Independence veteran convinced he’s a victim of porch repair scam after work goes unfinished

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- For almost a month, an 84-year-old man hasn't been able to sit on his front porch or walk out his front door.

“I’m frustrated. I’m really just aggravated. It’s really been an inconvenience to have it like this,” Sydney Wilson said.

Wilson said on May 3, he first paid Bill Bucey, who owns Straight Level Contracting, $500 up front to rebuild the porch of his home near 19th Street and South Northern in Independence.

”We have to go out the back door quite a bit, and it’s really inconvenient to get around to where my car is in the driveway, and it’s just a mess,” Wilson said during an interview Monday at his home.

Wilson said three days later Bucey and two guys replaced the concrete foundation and ripped apart his porch.

”I wrote him out four checks and paid him a total of $3,700, and almost a month later, he still has not finished the work. Yes, I think I’ve been scammed,” the Korean War veteran said.

Wilson told FOX4 he first spotted Bucey’s ad about his contracting business in the Examiner newspaper in Independence.

”I just don’t think he plans to finish it, “ Wilson said.

Wilson said last Wednesday Bucey left a message on his home answering machine, saying his mother recently died and he was in Philadelphia.

”In the message, he also said he would contact me later in the week. Well, it’s been almost another week, and I still haven’t heard from him after repeatedly calling him,” a furious Wilson said.

FOX4's Robert Townsend called Bucey on Monday for a possible comment but never heard back from him.

“My dad recently got out of the hospital after being diagnosed with leukemia. The guy won’t return his calls. It’s just not right, “ Wilson’s daughter, Kathleen Handson said.

Aaron Reese with the Better Business Bureau of Kansas City urges homeowners before doing business with a contractor “make sure they look professional and at least have a business card, check out the business with the BBB and never pay the full amount you owe them up front.”

In the meantime, a disheartened Wilson now plans to contact the BBB and possibly a lawyer.

“I think he just wanted the money,” Wilson said.