Report: #874948

Complaint Review: Gimme Shelter Roofing

  • Submitted: Fri, April 27, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, June 13, 2012
  • Reported By: Kristen — Renton Washington U.S.A.
  • Gimme Shelter Roofing
    608 Superior St
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Michael Athas is initially a very charming and endearing fellow. He invited my husband and I down from WA state to engage in sales and project management for his roofing company, Gimme Shelter Roofing in Colorado Springs. We all were clearly aware that our time in Colorado Springs was temporary since we have a development project in Helena, MT waiting for proper funding. It was simply unknown how long before the funding would be in place.

4/23 we met with Michael Athas in his office to discuss our leaving his company. We brought our folders with current roofs sold and all accompanying paperwork. When he learned that we wanted to finish out these projects and then leave his company, he accused us of quitting.  We objected and explained that we wanted to complete each contract to cause things to go smoothly between clients and Gimme Shelter Roofing. We did not want to disrupt either the clients with a transition of some kind nor other project managers or canvassers currently working with Gimme Shelter Roofing. [continued below]....

He insisted upon taking all of our seven contracts and when we asked about the commissions that we had earned he said, "What commissions?" In three cases everything had been done except receiving the final check in the mail. In the other four cases we had at minimum won the confidence of the client, had a signed contract and an adjuster approved 'bought roof'. The amount of $4,479.30 represents the three exactly because they were all completed. The four remaining which we expected to complete over the next three weeks would earn approx. $5,600.

Please let our experience be known to all and be warned that this gentleman is not a gentleman at all. He is attractive and gracious to begin with but his true character emerges as he begins to grill exert control and manipulation, which is his defining method, to exert pressure to comply with what he wants to accomplish.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/27/2012 03:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Ooops I missed another incredibly long one

AUTHOR: Kristen - ()

Hmmm, how did I miss this? We must have moved on with our lives. :-)


Michael continues to repeat the same ole things with very eloquent writing skills. Much better than mine.


I search Gimme Shelter Roofing now and find many many complaints posted and the company website no longer is up. Maybe he is finally done in Colorado Springs. Michael, how many times did you tell me that you hate living there? I sure hope you have found another home.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Pissed off customer

AUTHOR: Pissed customer - (United States of America)

I was a customer and was treated very poorly.  While Michael can speak and write well, he does not perform as promised.  Please beware of this company.
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#3 Author of original report

Thank you Michael

AUTHOR: Kristen - (U.S.A.)

Thank you for dropping the small claims case.

I have read over everything I have written again and surely cannot even figure out what was brought up that would reflect our 'moral compass'. Working for you, moving here for you, wishing to transition out of your company smoothly, bringing back the shirts and jackets w/your logo, wanting to make the transition without any adverse effects on your company. Even those who knew me best while working for you said that I had always portrayed you with high regard, emphasizing your care for the customer.
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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Thank you

AUTHOR: Michael Athas - (United States of America)

As stated in an earlier comment, I am not entirely done a disservice by the Harris' continued postings, particularly when one considers the source. I am pleased they reveal their reasoning skills, lack of moral compass and disrespect property of others when they justify misappropriation of funds. (i could use a more blunt term than "misappropriation".) Very simply put, it's not their money. It belongs to Ms. Kiersten Lehmkuhl. The Harris' feel aggrieved, however they quit to move to Montana. Or was that to work for another roofer? I get confused.

I note "some" of my property was mysteriously discovered and returned after the civil portion of the litigation was filed. Presumably that's what they offered to "trade". We'll see what occurs during the criminal phase.

They probably pass their own sniff test with flying colors. Anyone here preferring to associate with the Harris' or disassociate with me owing to their postings, be my guest.

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#5 Author of original report

Outer Space

AUTHOR: Kristen - (U.S.A.)

Previous pictures posted are from beautiful work we have accomplished in Seattle from "our failed business" - NOT - our D. L. Harris Homes is shut down temporarily. By the way, be our guest, and search our name and see what wonderful things our clients say about us. There is not one derogatory report concerning us on the net.

