Action Report: Handyman takes money, leaves disabled vet without a working shower

James Taylor, an Army veteran, feels taken advantage of after a shoddy contracting job. (Photo...
James Taylor, an Army veteran, feels taken advantage of after a shoddy contracting job. (Photo Source: WLOX)
Updated: Apr. 19, 2018 at 6:46 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Sixty-year-old Army Veteran James Taylor is confined to a wheelchair and was hoping to have a roll-in accessible shower built in his home.

He says a real estate agent recommended a handyman. "They came right over, about a day later. Went in, look at it. We got it," said Taylor.

He recalled giving the man a thousand dollars down to begin the work. "They took the old tub out, the old shower out and that's it, " Taylor described.

Taylor says the workers left the job three weeks ago and returned on Monday to pick up a power saw. He told a neighbor about the job left undone.

"She came over the same day, went up in, to cry and said Mr. Taylor they just messed you up, "Taylor said. "They just did a chop chop job.  This wasn't going to work, no way."

Taylor gave me the handyman's number, but when he returned my call, he said he doesn't do construction work and hung up. When I called back, I was met with a message that said the number was no longer in service.

Taylor loves spending time with his five-month-old grandson, but this situation has left him frustrated and wants the missing handyman to know it.

A kind neighbor is going to help Taylor put his bathroom back together with a new roll-in shower.

Unfortunately, Taylor says he didn't know the last name of the handyman he hired and never had contract or receipts for the job.

He stated in disbelief, "I didn't think you would do a veteran like you did me. Left me like this for three weeks. You know it was bad man. I'm sitting up here, can't even get in my shower. Can't do nothing, waiting for you. You did me wrong and took my money. You know I didn't think you could do me wrong like that."

The Better Business Bureau advises people to check its website before hiring a contractor, or the Mississippi State Board of Contractors to see if that person has a state license and good references.

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