TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Customers of Honest Abe Roofing Tampa were left in a lurch when the company suddenly stopped answering phones last month. Many are left with liens on their homes and unfinished roofing projects.
Tracey Hayes and her husband are worried they will have to pay twice for their roofing materials.
“Crickets,” Hayes said. “We’ve gotten no response. Not even an automated response.”
A growing number of customers from Honest Abe Roofing Tampa are calling Better Call Behnken about liens filed on their homes by suppliers who claim the roofing company failed to pay them.
With no one answering phones at the Tampa office, concerned customers called Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken for help.
“Sleepless nights. Lots of sleepless nights,” said Joseph Bucaro, a New Port Richey homeowner who has received a $17,000 lien on his property.
Bucaro says he went with Honest Abe because they were already doing his neighbor’s roof, and they offered a lifetime warranty with periodic checkups by their professionals. His $56,000 roof was installed in August, and last week, both he and his neighbor received liens filed against their properties by a supplier claiming materials weren’t paid for by Honest Abe Roofing Tampa.
Better Call Behnken reached Aaron Ellis, Chief Marketing Officer for Honest Abe Roofing Franchise. He confirmed each office is independently owned and operated. He said his office is getting calls from upset consumers in Florida and is working to help them.
“Tampa is a big market, and we want to continue servicing that market,” Ellis said. “We care about these customers.”
He says they want to help Tampa Bay area customers by, for example, finishing their roofs with another franchise.
But that doesn’t help customers who already received and paid for a roof – and ended up with a lien.
“While it is unfortunate that the franchise owners have decided to suspend their operations for new customers in the Florida market, Honest Abe Roofing Franchise is committed to continued support of the existing operations in the Miami and Orlando markets.” Said CEO, Kevin Newton, “ Each of those locations has an exceptional business leader who is committed to providing the support and services Florida homeowners are looking for.
“We have also been made aware that certain vendors have taken steps to place liens on consumer’s homes. Both owners have shared their commitment to work with the respective vendors in an effort to remove those liens. In reviewing the Florida lien statute, it appears to favor the vendors and not the homeowner in this scenario,” said Newton.
Tampa franchise owner Cortni Lewis told Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken weeks ago that she has no comment and now hasn’t returned follow-up phone calls.
We care about these customers,” Ellis said. “Also, I feel terrible for the franchises in Florida that are doing good business. This is not fair to them.”
Ellis said Honest Abe has set up a special email for Florida consumers so they can assist them. That email is: email@example.com. Ellis said customers can also call this number: 866-587-5171
You can file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General’s Office, which is currently looking into complaints.