• Report: #624579
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Sun, July 18, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, May 27, 2011

  • Reported By: Got-Ripped-Off — Denver Colorado United States of America
14149 Weld County Road 26 Fort Lupton, Colorado United States of America

BEUTILITYFREE John D'Angelo John DAngelo BeUtilityFree Stiffed the Colorado State licensed Electrical Contractors for $3375.00! Fort Lupton, Colorado

*Author of original report: The original invoice needs no revision!

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Like I said before...

*Author of original report: Consider the source!

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Further clarification on why this sub has not been paid

*Author of original report: We can prove BeUtilityFree Ripped Us Off!! Take a look, please

*Author of original report: We stand by the fact we were NEVER paid by BeUtilityFree!

*UPDATE Employee: Rebuttal to slanderous and erroneous accusation

REBUTTAL BOX™ | Respond to this Report! | Consumer Comment

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BeUtilityFree is a solar and renewable energy company located in Fort Lupton, Colorado. I think all homeowners and business owners that are doing business with this unsavory company should know that BeUtilityFree will hire Colorado State licensed electrical contractors to do their required installations, will get paid by the homeowner and then not pay the electrical contractors a penny!

I know this for a fact because we are electrical contractors that completed a solar installation in Sterling, Colorado for BeUtilityFree, passed three separate electrical inspections and then never got paid a penny by John DAngelo! We used our own money to pay for the permits, the materials, the fuel to travel there and the hotel and meals expenses. This project was completed August 2009 and we are still waiting to be paid the amount that was on the contract. Several months after John was paid in full by the homeowners he decided he would pay us only if we were to reduce our contract by $1200.00!

Never having to file a lien on any project before, we were not aware the time limit to file such a lien is within 60 days after sending out the invoice! We were trying to work with John DAngelo and before we knew it, the sixty day limit passed.

This man and the company he fronts is nothing less than a rip off! Homeowners beware! You could have a lien on your home because of BeUtilityFrees unsavory business practices!

Does anyone else on this forum have any reports on BeUtilityFree/John DAngelo ripping them off too?

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/18/2010 09:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/beutilityfree-john-dangelo/fort-lupton-colorado-80621/beutilityfree-john-dangelo-john-dangelo-beutilityfree-stiffed-the-colorado-state-licensed-624579. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

The original invoice needs no revision!

AUTHOR: Got-Ripped-Off - (United States of America)

As stated time and again, this installation was billed out as Time and Materials and is right in line with all the other installations that were done for BeUtilityFree. Just because they did not bid their end of the work correctly does that mean that our legitimate invoice should be reduced by some 30%!

Not only was BeUtilityFree invoiced correctly ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO, the interest and penalties occurred during this time only goes to show just how outrageous and incorrect ripoff artist John DAngelo actually is.

There is no need to revise the invoice, there is only the need for DAngelo to pay this long overdue invoice.

Consumers beware!!! You do not want to deal with this person!
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Like I said before...

AUTHOR: info@beutilityfree.com - (U.S.A.)

I have asked the owner of LaVita Electric, Keith Tracy, for a REVISED copy of the bill I received from then and once we receive a revised bill with the CORRECT labor costs (as stated in an email) and materials costs as well as other adjustments I called the owner one that I requested a very long time ago THEY will be paid. However, it is quite obvious that all they want to do is bad mouth me and our company. My going to prison has absolutely nothing to do with their outrageous bill we received from then for there service performed.

Oh and if we want to talk about doing jail time, Mr Tracy's worker, Robert Mitten, who usually writes these posts, has also done jail time as well. But I see no point in bringing that into the discussion as they do. I could care less what he did to get there  because it has no bearing on the fact that his company overcharged us for services.

So who is he to be all high and mighty? Besides as most reasonable people know that the press gets the facts wrong quite often. And they truly got one heck of a lot of facts wrong surrounding some of the facts one reads in these outlandish press releases.
One example: "plastic one-gallon milk container that lacked appropriate warnings." Well there was a 4" label on that container with a 2" x 2" skull and crossbones on the label which ANY teenager knows that means that what is inside ether container is POISONOUS. I would not consider a 4" x 4" label on the container "lacking of an appropriate warning", would you?

