Our investigation into our local contractor has uncovered a trail of customers who say they were ripped off by the same man.
John and Cindy Priest said their home remodeling project turned into a nightmare after a few weeks’ delay turned into a half a year battle.
“I can't tell you the frustration it felt that he just would not come and do it,” said Cindy.
Her frustration aimed at Cary Grimm, principle owner of Jax Wholesale Kitchen & Bath (aka Cary’s Wholesale Kitchen & Bath). In 2016 alone, 4 police reports, 5 BBB complaints and a civil lawsuit filed against Grimm accuse the contractor of fraud and breach of contract.
The complaints total nearly $90,000 based on over a dozen complaints by customers saying they received months of excuses.
Cindy and John said they signed a contract with Grimm’s company in April to remodel their kitchen and bath for $19,260 with 50 percent due up front. Jax Wholesale’s offer was the lowest out of several quotes, and John said the work was supposed to begin in 5 to 7 days. The start date was changed to May 23, then to indefinite, said John.
“[Grimm] never called us. The office never called us, we always had to initiate everything,” said Cindy. “They would never give us a start date.”
By July, the couple threatened legal action, and they say Grimm sent a demolition crew.
“They took everything out, our toilet, and then they left,” said Cindy. “We were all sharing this tiny half bathroom trying to get ready in the morning. It was awful, really was awful, it was like a nightmare.”
The Priests said they struggled to get someone at Jax Wholesale to return to finish the remodeling, and three more months later they decided to fire Grimm. The project was paid through Green Sky Credit, an Atlanta based company specializing in home improvement financing. The Priests say Grimm recommended the service, and they later discovered that nearly $10,000 had already been withdrawn against their account, even though the remodeling hadn’t begun.
Grimm told First Coast News he does feel remorse for the customers that he hasn’t been able to resolve things with, however he says after he was fired he delivered supplies to the Priests for their bathroom.
“I'm not taking money and running with it, I'm here working every single day,” said Grimm. “Not one single person have I ever taken not one single dime. I apologize if it's taking longer than we expected, but that, you know, sometimes you have to be patient.”
The BBB of Jacksonville has complaints it says have been turned over to the state for investigation.
"It looks like [Grimm] got a lot of contacts from the Home and Patio show in April and then the complaints started coming in,” said Tom Stephens, BBB of Jacksonville president. "It's a small percentage of contractors, probably less than five percent. But when they do... when this happens, they get a lot of money and they injure a lot of people.”
Jennifer Bodner, representative for Green Sky Credit said they terminated Grimm from their merchant list in August “due to an unacceptable complaint rate.” Of the 15 customers that complained, Bodner said six customers reported their work was later completed, and nine are still pending.
“Our complaints management team is continuing to work with each of the remaining nine customers to ensure contracted work is completed to satisfaction or that timely refunds are processed,” said Bodner.
Bodner recommends others with questions contact their GreenSky customer advocates at (855) 849-0088 x 940.
(© 2016 WTLV)