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Problem Solvers gets Tonawanda man a refund from notorious no show contractor

Posted at 8:58 AM, Mar 16, 2023

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Chautauqua County company, Misfits Construction, appears to have been at it again with taking on jobs but never showing up. It has led to customers demanding their money back, including Michael Albanese of Tonawanda.

"He took my money," explained Albanese, who hired Misfits Construction owner Ahren Morano to redo a playroom for his daughters in February of 2022. At the time he paid him $1,700.

Albanese said Morano never showed up to do the job. Albanese, a nine year Army veteran, said he took off from work numerous times to be home for when Morano did work, but said time after time Morano never did. He said the contractor just had "excuse after excuse" over the past year.

Albanese said he went out and bought his own supplies to do the job himself. He had been texting Morano to arrange for a refund, but with delay after delay Albanese called 7 Problem Solvers.

7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz contacted Morano on March 6, 2023. Morano said he had recently been sick in the hospital and had been trying to get the money back to Albanese for months. Morano also told Schwartz that Albanese did not have a deadline for the job, but Albanese said he was told the job would take days.

"When can he get his money back?" asked Schwartz to Morano, who replied within "30 days." Minutes later, Morano tried to stop this story from airing by offering to give Albanese a refund the next day.

One week later Albanese said he was shocked when he got $1,700 back from Morano.

A similar situation happened in 2019 when former WKBW reporter Ed Reilly spoke to a Jamestown man who said he paid Morano around $6,000 for a roofing job that was never done.

"There were five occasions he said he would be there, and never showed up," said William Smock to Reilly in 2019. Smock got his money back after that story first aired, and following a judgement that a judge issued against Morano.

According to Dunkirk City Court records, there have been multiple judgements against Misifts Construction since 2017, totaling more than $8,000.

"The guy is stealing people's money," said Karen MacGillivray to Reilly in 2019. She said the bathroom work that she hired Morano for also never got done. MacGillivray later got a judgement ordered against Misfits for more than $1,000. Schwartz reconnected with her and she said she still has not gotten any money back, despite the judgement.

So what now?

Morano told Schwartz he is in the process of filing for bankruptcy for Misfits Construction.

The Better Business Bureau reminds you to take your time when hiring a contractor. Research before signing a contract, type the company's name on Google to see what pops up, and get at least three estimates. Lastly, pay the cost in thirds: before, during, and once the completed job is to your satisfaction.

The Office of the Attorney General encourages consumers in Western New York to file a complaint online here, via phone at (716) 853-8404, or email at consumerfrauds.buffalo@ag.ny.gov.

If you have a problem you need solved, email Michael at 7ProblemSolvers@WKBW.com

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Have a problem you need help getting solved? Fill out this form so that Michael Schwartz and the 7 Problem Solvers team can take a look.
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