‘We trusted him’: Consumers say contractor holding big deposits for work not done

APOPKA, Fla. — It’s the classic contractor deposit nightmare any homeowner could face.

Two local families claim the same Apopka dock builder collected thousands of dollars in deposits and never did the job.

The company’s offer seemed perfect and Lulita Haslip was ready to sign.

“We trusted him. He came to our house and we gave him a 50% deposit that day,” Haslip said.

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She paid Konadocks a $3,000 deposit to build a floating dock on their Windermere lake. According to Haslip, the day she paid the deposit was the last day she saw the company’s owner, Brian Hall, and she said he stopped answering her calls and texts.

“I feel I’ve been lied to and I trusted someone. Now it’s beyond money,” Haslip said.

“It was difficult from the very beginning,” Nikki Monroe said.

Monroe claims Konadocks double crossed her too. She hired the company to build a boathouse at her lakefront home in Longwood. Nine months later, she still doesn’t have a boathouse and she says that at this point she wants the company to return the $13,000 deposit she paid with her credit card.

“It’s just devastating financially, it’s a real hardship,” Monroe said.

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Usually, if a homeowner uses a credit card they stand a better chance of getting that money back from a bad contractor.

Six months after signing the contract, Monroe disputed the deposit with her credit card provider. The credit card company denied her request because she was outside of the timeframe that would give card holders protection for disputed charges. Generally, credit card dispute protection only lasts three months.

Konadocks is rated F at the Better Business Bureau, and several consumers claim they also paid deposits for work that was not done.

Action 9′s Todd Ulrich went to Konadocks in Apopka. Later, company owner Brian Hall told Ulrich that both consumers will get their money. He said the Haslips only have to return company equipment. He said Monroe’s credit card refund has been honored and she still owes him $2,500 for the old dock demo. Hall said his company has dozens of very satisfied customers and a solid reputation.

“How can someone get away with doing this for so long and still has a business up and running?” Haslip said.

Consumers need to make a full-court press in order to get deposits back. If it’s a licensed contractor, they should send a complaint to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. For all missing deposits, consumers can send complaints to the Better Business Bureau and Florida’s attorney general.

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.