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Snow shovelling no-shows a problem after major Toronto storm

WATCH ABOVE: In the aftermath of Monday’s big storm, many consumers tell Global News companies they hired to clear snow haven’t come through. Sean O’Shea reports

TORONTO – The heavy snowfall may have ended but some were left shovelling their own driveways after hiring snow removal companies to do the work.

“With the weather that we had for the last couple of days it’s now a bigger issue again because people need their snow removal to work,” said Stephen Puddister of Consumer Protection Ontario.

Julie Lawrence of north Toronto paid The Local Guys, a snow removal company, to clear snow on the driveway belonging to her neighbour.

WATCH: Meteorologist clears driveways after forecasting heavy snowfall

“The first snowfall when they didn’t show up. I was concerned, I started calling,” said Lawrence.

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She says she paid more than $600 and got a signed contract which included a full season of snow removal. Lawrence says she repeatedly left messages and emails but there was no reply from the company after Monday’s snowfall. She ended up doing the work herself with the help of her nine-year-old daughter after returning from her job with a film production company.

“I’m really frustrated, really upset, and nervous about giving more money,” she said, referring to the possibility of having to seek out another contractor.

Global News called The Local Guys and sent an email but there was no reply. Their voice message box was full.

Lawrence is not the only one complaining about not getting the service they paid for. Jag Sindhu of Brampton also hired a contractor to do snow removal work.

He paid Canada Contractors Incorporated more than $500 dollars. But a day after the storm, and beyond the 12 hour service guarantee, no one showed up to clear his driveway.

READ MORE: Heavy snowfall causes treacherous road conditions in southern Ontario

A company manager told Global News they couldn’t cope with the amount of snowfall but promised all the work would be done, including Sindhu’s driveway. But Sindhu had already shovelled his property before leaving for work this morning, unable to wait any longer.

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Back in December, Global News reported on Jerry DiCesare, a snow removal contractor who didn’t do the work for a Mississauga couple. After Global News confronted DiCesare he refunded the money in full.

Snow removal companies are not regulated by the provincial government. In most cases, consumers need to do their own research and check on the company’s reputation before signing a contract. But, in the event of a problem, the Ministry urges consumers to file a complaint.

“Always take action. Always register your complaint. If we don’t know about your complaint we don’t know there’s a problem out there,” said Puddister.

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