An Atlanta-area contractor was the subject of a harsh report on the Atlanta CBS affiliate local news, after failing to complete a $60,000 project to his customer’s satisfaction, and then failing to show up to make repairs.

According to the “Tough Questions” segment on WGCL-TV, Turfmaster Lawn and Landscape Management of Flowery Branch, Georgia, had been working on the residential project for more than a year; the work included a waterfall. According to the customer, who finally complained to the TV station, the waterfall never worked.

Instead of coming to the jobsite as he had promised several times, Turfmaster’s owner sent a subcontractor. Televisions cameras and a reporter were on-hand to record the boss’s personal no-show.  The critical segment was broadcast on January 5th, 2012. 

Atlanta Attorney Kevin Veler responded to the WGCL-TV story, cautioning viewers that Turfmaster Lawn and Landscape Management is not a registered business with the Secretary of State’s office. “If someone is coming to your door, if somebody is dropping things off in your mailbox, be aware. That’s probably where you’re going to get scammed,” said Veler.

The consumer activist attorney laments the lack of state and local protection, saying of municipal efforts, “The honest truth is, I don’t think they’re doing much at all. I would like to see a lot more consumer-friendly regulation and activity in this area.”

To avoid scams, Veler recommends that anyone hiring a contractor look the contractor’s business up online, request multiple references and check county records for outstanding judgments.