After a year, James Island couple still waiting for refund from contractor

A James Island couple hired a contractor to renovate their back deck, but says the work was never performed.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 1:01 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:03 PM EDT
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JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A James Island couple who hired a contractor to renovate their back deck says the work was never performed and, after the contractor’s arrest in an unrelated case, they’re still left waiting for their money back.

Don Geddes and his wife wanted answers after they say they hired Travis Tardiff, paid him $7,500, which was half of the quote for the job, but never got the new deck they envisioned. Tardiff never returned a request for comment on the story published in July on the case.

But Geddes provided a copy of the email he says Tardiff sent four days after that story aired:

Due to the non-payments, unforeseen raise in materials costs, buyers remorse refunds, labor and record high inflation our business was unable to survive as you already know. It has taken us a while to come to terms with this. I apologize for the silence. We were doing everything in our power to find the funding to make right with you. We have figured out a solution with our lawyer so they will be reaching out to you individually only under the agreement this all stays out of small claims court so there are no judgments set against Tardiff Builders because we honestly couldn’t even pay the judgment at this exact moment and time anyway and if judgements are filed we will work to have them written off in the bankruptcy which we do not want as stated prior we want to make it right but we need more time and we have found a solution along with removing any slander that has been said against Tardiff Builders. We promised we would do whatever we could in the letter we emailed to everyone stating the going under of the business and that is what we did and continue to do (Letter attached again for clarity). Please keep a look out in your email in the coming week or so from our lawyer so all this can be on legal documents so you can trust in us to make this whole. We look forward to being able to come to an agreement and solution so this can be put behind all of us.

“It’s actually been a year since I gave him the money and I haven’t heard from his lawyers,” Geddes says. “I’ve not received any check.”

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

One day after that email was sent, Clemson Police arrested Tardiff in the Upstate on an outstanding warrant out of Mount Pleasant. He was brought back to Charleston County, went before a judge and was released on bond.

A copy of the report from Mount Pleasant, obtained through a Freedom of Information Request, states Tardiff was contracted in October of last year to build a deck for the victim. The report states the victim paid the business owner half of the proposed costs of $15,360. It goes on to say Tardiff never started the work, he stated he would pay the money back, but never did and now won’t return any calls or emails.

The facts stated seem almost identical to Geddes’ situation.

“He’s a good scammer and he’s a good schemer and he’s good with words and he’s trying to hook up other customers,” Geddes says. “If this conversation can stop one person from going through what I went through and the other people who are waiting in court hoping to get some financial relief, which I’m not sure we’ll get it all but, that’ll be a win for us.”

Geddes says at this point he has hired another contractor who has gotten the work done extremely fast.

“Thank you Michal and CBS and your Live 5 investigation,” Geddes says. “We watch you and we listen and it’s like, ‘Oh no - now I have something to say.’”

Geddes adds he has officially filed a report with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office says a detective has to look into the report before any charges would be issued.

Tardiff’s attorney has not responded to a request for comment.

Tardiff is set to appear before a judge again next month on the charges out of Mount Pleasant.