Freda D’Guerra thought she found the right paving contractor for the job. The Mississauga woman and her husband were searching for someone to install interlocking stones at their home. After some research, the couple settled on Villa’s Paving, run by John Villano.
“The way he spoke, I thought he knew what he was saying what he was going to do,” said D’Guerra, who called Global News in frustration six weeks after retaining Villano’s company. She added that Villano “dressed well” and seemed to act in a professional manner.
D’Guerra signed a contract for $8,500. She agreed to pay $3,500 in cash to Villa’s Paving, with the balance due on completion. D’Guerra says she was assured the job would be done in two to three weeks.
But six weeks later, all that’s been done is the removal of the old driveway and walkway. D’Guerra says she and her family members have called Villano “umpteen times” trying to find out when the work would be completed. She says her calls have not been answered or returned.
“I called you because I wanted some action,” D’Guerra told Global News, saying she didn’t want another consumer to experience the same situation she did.
Global News caught up with Villano outside a residence in Mississauga; but the contractor saw the news camera and drove away, leaving his girlfriend on the sidewalk. The woman, who called herself Melinda, ran from the camera and refused to answer questions, later saying she had nothing to do with the business.
For about seven minutes, the news crew ran alongside the woman while Villano passed by several times, occasionally at high speed. Finally, he screeched to a stop to allow the woman in before backing up with tires squealing.
Raw Video: Sean O’Shea chases suspected delinquent contractor
Later, in a text message to D’Guerra, the contractor said: “I had no intentions (sic) of not finishing the job at the house.” He then threatened not to complete the work if Global News aired a story. “If there is a story on TV tonight I will definitely not be finishing the job. And you can post this text message.”
D’Guera says she has no interest at this point in having Villano’s company do any additional work given the track record.
“I want my money back!” she said.
There are at least two other complaints and one positive online comment for Villa’s Paving. Global News could not reach the other consumers who had issues with the company.
In general, consumers are advised to give as little as possible as a down payment on projects like paving and exterior renovations. Contractors that handle custom kitchen and bathrooms typically require a substantial deposit because cabinetry is built to suit the particular project. Sometimes, as much as half the total cost of the project can be required up front.
© Shaw Media, 2014