Madison homeowners recall experience with contractor wanted for home repair fraud
MADISON Co., Ala. (WAFF) - The search is on for a contractor accused of taking money for jobs he never completed.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has a warrant out for the arrest of Harold Champion for Theft of Property - 1st Degree involving home repair fraud. Officials say it is not the first time he has faced charges for stealing from homeowners.
Charles Webber says Champion promised to build a new patio on his home in Madison. Webber says he and his wife gave Champion a deposit but he never started the work on it.
“We trusted him,” said Webber. “He went back there and measured and looked and he gave us the warm and fuzzies and we said ‘yes, yes, this is what we want,’ but that is not how it turned out.”
They paid Champion and signed a contract but say they never saw him after that. The Webbers called continuously until they realized something was wrong, that is when they checked the Better Business Bureau website and found numerous complaints against Champion.
“We were on the Better Business Bureau online and it was like a roof fell on our heads when we saw what he was rated and he had prior convictions as well,” said Lisa Webber.
“He’s a thief,” exclaimed Charles Webber. “He’ll take advantage of anyone including a retired military family, thirty years in the military, a Chief Master Sergeant, disabled veteran just getting over my stroke recovery. He came in the right time to target and he got a lot of money from us and he needs to be stopped.”
Champion lost his Better Business Bureau accreditation in 2019 according to the CEO of the BBB, Karen Reeves
“The Board of Directors did vote to revoke his accreditation due to nonresponse to multiple complaints that we received,” said Reeves. “As an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, businesses agree to respond to any complaint presented to them and make every effort to resolve it.”
Court records show he has been arrested for theft and home repair fraud multiple times in the last three years.
The complaints are still stacking up against him according to Karen Reeves. He saw eight complaints in 2021, two in 2022 and five complaints in 2023.
Reeves says before you give a contractor money, you can call the BBB at (256) 533-1640 to walk a representative through your situation. You can also use its website, bbb.org as a resource.
“You’re going to see how long we’ve had a file on them,” said Reeves. “You’re going to see what that BBB rating is. You’re going to also see if they have any complaints. We say this to consumers all the time, look at those complaint details and see how the business responded or if they did not respond. That’s a telltale sign of what a business practice is.”
The Webbers say they hope Madison County deputies catch him so no one else has to experience what they had to go through.
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