Ohio Home Improvement Contractor Hammered with Lawsuit for Various Violations

October 5, 2004

Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has filed suit against Ohio Builder Resources, doing business as Ohio Resources.

Allegations include false and misleading telemarketing calls, bait advertising, misrepresenting the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) record, false and misleading sales presentations, failure to honor warranties, and violations of Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act.

“I’m asking for restitution for consumers victimized by this company’s practices and that the company pay a civil penalty of $25,000 per violation,” said Petro. “I’m also asking the judge to stop the offensive business practices, especially the misrepresentations about the BBB and our office.”

More than 20 consumer complaints filed against the central Ohio-based home improvement company are reportedly the basis for the most recent 12-count complaint filed against Ohio Resources. The suit also names company officer Sally Mealey and salesperson Steven Ziegenbusch. The Attorney General’s Office will continue to accept complaints about possible violations by this company.

This is reportedly not the first time the office has taken action against a company operated by Mealey.

Mealey was the owner of Ohio Resources in February 2003 when Petro’s office sued the company for falsely representing to consumers that it was affiliated with FHA/HUD and could obtain government grants to pay for consumer’s home improvement projects. That case was settled.

In the past year, complaints against Ohio Resources allege that the company was representing that it can get government grant money for the consumers, misrepresenting its status with the BBB (playing a false or edited recording purporting to be a favorable BBB report), deceptive telemarketing, utilizing contracts that contain illegal attorney’s fee provisions and misrepresentations of the consumer’s cancellation rights, misleading consumers about the use of subcontractors, performing shoddy work, and failing to honor warranties.

In addition, Mealy reportedly wrote a letter to the BBB falsely stating that the Ohio Attorney General had reviewed and approved Ohio Resources’ telemarketing script.

Petro is asking the court to prevent Ohio Resources and anyone associated with it from further violating the Consumer Sales Practices Act, or the Home Solicitation Sales Act.

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