I'm glad Michael refers to being from outer space. :-) Reality doesn't seem to be his strong point. He didn't start this? Forwarded money to pay for the windows of HIS client? Oh my.

First of all he is the one who abruptly ended our employment JUST because we came to the time, previously agreed upon, for transition out of his company - previously detailed. In every way and from every point of view - he started this. Scott and I discussed our legal options and decided to move forward without further contact with Michael, his company or our clients who represent the folders he took from us. It was Michael that started the demanding emails, Michael invited us from WA. under false pretense, Michael that filed a small claims lawsuit. It is also Michael who quickly moves to litigation.  I reported on Ripoff to warn others wishing they had warned me.

Secondly, it was certainly not his client but I'm glad he has put that in writing since it makes a good case that we were treated as employees yet reported as 1099. Our client was not even aware of Michael AND this is one of the folders that he took from us without pay. I'm sure it makes perfect sense to all, that we should then use our final, abrupt last check from him to pay the balance of $902.50 for windows when we were not going to receive $1,662.57 for our commission. He was keeping it. I don't know about you but how in the world does one justify suing for that check #2264 when the very commission earned was wrongfully withheld? Very convoluted reasoning. Please use our commission money to pay the windows, Michael.

Pain? Be uprooted from a home of 38 years. Miss the birth of two grand babies to my daughters. To be maligned weekly over and over again about the work one is doing. Thanks but no thanks. I'm grateful to the Lord for moving us to Colorado and teaching us all He has taught us.

Oh yes, can't ignore this: 'Harris' alienated customers'. Oh my. There was one couple that we successfully completed a contract, and succeeded with their roof and two sheds completely paid for by insurance due to weather damage. This because of our expertise and our very favorable and respected relationship with the adjuster on the claim. Our reputation is such with adjusters that they know we do not waste their time. This particular roof was very questionable but because we work with adjusters to find what is needed for proper coverage this couple has a new roof and an increased property value. Yes, they did become upset with us and Michael, bless his heart, won them back and GSR installed the roof. He actually now claims that he did not pay us commission on that roof, of which he already paid a portion which was satisfactory to us for what we had accomplished. (?) There is no other alienation of customers. The 'others' he is referring to are either contracts or customer meetings that did not turn into completed jobs. He has wanted us to sue two other clients for not completing their contracts. We do NOT do that sort of thing. Talk about alienating customers. We make friends in all we do. If a customer is not completely comfortable doing business with us we do not press them. That is what Michael is calling alienating. Oh, and just for good measure, the previous clients of his he mentions that led to completed contracts for us, well he wasn't able to land them himself. AND the pages of leads that he claimed were his previous contacts turned out to be the property of others work who had separated from GSR. I guess when one is used to telling half truths they expect everyone else does the same thing.

I'm mostly surprised that others have not been willing to stand up to this man who consistently uses bullying as his mode of operation. The money involved is not usually enough to use the legal system, however, that may change for us as it appears that Michael may be liable for triple damages allowed when pay is withheld. The internet is a new medium that allows a person's reputation to be exposed.
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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Beam me up, Scotty !

AUTHOR: Michael Athas - (United States of America)

May 11, 2012

This response will likely be my last statement on this matter for two main reasons: pending legal action generally precludes open commentary, and someone of us has to be concerned with sparing all involved parties the inevitable brain damage that will occur as the Harris will always seek
to have the last word. But, seems we live in different times, airing our dirty laundry in public. So be it. I didn't choose this, but I certainly can weigh in here:

Let me first acknowledge how painful it is to be attacked and personally insulted. It causes me great pain to encounter ad hominem attacks. They are not relevant to business issues, but nevertheless do hurt.

The Harris see themselves as high producers, they ought to be paid everything they believe they are owed, and how could anyone elses considerations even matter, least of all the owner of the company.