Oh and another fact the report does not tell you is that the 15 year old in the police report files said that the incident was an "accident" if you read the police report it says they the boy was told not to drink from the container by our dealers son, then he went back to drink from the container after he was TOLD NOT to. I personally consider what looked like an accident to actual be a suicide based on more evidence and facts that the young man was heavily involved in drugs. 

I went to prison for misdemeanors, but what I really went to prison for was that a person died in an accident (the police report was never read by the judge), and without a doubt, committed suicide. I am NOT or never will be responsible for another persons action when the container, sufficiently labeled,  that this young man drank from did so by his own actions. NO ONE WAS PRESENT holding a gun to this mans head telling him he had to drink poison. He did that all by himself and put a person in jail that did have the appropriate labeling on a container that help a poisonous chemical.

I will write the owners of this web site and request that they delete the previous post because my doing prison time has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH the fact that a bill has not been paid by our company. 

As I have state before, if Keith wants to be paid all Keith has to do is revise his invoice and HE WILL BE PAID. But as of May 26, 2011 I am STILL WAITING for that revised invoice!

So tell me Keith when are you going to send a revised invoice?
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#3 Author of original report

Consider the source!

AUTHOR: Got-Ripped-Off - (United States of America)

Read carefullly the words of John DAngelo as well as the reason he went to prison and I think you will see the full story. This person is nothing more than a con-man!

We are a licensed electrical contractor within the State of Colorado. When we have to take a day off to drive more than 125 miles ONE WAY to look at a possible job to evaluate whether a PV installation can even be done is never, ever free! They knew this well in advance and we have charged them for our trips out of Denver before to look at possivle installation and we have those invoices!

The installation in Sterling, CO could NOT happen without a complete electrical service upgrade. If BeUtilityFree actually was a licensed contractor in the State of Colorado and had an actual electrician on board, then they would not have their constant problem of having to pay electrical contractors to do their work for them. We not only had to apply and pay for the electrical permits for this installation, but we also paid for BeUtilityFrees solar permit and had to pick it up in person for BUF in Sterling! We have yet to be paid for any of this. Clearly people, you are looking at a true rip off artist. Now please look at these facts that are on another RipOffReport page on John DAngelo:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that John D'Angelo, owner and president of Utility Free Inc., a Colorado-based distributor of alternative energy products, was sentenced to nearly two years in jail for violating two laws enforced by CPSC. Mr. D'Angelo pled guilty to 15 counts of improperly shipping hazardous substances, including a highly corrosive, clear electrolyte solution. In December 1993, 15-year-old Justin Pulliam mistook the solution for water because Mr. D'Angelo had shipped it in a reused plastic one-gallon milk container that lacked appropriate warnings. The teenager drank it and died two weeks later from severe internal injuries.

The Federal Hazardous Substances Act prohibits the shipment of hazardous substances in reused food containers and without proper warning labels that contain safety information. The Poison Prevention Packaging Act requires that certain chemicals be marketed in child-resistant packaging. Mr. D'Angelo violated both laws. His sentence is the longest jail time ever imposed for violations of laws enforced by CPSC.

CPSC Chairman Ann Brown said, "These important federal laws are intended to prevent exactly the kind of tragedy that killed Justin. We will vigorously pursue everyone who flouts our laws and puts consumers at risk." Chairman Brown also noted that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment first brought Mr. D'Angelo's violations to CPSC's attention. "This was a perfect example of how state and federal authorities working together can protect the public," she said.

Mr. D'Angelo also shipped improperly labeled potassium hydroxide and lithium hydroxide in solid form. In addition, he kept selling the potassium hydroxide in non-child- resistant containers (plastic bags with twist-tie or resealable plastic bags), even after CPSC told him that such sales violated federal law.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado sentenced Mr. D'Angelo to 700 days in jail (approximately 23 months), to be followed by one year of supervised release, in the case of U.S. v. Utility Free Inc. and John D'Angelo (No. 97-CR-312).

You may find this information at: <http://www.ripoffreport.com/builders-contractors/beutilityfree-john-d/beutilityfree-john-d-angelo-of-f52bd.htm>

Please BEWARE of BeUtilityFree! Shop around and you will find no reason to be using BUF anywhere in Colorado!


