On August 13, 2014 we paid Robert Spearing, trading as thegascompany.ca, previously trading as Blue Flame $4,800.00 to purchase and install a natural gas generator. This would serve as a backup in case of a power failure, so I sump pump would keep operating. We had used Robert in the past to fix our boiler. He gave us a piece of paper that calls itself an invoice, and indicates that we paid; it is not a work order or a quote.
On August 15, 2014 Robert installed two patio stones to place the generator. On August 19, 2014 our check cleared. What followed were many missed appointments, where either my wife or I arranged to be home to let him in, and then a long line of excuses of why Robert could not come and install the generator, these included: “it’s too hot”, “it’s too cold” (August!), “it’s raining”, “there is too much traffic”, “the person delivering the generator had a heart attack”, “I witnessed a bike accident”, “I am too busy”, “I am working to open Tim Horton’s Stadium”. We were waiting for “my dog ate the generator”. On September 2, 2014 we told Robert that we did not want him to do the work and wanted our money back. His response was that he did not have the money. A few days later he stopped by tried (forcefully) to make me take $1000.00 in cash; he would pay the rest later. I did not take the money. That day my brain woke up and I Google’d Robert Spearing. Try doing that. It is quite amusing, well sad really – ripping off 80 year olds, self-abuse etc. I still do not have the money back or a generator. We are pursuing small claims court and a complaint to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. The police will have nothing to do with this.
Why am I posting this? To make sure that others learn a few lessons that I learned.
1) Never, ever pay a contractor up front. Even if they have worked for you before.
2) Google anyone you deal with. You will be surprised at what you find.
3) I am glad we have gun laws in Canada – with easy access to a gun and I would have shot Robert.
4) Do not use Robert Spearing, Blue Flame, thegascompany.ca, 1869565 Ontario Inc. or any other company associated with these.
5) We need justice reform. If this is not a crime then I don’t know what is.