My 70 year old Mother wanted to paint her house. We, my wife and I, agreed to do it for her this summer. Yesterday we had no idea she had any intention of putting on Vinyl Siding, but she had already been approached by two men working for Erie Construction Midwest, Inc., and luckily found out who put the idea in her head.
My wife went over to trim bushes and cut the grass when my Mother told her that two nice men came by and talked to her for hours about installing Vinyl Siding and Gutters. She lives in a small plat house in Fairborn, OH which is 1008 square feet. She told my wife that they were coming by that day to give her an estimate and tell her if she was eligible for financing.
My wife said when she was outside, a brand new white Audi with temporary tags pulled up to the house. Two men in business suits, John Rouse and Bill Potts, went to my Mother's front door. My wife said that they were there for a while then left. When she asked my Mother how it went my Mother said, "I just gave them all my money." When my wife inquired to how much it was going to cost, my Mother told her they said it would be $12,583.00 for tan vinyl siding and new gutters in the front and back of the house. When my wife stated she thought that sounded like too much money, my Mother replied, "well, they said I would get some of it back after refinancing. Plus, I've just increased the value of my home."
My Mother has been a diabetic for years and takes insulin. She cannot hide the sores and bruising on her lower legs and is very overweight. She lives with my 40 year old mentally retarded brother alone since my Father had to be placed in a nursing home eight months ago. My Mother gushed that the men had talked to her for hours and kept telling her, "they could not believe she was seventy years old." No one would have bought that old line except my Mother, who usually won't even let family members in the house because of the condition it is in. And who would promise you some of your money back once they refinance when you never financed in the beginning?
The house was built in 1957 and is usually appraised at $64,920.00 for that type of home. Last year the County Auditors asked to come in to see the house, the appraisal is now $16,240.00. The house is stacked with stuff in every room in the house. She is suffering from a hording disorder and has everything under the sun piled all over the house. We have been trying to work with her and will continue to do so, but if anyone walked into that house they would know there was something deeply wrong with this scenario.
My Mother went on to say that they could not let her finance because, and to quote them, "once a spouse is placed in a nursing home, no one will finance you." She added that these two men actually asked her, "well, how much money is in your bank account?" And Voila, the estimate was just that much. Right at that moment my Mother wrote a check for that amount and they took it happily. My Mother didn't even make it to drop #1, let alone drop #2. They did tell her that they were giving her $4,000.00 off the real cost of $16,000.0 - they are such sweet and generous guys, aren't they?
Now my wife is really dismayed. She copied the information off the contract and came home to tell me this Saturday evening. She told me that my Mother wrote them a check and that they told her she only had three days to cancel the contract. So, they got the check late Saturday afternoon, so that gave my Mother Sunday and Monday to cancel. Good timing, boys! The information had Toledo and Dayton as location, the 800 number and one of the guy's cell numbers. Well, I'll be, no fax number?
This morning I got up early to check them out. I visited their website and noticed that the copy/paste funtion was disabled. I build web sites and know that there are only a few reasons you write a string disabling this feature....one is making it harder for someone who is getting your info to "research" or "report" you. I visited many other construction sites and none had this string written into their pages. I am trying now, on Sunday, to call or fax to cancel this contract. If anyone can help me with tips on how to get my Mother out of this three day scam I would appreciate it if you could contact me or post it on the boards here. Thank you.