Cary family says contractor didn't finish pool deck work, refused refund

CARY, Ill. (WLS) -- A family in northwest suburban Cary said they had to dip back into their pockets to get their pool deck finished, thanks to a contractor with a litany of complaints against him.

The I-Team found 13 homeowners in the north and northwest suburbs all complaining about one home repairman.

"Our project hadn't started, material wasn't ordered," Margaret Walker said.

Walker said she paid Todd Liszka from TJ's Handyman Service $7,000 for a $12,000 pool deck job, but only got stakes in the ground and a spray painted outline of the work.

"He said he was at a project that ran long, that he was out of town," she said.

Walker filed a police report and the McHenry County State's Attorney told the I-Team it is now officially investigating.

Walker also went to small claims court. Liszka filed a counter claim for $10,000 and said Walker "...was very impatient and prematurely and without a valid reason cancelled the work and breached the contract we had."

"He refused to give us a refund and told us he would take us to court," she said.

Walker said she cancelled on the Friday of the contractual "start date week." She also said that the liability insurance Liszka told her about had been cancelled, according to a letter.

Walker said she hired someone else to finish her pool deck.

Liszka said there are two sides to every story and he has several customers who are "very" satisfied.

He also said he will win in court as he battles a "home repair fraud charge."


Did you know you have a Three Day Right to Cancel Home Repair Contracts in Illinois?

Illinois Attorney General's Recommendations

The Better Business Bureau has great tips and you can look up BBB reviews of local businesses.

The Federal Trade Commission has guidelines and you can report a problem.

If you feel you have been ripped-off, you can:
- File a report with your police department
- File a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
- File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
- File a Small Claims Lawsuit in your county. There will be a filing fee.
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