Consumer warning: Charges filed against Kingsway Awning in NJ
CHERRY HILL, N.J. - October 4, 2013 (WPVI) -- It is often advised that consumers use a company with a long history, good reputation, and solid references. However this case is proof that even if a company meets all that criteria, you still need to do more research.
The Pressels' backyard deck gets too much sun, so they gave Kingsway Awning a deposit for a retractable awning.
"It was going to start here, it was going to be 16 feet. It was going to start here and go to the end of the deck," said Mindy Pressel.
The Pressels hired Kingsway Awning because it has a long history and was recommended by two neighbors who had used the company decades ago.
The company website says the owner Chris Hill is carrying on "a deep-rooted family tradition that dates back to 1942 in Camden County."
The Pressels gave Hill a deposit of $1,500 and say Hill promised to deliver and install in about three weeks.
However nearly three months later and - "He never delivered and when we called, there were constant excuses," said Pressel.
The Pressels filed a criminal case against Hill in Cherry Hill - one count of theft by deception.
Hill has other unhappy customers. This summer - two filed theft charges against him in West Deptford.
He also faces the same charge in Greenwich Township. On top of that, Hill has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
"I usually research everything but because it had been in business for so long and I knew other people who'd used him, I never really rechecked them," said Pressel.
That's something the Pressels plan to do in the future.
Good places to start are your courthouse, county consumer affairs office, and our Call for Action hotline here at 6abc.
Meantime, after Action News contacted Hill, he finally delivered the Pressels' materials and a promise to have it installed at no charge - even though he never got the $1,700 balance.
Hill also delivered his own explanation.
"I offered to bring it to him before and he told me he didn't want it. He told me he wanted his money back, I already had the awning," he said.
Action News asked him why it took so long to deliver the awning in the first place?
"Backed up, got into a hole and employees and everything else. I got a hard time getting it done," said Hill.
As for the Pressels, they are glad they finally got their awning.
"I want to thank everybody for finally coming together. I especially want to thank Action News and you for trying to help resolve this issue," said Larry Pressel.
Hill later emailed Action News and said that he's had many issues including the deaths of his father six years ago and his aunt four years ago as well as the second failure of his marriage and the bad economy.
"I have been struggling ever since. I am honestly doing my best to take care of my responsibilities as you can attest to my taking care of the Pressels....I am truly sorry that people have been hurt by my tardiness but I can assure you that I am not a thief or a criminal or a bad person."
Meantime, Hill's attorney, Joe Hoffman, says his client has promised to provide full restitution to the customers in those pending cases in West Deptford and Greenwich as well.
lifestyle, consumer news, nydia han
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