Troubleshooters helping woman get money from contractor

Posted at 1:37 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 18:50:36-04

GREGORY, Texas — A Gregory woman tells the Troubleshooters about a lesson she’s learned when it comes to hiring a contractor.

If their estimate sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

All Micky Leal really wanted the contractor to do is make a concrete path in her backyard leading to her mother’s house, so it would be safer to go back and forth.

Leal hired Ismael Gonzales of A-1 Paving to do the pathway, a concrete slab, lay asphalt in the driveway, and another small job for a total of $1,200. She paid $800 initial in the first installment.

She says one reason she hired Gonzales is because he had done some work at a neighbor's house.

"Yeah, that’s the guy," she said. "That’s who I want to hire. Well because of the price. The estimate was low.”

And that’s how we get to something else Leal said.

“If you get an estimate that’s too good to be true, it’s true. It’s not good," she said.

Gonzales did lay asphalt on Leal’s driveway, but weeds are growing along the path to get her mother’s house, and on the slab in the backyard.

So Leal filed a complaint against Gonzales with the Better Business Bureau.

And then she called us.

And we called and spoke with Gonzales, who was the subject of a past Troubleshooters report.

He explained concrete is in short supply due to the Harbor Bridge project.

He says he only needs two yards to finish Leal’s job, but can only buy 10 yards at a time.

“I’m just gonna call her and take her money back tomorrow and have her get somebody else, ‘cause I can’t do a little bitty job like that," Gonzales said.

Leal says she wants $300 back from Gonzales, but she has her doubts about him.

“I do not trust him to come back and do the work," she said. "I’m sure I will not see my money.”

Leal says she told Gonzales to mail her a money order because, as she just mentioned, she doesn’t want him at her home.

We’ll be sure to let you know when and if Gonzales keeps his word.