Cornerstone / Unlicensed contracting!
This complaint is an update to my previous one against Cornerstone Windows. As I stated before, we foolishly signed a contract on Nov.28, 2007 & didn't hear from them again until we called them the end of Jan. 2008. We were given all kinds of excuses & after 2 weeks of this, we told them we were going to cancel & they threatened us with a lawsuit & a lien on our home. I did contact a lawyer & we sent letters to both the cornerstone company & the GE Money bank where Cornerstone had opened an account in our name & withdrew 1, 237.50. After several weeks our lawyer received a letter from Cornerstone saying that our windows were in & they were insisting on installing them. The lawyer felt we had to let them go ahead because we signed a contract with no specific date for install. I then called our local County code people & explained to them what had been going on for 4 months & they said they would look into it & get back to us. Cornerstone set up 3 different times to come for the install & finally showed up the end of March. My Brother told me that when they showed up, I was to ask them for ID, Contractors license & Insurance & they were to have a copy of the original contract. The first two guys were only able to show me their drivers license & said the boss was coming & he would have all the info. I then went in the house & called Charlotte County code & told them what was going on & they told me to keep them there & they were on their way. After about 10 minutes the boss knocked at my door & asked me what my problem was. His name is Steve Chikitus & when I explained that I needed to see proof of insurance & licenses & the contract, he said he didn't need them because he had the permit & he shoved it at me. I told him I would go in the house to look it over & he became quite angry. I told him I needed to make sure everything was on the up & up before they started any work on my house. He then called Dale Nungester (the manager that threatened to sue us & put the lien on our house) and Mr. Nungester started to call our phone, but I let it ring. I waited about 10 minutes & went back outside & Mr. Chikitus was hollering at me & asked me why I didn't answer my phone & he wanted to know what the hell my problem was. I told him I had no desire to speak with Mr. Nungester & that I had people coming to make sure that everything was ok before work began. He ranted & raved some more & was insisting that I talk to his boss on the phone & I said no, that I was going to go back in and wait for the code enforcement people. After about 10 minutes I could hear them packing the windows back up & starting their vehicles & I was afraid they would be gone before the code people showed up, so we went out to get license plate info. Just as they were about 500 yards down the road a county truck pulled up & we pointed them towards the two trucks down the road. They went after them & cut them off & questioned them for about 30 minutes. We waited at our house & the county people came & told us that our contract was null & void because they didn't have a license when they were writing contracts. They will have to pay all the money back that they took from people & also will have to pay back GE Money Bank. We know one couple had given them 10, 000 & the county made them give it back. They didn't get a license until the end of Jan. 2008 & I hope the county took that away from them. I highly recommend that anyone that has done business with this company call the Charlotte County Code & talk to Shonna Jenkins at [protected]. She can help you. They have been investigating this company for several weeks. I also want to warn people to NEVER sign anything until you have taken the time to check out the company you will be dealing with. Call your local code office & check on their license status, make them give you references & check those out, make sure that whatever they promise you verbally is also on the contract & that there is a completion date.
The sad truth is that Florida is full of scam artists & you must educate yourself to save yourself from a real nightmare. We also found out that the windows they were going to install were not up to code & we would have gotten in trouble when the county inspected & then we would have had to get someone else to put the correct ones in. How do these people live with themselves???