James Island couple claims they’re out thousands after contractor never did work

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 7:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 7:55 PM EDT
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JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A couple on James Island thought they were well on their way to renovating their back deck after hiring a Lowcountry contractor. But after the contractor took their money, they say the work never got done.

Don Geddes and his wife have lived on James Island for more than two decades. They recently revamped their front steps and in September of last year decided they wanted to pull the trigger on renovating their back deck as well. They wanted a certain material and Geddes says Travis Tardiff of Tardiff Builders initially came recommended by the company that makes the material.

“The deposit was 50 percent of the job,” Geddes says. “The job was $15,000 and we wrote him a check for $7,500. And that’s the last time I saw him.”

Geddes says Tardiff started out by emailing them updates.

“I wrote him that check in September,” Geddes says. “We would get emails that told us where we were in the process. He said some of the material had come in, and then he said the material had come in but not the railing.”

The last email though came in March when Geddes says Tardiff dissolved the contract.

“He said the money orders are in the mail – but we never got that,” Geddes says.

Geddes also found, out after the fact, that Tardiff’s contracting license with the state expired months before even taking on the job.

Attempts to reach Tardiff through multiple forms failed. The email account listed was not accurate and bounced back. Some of the phone numbers listed were out of service. One phone number made it to voicemail, but it was full. The address for the business listed is now occupied by another company.

At this point, Geddes has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and says his next step is to take the matter to small claims court.

“We also need some kind of emotional closure to this – because it was a violation in a way for us,” Geddes says. “But doing the interviews with the new people are more exciting because I’m going to be counting on these people to do the work they promised to do.”

If you are in a similar situation, you should contact the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau.

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