We found Maurice through word of mouth and engaged him on a project to refurbish and where necessary, reshape a number of iron railings guarding our front steps and retaining walls since another contractor was rebuilding the steps. Maurice had told us he could reuse much of the existing railing and the price quoted seemed good.
Upon receiving the quote, we provided a deposit, and prior to the rebuild of our steps, Maurice's crew came and cut down the railings at the base (leaving some sharp edges as they did not shave down the screws that were cut off.. ugh).
Once the stairs were completed, Maurice's crew came out, decided they couldn't actually complete parts of initial quote, and left a bunch (but not all) of the original and now broken, bent and rusty railings on our driveway.
Maurice followed up by saying that the work would cost more than double the initial quote to actually complete and demands a corresponding doubling of the deposit. Of course, by this time, we're pretty suspicious, but hopeful this is a misunderstanding, we ask for a more detailed quote and contract.
No further written quote or contract ever comes. Maurice simply continues to insist that we pay more money up front to continue work and throws around a few seemingly random numbers verbally.
We ask that the portion of the work that can still be done under the original quote be completed (our deposit would more than cover this). Maurice again refuses and demands more money before doing anything.
Of course, by this point, we conclude that something is really wrong, and we are stuck pursuing other means of action to get our money (and railings!) back. (Seriously, what legitimate operation refuses to complete even part of an initial quote or return the deposit when they realize they can't or won't actually do the work).
Why else should you be suspicious: Maurice goes by different last names when dealing with customers than in his social media presence. He advertises under different company names (Prestige Stucco & Wrought Iron Design, Prestige Built. GTA Galvanizing). Not the mark of someone with a proud reputation.
Is this just incompetence and a bad business to deal with, or something worse? I don't know, but you shouldn't find out. Run away.