La Vista homeowner clashes with contractor, refuses to take down complaints for refund

A La Vista woman who paid a contractor for a new shower she never got is now doing her own detective work.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:25 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LA VISTA, Neb. (WOWT) - A homeowner who paid almost three months ago for work that’s never started is doing her own building of a legal case.

Several lessons learned along the way might help others in a similar situation.

Preparing her home for sale, Meagan Summerfield needed an updated shower.

“Tear out this insert tear out the pan, put in a new pan, and ceramic tile it up to the ceiling,” said Meagan.

So, she found a contractor’s post on a community online bulletin board.

”20% down to get on his schedule, and 30% before the first day. Just gave him it all upfront because I just wanted it to be paid and be good with it.”

And in mid-March paid him $2,200 without any work started.

“He rescheduled, and then no contact, and here we are.”

The contractor told 6 News he ran into delays on other jobs and has offered to send back the money to the Summerfields.

But he adds any refund comes with a stipulation -- Meagan must withdraw her complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General and remove any negative complaints against the contractor she’s posted on social media.

But Meagan refuses to sign any agreement. Instead, she gathered all her paperwork on the project and headed to the La Vista police station to file a report.

Because the investigation is starting and no charges have been filed, 6 News won’t name the contractor.

“Our responsibility is to investigate the matter your complaint, and look into it to see if there’s a criminal element or civil,” said Captain D.J. Barcal with La Vista Police.

Since her complaint is under investigation by several entities the BBB and Nebraska Attorney General can’t comment on whether a business can demand withdrawal of a complaint or negative post as a bargaining chip for a refund.

But in a 2020 settlement with a company that had contracts preventing customers from posting negative reviews, then-Attorney General Doug Peterson stated, consumers rely on customer reviews, and its important all consumers be allowed to share honest opinions. That’s what Meagan Summerfield says she’s doing.

“I just want to get his attention telling him I’m not going to blow this off, I take it very seriously,” Meagan said.

The customer says she also purchased tile the contractor picked up for the project. That is part of her refund demand.