Homeowners say stained glass window artist left them shattered

RIDGEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A couple in New Jersey was looking to brighten things up in their kitchen, by adding show-stopping antique stained glass to their Victorian home.

But they say the artist they hired left them in the dark, after they had shelled out thousands of dollars.

"This whole no information no call back is really frustrating," said New Jersey homeowner Patty Leung, who has been waiting a long time to complete the dream kitchen she and her husband thought their 150-year-old Victorian deserved.

"We saved and saved and about 5 years after we moved in, we said, 'let's go!'" remembers Leung.

Patty wanted the same look of the 19th century stained glass windows in the living room and hired the artist who made their custom glass shelves for the job. Last February, they paid for half the project, a $4,000 deposit.

The balance would be due approximately 10 weeks later on completion. So they went ahead, bumping out, gutting, and then, ultimately finishing their huge kitchen reno.

But, Patty says, the glass designer's work never got off the ground. He sent apologies in May, saying he was distracted by a personal situation and promised a delivery date in September.

"He would never pick up the phone," recalls Patty. "He would not be at work."

Over Thanksgiving, nine months after payment, the Leungs asked for their $4,000 deposit back. The designer said he understood and would advise about the refund. But after waiting, Ken went back to the store.

"He opens the doors and slams the door in his face," recalls Patty. So Patty opened another door, ours.

We called the glass designer. Within an hour the check had been sent. And within days, the Leungs got their full refund, $4,000.

"I am just thoroughly grateful. I would not have this refund if it wasn't for 7 On Your Side," said Patty.

The designer said the job was delayed because he couldn't find any antique stained glass he needed to get this job started.

The big takeaway: try to pay as little as you can up front. We suggest paying a deposit of a third of the total cost of the job.

Get both the start and approximate finish dates in writing.

And. as a rule, correspond with contractors via email and text. That way you'll have a record of everything that's discussed and promised.


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