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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Further clarification on why this sub has not been paid

AUTHOR: info@beutilityfree.com - (U.S.A.)

Keith states:

"We do NOT give electrical estimates for free when we have to drive more than 250 miles to give such and estimate and John DAngelo knows that we charge the going rate to bid these installation. That took more than half a work day to perform and that is never free! Free estimates are within the city limits of Denver!"

He claims that "John D'Angelo knows that we charge the going rate" which is a lie. He had preapired other bids for us for jobs outside of Denver city limits (Evergreen , CO) and we where NEVER charged before and then all of a sudden he charges?

Once we saw the final INVOICE for the job included the cost of preparing the BID we called him out on it because we where NEVER told (verbally or in writing) that he all of a sudden started charging for preparing a BID or ESTIMATE for us. Had he told us BEFORE he prepared that bid (which was NEVER accepted from us anyway) then we would have had no problem with paying that portion of the invoice.

We politely asked to have the invoice revised by that amount as well as labor costs. He stated in an email arrived the labor cost was $100 an hour then when the final bill came he charged $120 and hour.

So the TWO main issues we had with his invoice where the charge for preparing his BID and his labor charge was wrong. All we asked him for was to adjust the final invoice to reflect the changes that should have never have been on the bill in the first place. We do not believe we are out of line nor asking anything unusual or being "unsavory" in any way! We are just practicing good business practices.

I hope who ever is reading this get has better picture of why he has not been paid to date. All we have asked him for over and over again is a revised invoice and once received he would get paid. Yet he refuses to provide this to us.

As I have told him many times it makes no sense to have a few hundred dollars hold up a few thousand dollars. We have money waiting for him yet he refuses to do what is right and continues to say he is being "ripped off". He is preventing himself for being paid NO ONE ELSE IS!

For any more information regarding this issue call toll free 888-320-9211 and ask for John. Part of why we have been in business for so many years is because we have and do treat our subcontractors fairly. All we have asked of this sub-contractor to do is provide us with a REVISED invoice that reflects CORRECT charges and he will get paid!

So what are you waiting for Keith? All we are waiting for is a revised invoice! You where always paid in the past and once we receive your revised invoice you will be paid.

We look forward your revised invoice so this issue can be resolved!

One final note, no other homeowner or subcontractor has come forward claiming we ripped them off because in the 20 years of being in the renewable energy business we have treated people fairly and honestly. and that is not accomplished by "unsavory " business practices!
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#5 Author of original report

We can prove BeUtilityFree Ripped Us Off!! Take a look, please

AUTHOR: Got-Ripped-Off - (United States of America)

First let me say that we would love to go to court on this situation and we dare BeUtilityFree to take us to court for slander! They are thieves and we can easily prove this! At this point we would have to recommend to anyone looking for a solar installation to AVOID BeUtilityFree!

1) John DAngelo is trying to claim that he never was told what our price of the electrical installation would be, at the same time saying he never said to start the job. This is a false claim as we have the actual emails in hand that not only have the exact quoted price of $3375.00, but also Johns personal OK to start this project.

2) We paid for all the permits for this installation, including the solar permit and were never paid a penny!

3) The existing electrical panel of this residence was at the point where no solar installation could be performed without an electrical service upgrade. This upgrade was no easy task because of location and previous electrical work that had be done. The electrical service upgrade was over and above the solar installation set price of $3375.00, which was the quoted price to do the electrical installation side of this solar installation that was more than 130 miles away from our home office and required us to stay overnight in a hotel.

4) Our quoted electrical contracting price has always been $65.00 per hour per license and $75 per hour when the master electrician is at work and that is a very fair price for licensed electricians trained in Article 690 for these specialized installations, as that is the average price for just a licensed electrician in Denver.

5) We do NOT give electrical estimates for free when we have to drive more than 250 miles to give such and estimate and John DAngelo knows that we charge the going rate to bid these installation. That took more than half a work day to perform and that is never free! Free estimates are within the city limits of Denver!

