Okay! First off, I called my neighbor on Saturday morning to invite her over for coffee and cookies and ... she had other plans. Ha! My 80-something year old neighbor has a busier social life than I do! Awesome! I'm off the hook.
Now, back in November, I had new windows installed in the house. I actually started shopping around last summer, inviting various contractors to come out to the house and submit prices.
The contractor I finally chose did not have the lowest price, but he did have a higher-quality window than the low-price guys. He had been in the area for many years, was a member of the BBB with no complaints filed against him, and got great reviews on the local web forums. He asked for a down payment on the cost of the windows, which I thought was reasonable, as they were not a standard size and had to be made specially for this installation., and the other contractors I spoke with also wanted money down on the windows.
The day of the big install came, and even though it was pouring rain, the installation guys showed up on time and did a great job. The contractor stopped by a couple of times to make sure everything was going okay. He didn't even send me a bill for the labor until a couple of weeks after the job was done.
So imagine my surprise when, a couple of weeks ago, in those same web forums where people had praised him so highly, grumblings started to be heard. Pretty soon, a local news station picked up the story.
The contractor had skipped town. Took a bunch of people's window deposits, shut his doors, and vamoosed.
Man, I'm starting to think I'm a really bad judge of character, because I really liked this guy. He seemed personable and professional and ... oh boy, he's starting to sound like Dr. M, isn't he?
ANYWAY, the window warranty is through the manufacturer, not the contractor, so I'm not out anything. But evidently I COULD have been, if the timing had been different. I mean, I did get a receipt for the money I put down on the windows (of course), but if the guy skips town, I guess a receipt doesn't make much difference.
Which leads me to wonder, who CAN you trust?
And oh my God, the local authorities caught him this past week. He had fled all the way to ... Connecticut.
If you're going to steal a bunch of people's money and skip town, shouldn't you go as far away as possible? I mean, at LEAST across the border into Mexico, and preferably someplace like Brazil or Switzerland or something.
They say it's the dumb ones who get caught, and evidently, that's true.