Contractor from Hell aka John Anderson dba Pro-Tech

As a reader of this blog, you know that I hate getting ripped off. This post deals with a problem that affects many people – a contractor horror story. As a former remodeling contractor myself, getting ripped off by a fellow tradesman REALLY rubs me the wrong way.

This post was inspired by John Anderson of Mechanicville New York. Mr. Andersen was advertising his company, Pro-Tech Masonry on craigslist, the best website on the whole interweb. The heading: AFFORDABLE STAMPED CONCRETE (Saratoga/Capital District), was exactly what I was looking for, so I gave him a ring.  He listed two numbers for his business business: (518) 899-4780 and (518) 466-5439. He came to my house, presented himself very professionally, quoted a fair price & I signed a contract with his company, Pro Tech. (Note that I failed to mention the part where I checked his references or checked out his reputation online. Unfortunately I failed to mention it because I made the classic rookie mistake of not doing it. My bad – aauugh!)

Pro-tech was hired to re-antique & reseal a patterned concrete patio. The sealer bubbled up immediately and the patio was a mess. The contractor from Mechanicville agreed to power wash & redo the job.  Less than one week later, the job was redone, with the same result: a bubbled up mess. John Andersen then agreed to do the job a third time – using a different sealer. His failure to completely strip the sealer from the previous two jobs left the surface with a crazed, pitted and uneven gloss finish. The bubbles also appeared again. Mr Andersen was slow to respond to the third botched job & would not return my calls. He finally did come to my house (when he knew I would not be not home) & left me a note refusing to acknowledge the problem nor honor his guarantee.

Furthermore, John Anderson of Pro-Tech Masonry informed me that if I were to take action against him in small claims court that he would retaliate with a counter suit which would seek to recover court costs and attorneys fees. I’m not sure if Mr Anderson is naive to the rules of small claims or merely bluffing and hoping that I didn’t know any better. Either way, this did not set particularly well with me.

Should you find yourself in this position, I suggest that you follow the same steps that I have taken:

1) Ignore the threats of a counter claim. Courts take a dim view of contractors that ripoff homeowners and I have yet to see a homeowner lose a suit like this. I am not aware of any provision for the party being sued to reclaim his defense expenses in a small claims action.

2) If you are in New York state, file a complaint with the attorney general.  If enough homeowners file a complaint, these guys get shut down and / or sent to jail. I hope this homeowner filed a complaint after getting ripped off by John Anderson.

3)  File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Although they have little influence over a lousy contractor, the point is to get the word out & to spare others from suffering the same abuse.

4) Alert others online. Websites like the Ripoff Report , Complaints Board, Yelp and Angies List do a great job of alerting unsuspecting homeowners of the practices of predatory and shoddy contractors like pro tech.

5) Take the contractor to court! If your claim is $5,000 or less you can sue him on your own, without the expense of an attorney. If you are in New York,  check out this Guide to Small Claims Court.

6) Tell all of your friends & co-workers  about your experience. The contracting business relies heavily on word of mouth.The more people that learn about a bad contractors reputation, the better off the community will be.

7) Blog about it:)

I will keep you posted as events unfold. I sure hope that John Anderson treats his customers at Pro Tech Marine, 382 Route 67 Mechanicville, NY 12118-3110, (518) 899-4780 better than the homeowners that hire Pro-Tech Masonry.

5 Replies to “Contractor from Hell aka John Anderson dba Pro-Tech”

  1. i feel your pain .i hired a guy to do my stamp con and he got me good!i paid 30,000 and it cracked a week later he pitched it toward my house {so all the water ran toward my house and a crap drain that slid under my door and failed to collect water}and he dint use crush stone or prep the area .i hired a engineer and his write up is going to make my case, However my lawyer is just as bad as the contractor .i gave him 3500.he got the insurance company to pay 2000 for the damages to the house. Now he first wanted 15000 to go after him {im going after him for double the amount because i had to continue with the rest of the project and now to replace everything it is going to cost, i have the 100k back yard and just about every guy has been scum,even home depot 8800 later for fence it is falling down .most people would go postal. but to tell you the rest about the lawyer
    he said he would go to court for court fees and i said[ i cant i am broke. ] now he said he would do pro bono. thank god ! now about the fence ,i have joined pre paid legal and let tell you i was talkin to lawyer in less than 10 minutes.they wrote a very intimidating letter with all the lawyer that belong to this thing and it looked like a list of hells angels on the letter in a good way .so we will see !but this pre paid thing is pretty good !if you wanna know more about it get back to me!thanks for your crusade!
    p.s my concrete bubbled up also after sealing it .and popped it was srange but i thought that was the norm.

  2. Well not only is John Anderson an unscrupulous business person he also assaults road cyclists both with his vehicle and in person. The guy should be in jail.

  3. I passed this over to my wife to get the small claims action in gear. Of course, I’ll win, but even then there will be a hassle in collecting the judgment. Fortunately, as a former landlord, this isn’t my first time at the rodeo & I know how to get paid:)

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