly he did beautiful work, but by the time he landed in our lives he had transitioned to a thug.  This we figured out AFTER we paid him $5,000 -a percentage of overall amount to finish up the kitchen.  Mostly just bits and pieces.  The biggest issue -we needed a hood.

That contract was signed in July.  He agreed to complete the work by mid-August.  Other highlights of our Luigi experience:  gave me 2 hood designs to choose from.  Chose one.  Then he struggled to make it, or didn’t bother to try.  Who knows.  He tried to convince us that he was having the hood made in his homeland of Italy- thus the long-ass time it was taking to make it.  In January, he brought a hood to install and the non-Italian dude who made it, and it didn’t fit.  He left my house with part of my mechanical hood insert (that had been sitting in the box for over a year in my dining room).  And that was the last time I saw him AND my $550 hood insert.  

After a very embarrassed me admitted to our kind lawyer neighbor that we found ourselves  in another contractor nightmare, he offered to once AGAIN send a letter.  This letter gave Luigi 10 days to finish the work, or return the money and the hood insert.  It was sent about 4 or 5 weeks ago.  No response.  Crickets singing in Italian, of course.  

This is a short snippet
of Luigi suggesting
 how they remade the
 hood so it would fit.
 Why create a hood
 and measure
 afterwards?  Seems
bass-ackwards to me.
Kind lawyer neighbor has advised us that we can pay $271 and take Luigi to small claims court.  Or, we can file a lawsuit and one of his associates can help us out to the tune of  $250/hour.  My fear, and kind neighbor agreed that this fear is valid, is that Luigi is uncollectable.  He did suggest that we could possibly recover some of our expenses thru the Home Repair Fraud Act or Consumer Fraud Act, but there is no guarantee. 

SO . . . what to do?  

1.  Try to find another contractor.  (this will have to happen regardless of what we do with Luigi) Demand that said contractor has 4 billion positive references and walk away from Luigi and our hard earned $5,500..  

2. file in small claims court and hope to collect from Luigi if when we win 

3.  file lawsuit and hope that we can recover our expenses AND hope to collect from Luigi.  WHEN we win

4.  contact the news stations and see if they want to knock on Luigi's door and embarrass him into giving us back our money (I did try this with the first awful contractor by submitting info to local new stations on their websites, but never heard back from any of them.  I suspect that our story is all too familiar and that the newsy-ones are those that have no running water, etc.).  My friend's sis-in-law is a reporter for NBC's news station.  Maybe reach out to her and ask what she thinks?

5.  (my favorite)  show up to Luigi's place with my tall, strong sons who happen to be carrying baseball bats and wearing sleeveless shirts (to show off the pipes) and threaten the shit out of him. 

PLEASE VOTE NOW BEFORE THE POLLS CLOSE, THANKS, signed:  all out of patience here 


Kari said...

You know, you wouldn't have this problem if you just had an ugly kitchen.
Also, I want a range hood so badly but now I have Luigi-anxiety, so now I am happy with my $75 microwave we bought on Facebook Marketplace.

Beth (A Moms Life) said...

Number 5 is my favorite as well...assuming Luigi doesn't also have some buff sons!

ccr in MA said...

Going with number 5 might at least get you the hood insert back!

Ernie said...

Luigi anxiety on top of worst contractor ever with his self-taught daughter is something to live in fear of. I meant to add links to the post so readers could look back at the more detailed, mind blowing posts. If you search self-taught- you will uncover a few gem posts. I think a microwave is better than a hole in the tile/wall. Sigh.

Ernie said...

Tank and I paid Luigi a visit over Christmas break. His car was out front but the doors were locked. Tank, who was my partner in crime when the other worst contractor called the police, assured me: 'He's got no cameras.' That fun fact has stuck with me. Wait, who's Italian?

Ernie said...

Wishing I had gotten the number of the guy who built the hood. He was doing work for Luigi and seemed generally engaged in working. I suspect that Luigi sent the hood insert with him back to his shop that (unless Luigi) was lying is practically in Wisconsin. I just want the ordeal over, but I also want to punish people who take my $ and lie!

The Crislers said...

I'm new to the saga- I have a bunch of back posts to read, yay! But I'm sorry you're going through all this, it sounds truly horrible. I'm afraid I don't have a vote; I'm torn between one, two, and five. Could you possible do all three? (I'm aware this is not helpful.)

Ernie said...

Ha! I had a Luigi encounter last night, that between bottle feedings and diapers of the tots I sit for tomorrow, I hope to have a few minutes to type up an update. I meant to include links in this post to the back story, but if you do a search for kitchen or contractor or self-taught - you might be able to piece it together. I keep telling Coach I NEED to do something. I know it is only $5,000, but I cannot just walk away especially given that it is so unfair and he should be punished.

Ernie said...

Ya see, I am tired, so I typed a reply but I filed it as a new comment. See below . . . please.