The Harris did produce a handful of deals on their own. The greater number of deals, however for which they claimed credit were the result of my personal introduction to my previous clients, my assisting them to close deals they could not, or most recently the result of company appointment
setters, without which, they might have gone this entire year without success.  They did alienate clients and lost several deals that I know of. Probably they lost several that were not disclosed.  Certainly as a team of two doing the job most of us do solo, one would have expected stellar production. It never happened.

They also seek to portray me as an owner who has a history of misbehavior with sales people and cite at least two more people whom weknow about.  I guess understanding neither facts nor context matters not, if youre just out to slime someone. I havent lost a lot of employees over many decades, and I rarely fail to retain the better ones.

The larger and more troubling issues are the material damage they caused my company and lack of honesty and fraud. They are in receipt of a check for $1,000 that was advanced specifically in response to their request to pay for windows for a clients home. They requested that check under false pretenses and according to Ms. Kiersten Lehmkuhl at Window World,

Kristin Harris called me to let me know that they no longer had access to the funds and that I should file a lien immediately so that the bank would be aware that we had not been paid.

People who know me value that I always pay fast and early, and had on April 13 conveyed check number 2264 to them specifically my clients home windows. I advanced them that expense check with the express purpose of paying Ms. Lehmkuhl. I trusted the Harris. Yet, it appears they are defrauding Ms. Lehmkuhl and myself, and are attempting to have one of my suppliers create
a legal problem for me. In retrospect, it all appears premeditated on their part.

They also state they are only in possession of business cards however they are also in possession of contracts between my company and a number of clients.  This is not their property. This is Gimme Shelter Roofing property.  They are causing material damage to the extent I cannot proceed in assisting those homeowners. The value of that would be a minimum of $3,000. They write that they want to trade or swap.  I will hold them to account.

These ethical lapses, while professing righteousness and slandering me remind of a person who
emits a foul odor in public yet continues engaging in discussion as though nothing were amiss, business as usual, pretending there is no problem at all. I find it sad.

On behalf of Ms. Lehmkuhl, I apologize for the behavior of my former associates in misleading you and will personally remit payment to settle our outstanding balance today. To the Harris  team of 34 people, I would just hope that at least one person who has a moral compass and cares to convey some legal and ethical guidance to the Harris suggest they rescind the insults and complaints and comments, enjoy their future with their new employer free of criminal or civil
proceedings or findings, and return the apparently misappropriated funds and all other company materials.  And please spare us all future brain damage.

Thank you very much.
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#7 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Kristen - (U.S.A.)

We did not seek to discredit Michael and even decided between us that we would move on without engaging him at all any more. But when he sent a threatening and demanding email I asked him not to address us again. I promised that if he did the consequences would be that I would include in my reply the addresses of all his team (six people) and the addresses of about 34 others whom he stood in front of and attempted to discredit & embarrass us publicly. You guessed it, he immediately emailed back a scathing, threatening and mocking email; to which I calmly replied staying focused on what he had actually done. About 14 emails followed over the next three weeks until he finally stopped. Amazing that he is accusing me when the proof is in my possession that HE is the one who initiated ALL of the emails.

While Michael's true colors were beginning to show, the crowning event was an unrelenting lashing for 45 minutes while a new canvasser was in our car ready to work in their neighborhood. He FIRMLY excused her presence by saying he was 'paying her hourly anyway'. Didn't make for a good impression. I finally said - please stop! I'm hanging up now. Upon arriving home we looked up the total number of roofing permits that had been initiated by GSR since we started and found that our number of roofs represented almost half of Michael's entire production despite two to three other project managers and himself.

We just couldn't figure out why that kind of production on behalf of his company deserved such treatment. Since my husband and I are both over 60, we did not consider his management style something we could flourish under...especially when he engaged Scott with the same sort of tongue lashing the next day for 50 minutes. :-(

As far as attempting to embarrass Michael, he doesn't need any help from us.

