By Kurtis Ming

A Sacramento man bought custom blinds for his home. When he never got them, he called Kurtis.

The law says a contractor must put their license number in any ad. This ad had a number, but we’ve learned you can’t always trust what’s posted.

Looking to replace his old blinds, Andrew Kay found American Style Window Coverings in a magazine.

“It says a license number on there. From first look at the ad, I had confidence he was something,” said Andrew.

Confident owner Tai Hua would deliver $2,027.31 worth of custom made blinds. He says the owner required he write a check for a $1,000 deposit in his name instead of the company’s.

Andrew learned the bank cashed the check within a half hour.

“Yeah really soon. I was shocked but the guy needed the money,” said Andrew.

More than three months later, Andrew still never got his blinds. Instead, he heard excuses about broken machinery and then the company quit returning his calls.

“I don’t know what to do. I am frustrated,” said Andrew.

We showed Rick Lopes with the Contractors State License Board a copy of the ad.

“Best as I can tell, it’s an illegal ad because in California, contractors are required to put their license numbers in it,” said Lopes.

When we looked up the license number on the CSLB’s website, we found it’s inactive and once belonged to a general contractor in the Bay Area.

Our producer stopped by owner Tai Hua’s Elk Grove home. No one answered and he didn’t return our half a dozen calls either.

Lopes says a contractor that requires cash or a check made out to an individual is a red flag.

“The goal is they want to come and get the money as quickly as they can, so it’s not surprising that if they get somebody on the hook, they’re going to try to reel them in as quickly as they can,” said Lopes.

Andrew has learned and is considering small claims court.

“I hope people hear about this and don’t get ripped off by this guy,” said Andrew.

Any contractor, including a window coverings company, doing work above $500 must be licensed with the CSLB.

You’re only required to put 10 percent or $1,000 down, whichever is less.

All contractors are required to carry a license, about the size of a credit card, with them. Ask to see it. If they’re hesitant to show you, that’s another red flag.


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