Two week refinish job for family heirloom turns into six month odyssey for Overland Park couple

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Barbara Stillman has been hearing empty promises for six months. She has a file full of emails regarding a china cabinet. It's a family heirloom that she wanted refinished.

The refinisher -- David Roberts, owner of The Furniture Fixer -- promised her he could do the job in two weeks. That was in April.

When June rolled around and she still didn't have her cabinet back, Stillman became worried. Not only did Roberts have a family heirloom, but $365 she'd given him as a down payment. She'd grown tired of hearing the various reasons why he said he hadn't finished the job.

"Every time we called him someone had an excuse," she said. "Somebody died. This one had a heart attack."

By July she complained to Home Advisor -- the internet-based business referral service where she found the Furniture Fixer listed. A representative from Home Advisor put Stillman and Roberts on a three-way call.

Stillman remembered the conversation: "Home Advisor said 'When is the cabinet going to be done?' He said, 'Next Tuesday.' Well Tuesday came and I never got the cabinet."

By October Stillman and her husband Wes had had enough. They purchased a new china cabinet, convinced they'd never see their old one again. They also filed a theft report with the Overland Park Police Department and filed suit in small claims court against The Furniture Fixer. But the Johnson County Sheriff's Department could never find the owner to serve him.

"The sheriff's department tried to deliver paperwork to these people at three different addresses," Stillman said.

The lawsuit was eventually dropped. That's when Stillman called FOX 4 Problem Solvers. They wanted us to warn others.

"I don't want this guy ever doing this to anybody else," Stillman said.

FOX 4 Problem Solvers also couldn't find the address The Furniture Fixer lists for his business, but we did reach David Roberts by phone.

"There have been a lot of issues basically in my life," Roberts said. "I've gone through divorce, and that was traumatic, and health issues."

Roberts admitted to us that the cabinet still wasn't finished even though he'd told Home Advisors he'd finished it months ago. We suggested he just give the Stillmans back their money and drop off the unfinished cabinet.

He said he couldn't return the money because he'd used it to buy the glass -- which he has yet to install. Finally, he agreed to drop off both the unfinished cabinet and the uninstalled glass on Friday at the Stillmans.

But the next day we heard from Roberts again and this time the news was even better. He promised to have the cabinet completely finished by Friday and delivered.

It's a promise the Stillmans have heard before, but they are curious to know whether this time Roberts will keep his word. So are we.