I was referred to Julian Smith (alias Mr. Jewels) by my contractor for architectural design services. Mr. Smith is the sole proprietor of CAD Drafting, Inc. Mr. Smith also does business under the names Jewels & Associates, Inc. and TMH Associates, Inc. Mr. Smith claimed to be an established architect with years of experience providing architectural drawings to consumers. On June 15, 2012, I met with Mr. Smith to discuss the architectural design services offered by his company. He said he could provide me with 1) an architectural Interior drawing, 2) a Mechanical drawing, and 3) an HVAC drawing for the property.
He informed me that the Interior drawing would need to be completed first because both the Mechanical and HVAC drawings were dependent on the scope and design of the Interior drawing. I was provided with a contract for the Interior drawing. The total cost of the Interior drawing was $1500. Under the terms of his contract, I had to pay $750.00 upfront for Mr. Smith to draft the drawing for my review. Upon my review and acceptance of this draft, he would then complete the drawing and receive an additional $750.00 upon its completion. The contract states that the scope of this work would be completed within an estimate of 10 business days.
Mr. Smith also told me that I would have to sign separate contracts for the Mechanical and HVAC drawings, which would cost $1250 per drawing. Mr. Smith did not have those contracts with him and agreed to email them to me. I signed the contract for the Interior drawing and paid Mr. Smith the first installment payment of $750.00 on June 15, 2012.
On June 29, 2012, I contacted Mr. Smith via email to inquire about the status of my Interior drawing and to remind him to send the additional contracts for the Mechanical and HVAC drawings. On July 1, 2012, Mr. Smith replied to my message stating that he was almost done and would prepare the agreement for the additional drawings.
On July 13, 2012, I called Mr. Smith to inquire again about my Interior drawing, because I had not heard from him since his reply to my email. Mr. Smith falsely claimed that the draft of my Interior drawing was completed and he would call me to meet me at the property on July 16, 2012 to review the draft.
On July 16, 2012, Mr. Smith did not contact me and avoided my phone calls. On August 1, 2012, I requested a refund of the installment payment via email. On August 2, 2012, Mr. Smith replied to my email asking whether he could deliver the drawing or if I wanted a refund. He again falsely claimed that he completed the Interior drawing, although he had some problems doing so. On August 4, 2012, I responded that I wanted a refund.
On August 21, 2012, I left a voicemail message for Mr. Smith, which he ignored. On August 29, 2012, I emailed Mr. Smith again regarding the refund. He again avoided all contact with me.
However, during this time and unknown to Mr. Smith, my contractor had been in touch with me regarding the drawing. I shared my concerns with my contractor and he contacted Mr. Smith to see why he wasn't refunding the installment money or completing the draft of the drawing. On August 16, 2012, Mr. Smith lied to my contractor about contracting with me to do the Interior drawing, a Mechanical drawing, and an HVAC drawing. Mr. Smith used this as an excuse as to why it was taking him so long to complete the drawing because of the amount of work involved. He also lied and told my contractor that he was charging me $1500 for all three drawings, so he felt I should just wait for him to finish the job no matter how long it took, because I was getting a deal.
I explained to my contractor that Mr. Smith was lying about the scope of the contract and the amounts that he was charging for each drawing. I gave my contractor a copy of the emails between myself and Mr. Smith where Mr. Smith said he would prepare the agreement for the additional drawings. As a result, my contractor contacted Mr. Smith again about the refund and the drawing. He told Mr. Smith that he should either give me the refund or the drawing. Mr. Smith said he was unable to complete the drawing so he would send me the refund.
On September 4, 2012, I called Mr. Smith regarding the refund. He became irate and said he would not refund my money and again falsely claimed that he completed the architectural Interior drawing, the Mechanical drawing, and the HVAC drawing. Because he had worked for months on the drawings, he felt he was entitled to the money. When I asked Mr. Smith to provide the draft of the Interior drawing since he claimed it was done, he said that he wouldn't give it to me. I reminded Mr. Smith that 1) he never provided a contract for the additional Mechanical and HVAC drawings for me to sign, and 2) the additional drawings were dependent on the completed Interior drawing, which could only be completed once I approved the draft of the Interior drawing, but he never provided me with a draft. I told him that I would sue him if necessary to get my refund back. He then said talk to my attorney and hung up the phone on me.
I called him back and asked for his attorney's contact information. Mr. Smith gave me the name and number of someone who is not authorized to practice law in Pennsylvania. I told Mr. Smith that I would have to contact the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General regarding his business practices because I was concerned that this was not an isolated incident and that Mr. Smith was taking money from consumers and not providing the contracted services. Mr. Smith stated that he did not want me to have to take things that far and he wanted to know why I couldn't just wait for the drawing to be completed.
I explained to him that he had already lied that the draft of the Interior drawing was completed on July 16, so I've been waiting since then. I did not want to continue to wait indefinitely for a draft. Furthermore, even if he provided me with a draft at that time, I would still need the completed Interior drawing and I didn't want to have any further business contact with Mr. Smith because he could not be trusted. As a result of our conversation, Mr. Smith finally admitted that he did not complete the draft and agreed to refund the $750.00 installment payment to me. I told Mr. Smith that I would give him 10 business days to send the payment to me. I asked him if he still had my address to send the refund to. He wasn't sure, so I agreed to send it to him in an email.
On September 4, 2012, I sent Mr. Smith an email with my address and reiterated that I expected my refund by September 18, 2012. On September, 14, 2012, Mr. Smith replied to my email and again admitted to having some problems getting the info needed to complete my draft and that he would send the refund to me. Mr. Smith has never explained what the problems were in completing the draft.
On October 8, 2012, I emailed Mr. Smith informing him that I would have to take legal action if he did not return the money by October 13, 2012. At this point, I had already been in touch with an attorney and we discussed preparing a Notice of Intent to Sue, but I wanted to give Mr. Smith one last chance to mitigate his damages and simply return the $750. Mr. Smith replied to my email on the same day and stated that he sent the refund, but then went on to say he would hire an attorney and countersue. He also claimed that I cancelled the job and didn't want to pay for the draft.
On October 9, 2012, I replied to Mr. Smith's email and asked when exactly did he send the refund because I did not receive it. I also reminded Mr. Smith that I did pay for the draft to be completed and he never completed it. Mr. Smith did not reply to my email message. I have not heard from Mr. Smith nor have I received my refund since that time.
As a result, Mr. Smith is currently being investigated by the PA Department of State Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation, the PA Attorney General Office, and the BBB. If Mr. Smith resolves this issue, then I will update this complaint to include it.