Homeowners say they're smoking mad after visit by chimney company

Nina Pineda Image
Monday, April 13, 2015
EMBED <>More Videos

Nina Pineda has 7 On Your Side.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Home repairs can be costly. After shelling out thousands for chimney repairs, two customers say they were left with a big unfinished mess that made them piping mad.

The company involved is no stranger to 7 On Your Side.

Homeowners say they were cold called then convinced they were in danger and the work had to start that very minute the company showed up for inspection.

Well work began they say, work that was never finished and left them in worse shape than they started in.

A pile of bricks are all that's left of Jo Ann Urytzki's chimney. "This is dangerous." Last January, she says a contractor demo'd her chimney, leaving this pile of rubble on her roof.

"I didn't get a phone call and they didn't come back," says Piscataway homeowner, Jo Ann Urytzki.

These cinder blocks thrown off Thea and Andy White's Caldwell roof has littered their yard since February. "They left it like that," said the homeowner.

Both New Jersey homeowners say they hired All American Chimney and Duct Cleaning after getting cold calls from the Long Island based company offering cheap chimney inspections.

Jo Ann says she paid the crew about $2500 for a host of repairs. But she says they only installed a liner, leaving her with loose bricks and no working fireplace all winter long. "They put it through the credit card company and bailed out," says Jo Ann.

After her chimney flunked a fire inspection, she set up an appointment to meet the workmen. They were supposed to be here 15 minutes ago to meet with the fire inspector but they pulled around the corner, saw our Eyewitness News truck and just kept going.

Maybe because of what went down the last time we caught up with them. 2 years ago we were in a Roseland basement when a team of building inspectors deemed the same contractor's work as dangerous.

The Whites live one town over. Andy White, who drummed with the Beatles, says the same guy we interviewed left this mess after convincing him to pay $5,000 in cash for repairs to the furnace, hot water heater and to re-tile the chimney top to bottom. "All they did to the chimney was knock it down," says homeowner, Thea White.

She says the chimney company claimed the work was an emergency. And, she says, the contractor never did get a required permit from the town.

Both homeowners requested refunds after learning proper permits were not filed. And after the company learned we were involved?

"Thank you Nina and thank Channel 7. This would've never come to a successful conclusion without you folks." Jo Ann got $1500 refunded.

The Whites their full 5 grand back. "I think you people are fabulous I think you're doing a public service. 7 on your side is the best."

The attorney for All American Chimney and Duct Cleaning said all the work performed was proper. And that the White's job was an emergency, that's why no permit was filed before the work was started. The rep says once it heard about the complaints, it got out checks as quickly as they could.