Handy DanHandy Dan -- not so handy and rude too

Long story short, I scheduled an energy audit through Handy Dan. I read things about them on the Web about from satisfied customers so I trusted and hoped I'd be another one.

Unfortunately, the workers who came to perform the energy audit broke the stairs leading to the attic. The promised to return in a couple of days to repair the stairs and to perform the energy audit. It didn't happen.

Several weeks later, I called to inquire about someone coming to fix the attic stairs. That was scheduled and the work was performed. I received a bill for $173 for work to fix something that representatives of the firm broke. I refused to pay.

Subsequently, after repeated calls trying to get me to pay and the "fix" failed, we agreed that I receive a credit in that amount against work to replace the attic stairs. I agreed to pay for the material and to an estimate of 2-3 hours labor -- a rough estimate of $350-400.

A time was scheduled, but the worker didn't come prepared with the material he needed (namely the attic stairs). He had to reschedule. Apparently, he failed to measure the attic entry as well because, on the rescheduled appointment, he informed me that the attic entry was too small and for it to be fixed properly he have to expand the entry. I said ok, git er done.

I was billed about $750 or roughly double the original estimate. The worker also informed me that he was told he couldn't leave without full payment. A friend was helping me on the second appointment, so I told him to write the check for the full amount (my mistake). However, I spoke with representatives who told me I would be refunded the difference between the final amount and the original estimate. I was told I could cancel the check or just get a refund. I told them to just send me a refund (my mistake x2).

I never received a refund. I left at least 2 voice mails for the main guy, Lou Olerio, to call me back. But, he never did.See Top 10 Worst Companies in Dallas, TXI spoke with two of his office assistants over a period of months, both of whom promised to get back with me, but never did.
Finally, last week, Mr. Olerio returned my call. It was a very pleasant conversation. However, he did promise me that he'd "look to see what he had in this job and send me a refund." He sent me a check for $173.58. Finally, he kept his word.
Unfortunately, I wasn't satisfied. I still believe I'm being asked to pay more for something that I should be expected to pay. In fact, I believe I shouldn't have to pay anything since his representatives broke it in the first place.
I asked via email for two things: 1) all written estimated and bills related to work at my home; 2) written explanation for how he arrived at that refund. Mr. Olerio's reply came via phone. It wasn't a very pleasant conversation. But, he basically refused my request. His message was (my words) "take the refund and stop bothering me or I will cancel the check."
I told him he could cancel the check. In fact, I'd already told him I'd hold it until he met my request above. In return, I informed him that I planned to take him to small claims court, file a complaint w/the consumer division of the Texas AG office, file a BBB complaint, find as many of these type message boards on the net as I could. In addition, I've already asked a consumer reporter to help me look into this issue. There are several others in the DFW area I will likely call as well.
I deal with consumer complaints every day. Sometimes the company I work with is in the right and sometimes it flat made a mistake and needs to corrects. In either case, it is never a could idea to tell the customer to "take it or leave it and stop bothering me."
I'd be interested to know of experiences others have had with Handy Dan. I'd also be interested to know of other complaint boards like this one. I may not get a dime back, but I'm going to let others know not to be fooled ... Mr. Handy ain't so handy and he can be real darned rude about it too.


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