HOLLAND, Mich. -- Rosalba Rangel said she and her family are currently out $8,500 after paying Joel Cross to do pool work. They say he stopped responding.
"It is very frustrating, and it is very disappointing because I mean, it was not only a contract. It was his word," Rangel said.
Rangel and her husband signed a contract with Cross Pools and Landscaping January 30th.
"I wanted to get a heater in, the filter... because that one wasn't working, and then the pump," Rangel explained.
"So the total that I paid him was $8,500," she said.
Rangel said Cross did some work on a shed, cleaned the pool, and dug a trench which led to sprinkler system damage. But then she said Cross became unresponsive. That's despite calling him, mailing and stopping by his business address.
"We don't hear anything from him, and it's just like he fell off the face of the earth," she described.
Rangel said, "I'm really upset. Yea, really upset and disappointed. And it's like nowadays who can you really trust?"
Customer Rose Bush asked herself the same question. She never expected her best friend's son to take $3,000 and never come back. We shared her story Wednesday. In this case, she paid him to build a carport back in May. The work never started.
In response, Cross told the Problem Solvers he came down with an autoimmune disorder 14 weeks ago, hasn't been able to walk and is going to file bankruptcy. He said he would pay Bush back when he could while doing seasonal work.
The Problem Solvers stopped by his business address Friday afternoon. Cross said he couldn't come to the door. So we called him and asked about the Rangel family.
Cross, who needed a reminder of the customer, said, "It is in the list of the few that I got to take care of. I don't know what else to tell you."
He reiterated his health issues and inability to work.
When asked where the money is he replied, "The money went to the parts that she has. She still owes the $3,500 on the contract which is for the pump, heater, and filter, which is all that needs to be finished up."
That's not true according to Rangel, and her contract shows the maximum she would owe (if the job was complete) is another $2,000 and not $3,500.
Rangel said of Cross, "You are a crook. This is not, not right, and a man without a word is just nothing to me."
She said if Cross doesn't get someone to do the job or refund the money, she plans to file a civil suit against him. We’ll let you know how this turns out.