A $195,761 judgment has been lodged against landscaper, Brent Ford, in response to complaints filed with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. A consumer fraud lawsuit was filed against Ford back in June after homeowners claimed to have paid Ford thousands of dollars in advance for landscaping services and received little to no work in return.
In the judgment, the Court found Ford collected around $90,000 from consumers after contracting to landscape their yards. The Court also found Ford intentionally misrepresented to consumers that the promised services would be performed, misled consumers as to why the work was not completed, and failed to provide refunds to consumers.
After the consumer fraud lawsuit was filed, Ford attempted to evade service, but was successfully served at a hotel in Texas. Recently, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office obtained a default judgment against Ford after he failed to properly respond to the State’s lawsuit. The judgment awards $89,599 in restitution to the consumers who paid Ford $100,000 in civil penalties, and $6,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs. The judgment also bans Ford from engaging in the business of landscaping construction in Arizona.
The AG’s office offers tips to consumers when hiring a contractor:
Make sure the contractor is registered with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC), and check with the ROC for complaints against the contractor.
Be wary of contractors who solicit door-to-door.
Find reviews of the contractor online.
Get quotes from several contractors ahead of time in writing that detail the work that will be done.
Be wary of any quote that is substantially lower than the others received (i.e., seems too good to be true).
Never pay the full cost of the work up front in cash.