OLATHE, Kan. — A Kansas contractor has so many unhappy customers they’ve started their own Facebook page. The owner promised FOX4 Problem Solvers that he plans to make things right, but his customers say they’ve heard it all before.
Shannon Brady wanted to give her family room fireplace a fresh look.
“It was just going to be a simple stone shiplathe, nice, clean, good looking wall with a wood beam for a mantel,” Brady said.
In March, she and her husband paid about $3,000 down for a remodel that’s never been performed.
“Not a thing,” Brady said.
Guy Claudy used the same contractor as Brady to do a gut and remodel of his master bathroom.
“We thought we did our due diligence,” said Claudy, who’s out $21,000. “Once we paid him the first check he was almost impossible to get hold of.”
There are so many unhappy customers, they’ve even launched their own Facebook group to share their tales of woe.
“We’ve heard stories how people have been mid project and they just stop communicating,” Claudy said. “Stop showing up to work. Stop doing anything. Just disappeared.”
They’re all talking about Edwards Design Company. According to public records, it’s owned by Chris Edwards and his wife Candace.
Brady and her husband hired Edwards Design in March, paying him the required 50% down when they signed the contract for their fireplace remodel. As soon as Edwards received half their money, she said communication stalled.
“Conversation was slow prior to that, but slowed significantly after that,” she said.
Brady said she thought the project would start last Spring, but Edwards Design always had an excuse.
“We’re sorry the kids were sick,” she said she was told. Then Edwards said he was sick or on vacation or their emails to him had gone to the junk folder.
“There was always an excuse, but I bought every one.”
Edwards finally gave her a construction start date for June 22. But a day before work was to begin she received an email from Chris Edwards saying he didn’t have the staff to do the job “but was working on it.”
By early July she gave up waiting and asked for a refund. She has yet to see one.
Guy Claudy hired Edwards Design in January.
“They show up in their Jaguar and their Escalade and they are dressed to the nines,” Claudy said, referring to Edwards and his wife.
Claudy said he was impressed with the ideas Chris Edwards had for transforming his master bathroom. He agreed to a $31,000 renovation. He paid one third down and promised to pay another third once the project started and the final third upon completion.
“Don’t worry it’s going to take 6 to 8 weeks,” Claudy said Chris Edwards told him.
His start date kept getting postponed by Edwards Design, but finally Chris Edwards promised to be at his house in late February. But when that date arrived,
“Chris didn’t show up. We’re texting back and forth trying to figure out what’s going on. Finally they tell us ‘Oh we didn’t have you on our schedule.’ “
Equally troubling was that no one at Edwards Design would tell whether the tile or fixtures he’d already paid them for had ever been ordered.
Claudy called Chris asking him how much tile he had ordered. ‘Oh we always order 10 percent more.’ Ten percent of what Chris? ‘Don’t worry about it. We got you.'”
Claudy was starting to get nervous and asked to see proof of the company’s insurance. He was given a document showing Edwards Design had a current policy.
He wishes now that he had called the insurance company himself to check. He would have discovered that the company’s policy had expired before he ever hired them.
Unfortunately he only learned that after he paid Edwards Design another $10,000 when a subcontractor showed up to gut his bathroom in April. But after the demo and a little plumbing work, Claudy lost all the hot water in his house for a week. He called Edwards Design, repeatedly.
“We never got any response back from them,” Claudy said.
Claudy hired his own plumber and fired Edwards Design. He demanded $18,000 of his $21,000 back. Like Brady, he also hasn’t seen a dime. Instead he got a letter from the company informing him that Chris and Candace Edwards were filing bankruptcy both for themselves and their business.
Brady and Claudy have filed complaints with the Johnson County District Attorney’s office, which is now investigating.
FOX4 Problem Solvers paid a visit to Chris Edwards at his Shawnee home. He acknowledged he’d been having trouble lately with his business.
“So last year obviously with COVID we had a problem,” Edwards said, but claiming that most of his customers are happy. “We had our business for about four years and then last August I fell off a horse broke my neck in five places and that really sent us under.“
Which is surprising because federal records show that his company collected $192,340 in payroll protection money during the last year.
What happened to that money?
“We had payroll of twelve different guys,” Edwards said. However, Brady never saw a single employee and Guy only ever met one.
Edwards said the others were busy working with his multitude of satisfied customers.
Problem Solvers asked to see a list of clients that were happy with his work.
“I’ll talk to my attorney first, but yeah,” Edwards said, who never provided Problem Solvers with a single name.
Even the attorney he was planning on talking to seemed to be fictional. Minutes after telling us he would have to consult his attorney, he told Problem Solvers “We can’t afford an attorney right now.”
He also claimed never to have told Claudy that he was filing bankruptcy despite a letter Claudy showed us from Edwards stating exactly that.
Not long after we spoke with Edwards, Claudy and Brady received another letter from him. This one promised they would be getting “all their money back by the last day of August. But it may be the first couple weeks of September.” Even his promise of repayment, came with a built-in delay.