6) Over $700.00 of the $3375.00 charge are for the permits that we paid for and must be reimbursed for, especially the solar permit!

7) There were several trips to complete this installation and a Ford E350 Diesel van was used for this. The fuel and oil costs were $150.00 and nothing was taken for wear and tear/mileage!

8) There are the hotel bills, as well as the food bills to eat while we were on the road.

9) We spent more than $600.00 on the materials that were used on the solar side of this installation.

10) There was more than 25 man hours of electrical labor on the solar side of this installation. We are charging $120.00 per hour for two licensed electricians.

11) After completing this installation in August of 2009, then John DAngelo totally balks at paying a penny of our totally valid invoice! As of December 03, 2010 John DAngelo still refuses to pay the actual quote he approved and we can very easily prove this. Therefore we can also prove that BeUtilityFree RIPPED US OFF! We demand that they pay, or we will continue to pursue this the best we can! If it takes all the World knowing on the internet that John DAngelo is a crook, then so be it!

12) Beware that John DAngelo is trying to claim that his company (stolen name) BeUtilityFree is incorporated! It is NOT incorporated as the State of Colorado administratively dissolved that corporation back in the year 2000!

13) Just quickly add in your head the expenses and prices above and you can easily see how an installation such as this can come to a figure of $3375.00! The thing is, we had been doing other electrical installation for BeUtilityFree for over a year without any problem. They totally blew their own estimate on their side of this installation and in doing so they want us to share in their lost. That was not our problem and it still isnt! We did our work as we promised, as required by all the codes and we passed all the inspections the first time, therefore we deserve to be paid every penny in full as we quoted BeUtilityFree!

14) Add these factors up and YOU decide who is telling the truth! Do not use BeUtilityFree or you could be the next people to get jacked around!
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#6 Author of original report

We stand by the fact we were NEVER paid by BeUtilityFree!

AUTHOR: Got-Ripped-Off - (United States of America)

We performed all the electrical work required to complete all phases of this installation. We never got paid a down payment and we covered all permit fees, INCLUDING the solar permits and were never paid back for this! We paid for all electrical materials and still have not received a penny for the materials we spent!!! We had to travel there from Denver and stay in a hotel two different trips and eat at restaurants! None of this was ever paid for!

We had worked with this company in the past and thought they could be trusted! They never paid a penny towards our work!

BeUtilityFree is an EXTREMELY dishonest company and John DAngelo will look you in the eye and LIE to you!!! Beware of this RIP OFF company!!! They are rookies, they are not concerned with the codes and they will take advantage of any situation they can.

It is a FACT that they ripped us off and we will testify as such in a court of law. These people are dishonest rip offs and YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS! We missed the sixty day deadline to file a lien on this installation and are just waiting to take these thieves to court!

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#7 UPDATE Employee

Rebuttal to slanderous and erroneous accusation

AUTHOR: BUF Manager - (United States of America)

Hello everyone, I am the owner of BeUtilityFree, Inc. This contractor sent us an invoice for the job and after reviewing his bill we found that the bill was excessive and asked him to revise the bill for us. We gave him a full explanation as to why we felt the bill was excessive and needed to be revised.

As of this date, 10/13/2010 he has NOT revised the bill to reflect the changes we requested and therefore we will not pay him. It is our right to question any bill that is given to us by any subcontractor when we do not have a written contract in place between us. He claims "he has yet to pay us the agreed contracted amount" which is simply not true.We never had an agreed upon amount for the job. He gave us a quote but we never agreed to that price, but he thinks we did. We never officially gave him the go ahead but he went ahead anyway with the job making the assumption that we accepted his bid. He cannot produce any documents stating that we accepted his quote.

All we have asked for is a revised bill that reflects what is fair and appropriate for their work, not a bill that is way out of line in terms of labor costs, materials, travel etc. He has yet to give us that. 

The ball is in there court, not ours. We have been in business for over 20 years and have never not paid our subs that treated us fair for 20 years. Every once in a while you run into a company that wants to rip you off. 

We refuse to be ripped off ourselves and are glad to pay anyone that treats us fairly and provides a bill to us that reflects the appropriate labor, material and travel expediences for a job they have done for us.
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