Our announcement was not abrupt (since he has known from the beginning) and included a plan to have a smooth exit without any repercussions. Instead Michael is the one who abruptly demanded our folders and announced that we had already received our last check. The amazing thing to all of this is that he had agreed to us coming down for just 4 1/2 months and that it would still be worth it to him. So, again, our temporary nature was clear to all. So the point is, when our employment was over, did he never have a plan of equitably separating? Did he always plan to keep what ever amount was in process? Yes, I now believe that is so since I have learned of two other folks who have had the same thing happen. I am hoping that they step up and make their statements. If THEY had when it happened to them, I would have found it on the Web when I searched Michael Athas. At least now the news is in writing for others to be warned.

I do not know what Michael is speaking about - our 'failed businesses' plural. We did close down our construction company in Seattle since the terrible downturn of the building and remodeling crash. Since we are continuing to receive calls from happy customers (we are redirecting them to a fellow in Seattle) I don't know how one considers that a failed business.

The internet is really wonderful for many things. I'm currently investigating just how many of Michael's contracted customers he has filed against in small claims court. Since August we personally know of six.

The 'valuable' property he is asking for is our business cards, etc. We brought with us the shirts and jackets w/Gimme Shelter Roofing logo on them. He also has the files for all previous customers roofed and current. He also has the spread sheet of all our customers that we have been working with. I just don't get it. If he would like the other 'things' he is asking for we would be happy to trade them out.....what-a-ya-say?
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#8 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Consider the source

AUTHOR: Michael Athas - (United States of America)

As the owner of the company whose operation is described in the recent report filed by Kristen Harris, I submit the following rebuttal for the review of any interested parties. Consider these points, if you will:

Since their abrupt departure almost a month ago from my firm, the Harris', Kristen and her husband Scott, have sought to discredit me and embarrass me before my associates and team members with a number of emails. The report they submitted to this web site is a continuation of that campaign they are waging. Given my reputation compared with theirs, I am not poorly served by their comments when you consider the source.

Context is important, and complete facts provide a more complete picture and more meaningful context. The inputs they made are fairly incomplete and out of context, and as can be easily imagined, only lead to a positive conclusion regarding the putative victims and a pejorative impression of me. Some facts they conceal from the reader:

The Harris' do not disclose that they resigned due to unhappiness with some of our interaction or why certain interactions were negative. They are free to resign, and they did. They fail to disclose that they had secured employment with a competitor whereas they told me and my partner they resigned to relocate to Montana. This was one of many efforts to mislead me and not inform me that they were working for another roofing company. They do not report that commissions are not paid to people who are not under agreement with Gimme Shelter Roofing. They also do not state that their agreement reserves my right to include as grounds for termination lack of honesty and integrity. I have documented incidences of lapses in many areas of their operation going back longer than perhaps I should have before I effected some changes. Given some accounting irregularities and several other factual discrepancies that have presented themselves subsequent to their abrupt departure, I should have been more vigilant, however they regularly tout their honor and integrity. I believed them. I took them at their word.

Having seen their operational style, I can more easily see how their history of association with previous business failures has developed. You really cannot expect to publicly castigate your employer and dictate to him what you will and will not do and be surprised when he accepts your resignation and terminates decisively. They are? Had they not burned bridges and conducted themselves with a lack of candor, I might have been amenable to some greater accommodation. However, under the circumstances, I felt very uncomfortable.

Though they might find this shocking, no owner is obligated to keep anyone on board whom they believe to be a detriment to their operation. Further, they are to this day in possession of various company assets they refuse to return, for which they are vulnerable to civil and criminal prosecution. I wouldn't think they would want any adverse legal findings in their personnel folder as they contemplate their future, but who knows?

My bottom lines: I am proud of the decades I have of performance excellence, service results and stellar performance references in several industries, not limited to roofing. I am proud of my reputation. No clients or prospects or property owners have any reason for concern working with me or my team. Quite the contrary, there are many reasons why people should NOT use our competition, and you can read about them every day in our testimonials.

Finally, when you quit, you quit, you exit gracefully and not do anything infradig. I wish them well in their future, but they need to return all company assets to prevent further criminal and legal proceedings from being advanced against them.

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