Broken ice machine leaves repairman in hot water

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- When you call a repairman, you expect them to actually fix the problem. But this was not the case for one local family after searching for a repairman on Home Advisor.

Marcia Morton has been waiting for a repairman to come fix the ice maker in her freezer for two months after paying Good Quality Appliance Repair $289.

"He said his company policy was if they had to buy a part, they wanted to go ahead and get the full amount," Morton said. "I knew it was against my better judgement but I did it because I knew Home Advisor supposedly screened him."

Morton found Good Quality Appliance Repair after calling Home Advisor.

"This one had a high rating," she said.

Home Advisor is a free service to homeowners and they state on their site you can find trusted home improvement professionals.

"I trusted him to be screened," Morton said.

Morton said the repairman for Good Quality Appliance Repair, Joshua Allen, said he would be back on Monday with the part, but he did not show up.

"So we set another appointment for Wednesday and he didn't come on Wednesday," she said. "We made another appointment for Friday and he didn't show on Friday. I said I want my money back and he said I'll put it in the mail tomorrow, and you know how that goes."

The check never arrived and Morton was out of almost $300. She filed a complaint with Home Advisor, since that is how she found the company. She said a representative told her if she paid another $55 service call, they would send out another tech to repair her refrigerator.

"I guess I trusted Home Advisor too much," she said.

Frustrated, she called me and I got in touch with Joshua Allen from Good Quality Appliance Repair. He admitted he had Morton's money and never did the repair.

He said he got too busy and he doesn't have the money to refund her now, but will pay her back as soon as he gets it.

As for Home Advisor, a rep tells me they have a comprehensive screening process that includes six different areas. She said when Good Quality enrolled in their network, they screened Tina Thompson, not Joshua Allen, as the owner. Home Advisor said they did not have a Joshua Allen listed on the account.

Allen told me Tina Thompson is his girlfriend and she was the one who signed him up with Home Advisor.

Home Advisor further states:

"As a free service for homeowners, HomeAdvisor uses the best tools available at the national level to screen the owners or principals of a business prior to allowing them to join the HomeAdvisor network. Our comprehensive screening process includes six different areas: state-level licensing, state business filings, criminal records search, sex offender search, identity verification (social security number) and legal search for civil judgments. Here is more information on our screening process:

As you'll see, we do verify state business filings and licensing for corporations and limited liability companies. Unfortunately in this case, there is nothing on file with the State of North Carolina to validate company ownership since Good Quality Appliance Repair is a sole proprietor. Furthermore, there is no license required for this type of work by the State of North Carolina.

We do have a Homeowner Resolution process to help homeowners find a resolution with the professional should their projects fail to go as planned. That team has reached back out to Ms. Morton to help her recoup her losses and we are waiting to hear back from her.

We are continuously evaluating additional solutions and applications to further strengthen network integrity."

As for Morton, Home Advisor has agreed to pay her the full $289 that she lost and they have removed Good Quality Appliance Repair from their listing.

She tells me she will take that money, and pay a second repairman to fix the ice maker in her freezer.

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