North Georgia woman claims contractor took money before finishin - WSMV News 4

North Georgia woman claims contractor took money before finishing job

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Kymberly Ott cannot stay at her home in north Georgia. The temperatures continue to fall, but her HVAC unit won't run.

"We went to turn the heat on and there was no heat," says Ott.

That's because she says the contractor she hired to install the unit didn't finish the job. "He had been highly recommended to me, I went ahead and paid the guy for the job," Ott explains.

Ott says she paid contractor Michael Russell $400 up front, a decision she now admits was a mistake.

"Its not my normal practice to pay someone unless the job is complete," says Ott.

Weeks went by and Russell was missing in action. "I waited on him two, three different times to show up and he never showed up," says Ott.

However, his text messages to her were clear. "Stop harassing me, your last warning. I'll sue you for slander and defamation of character if you call or contact me again," Ott reads.

3 on Your Side contacted Russell, our calls were not immediately returned. He says the unit worked fine when he installed it, although our crew saw unplugged hoses on the unit. He says he's not going back to do any work and any unfinished work is "on her".
"I feel like you have stole from me. You have my money that I paid you and I don't have my thermostat in, I don't have a working unit," Ott says. "I want the consumers out in the area to know."

Three on Your Side did not find any complaints filed against Russell. As an independent contractor he is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau.

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