ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It seems every year in the Rochester region– folks get duped into signing contracts with snow plow companies, only to have that snow plow company never show.
This winter, there have been people alleging a few companies doing this. Customers told News 8 they found a snow plow business called ‘Hopkins Retouch’ on social media. They signed up with the company and then paid for the season in full. They then claim this company never showed.
Holly Provenzano has lived in the City for 32 years. Last year with winter approaching, she came across a business on social media called ‘Hopkins Retouch’, a snow plowing service. She says she signed a contract to have her driveway done should the snowfall be 2.5 inches or above.
“I’ve tried calling him and calling him. You can leave a message sometimes, you never get a callback,” she said.
She said she paid $140 for the season, never meeting the owner. She said the business never came.
“I’m on a limited income, I’m retired. So it’s really frustrating,” said Provenzano.
Provenzano has since filed a police report, and Rochester Police have confirmed to News 8 it is under investigation. Another customer claiming to be duped by ‘Hopkins Retouch’ is Margie Campaigne.
“I sent multiple emails, I tried to call him and left messages,” she said.
When Rochester finally got 2.5 inches of snow, and the business was a no-show, Campaigne filed a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office. She said too many others online were claiming the business… simply vanished.
“Let’s get the big guns out. So that’s what I did,” she said on contacting the State Attorney General.
The Better Business Bureau told News 8 there are active complaints posted and they are looking into this.
“BBB started a file on the business in February 2023, and we have received three 1 star reviews from consumers. BBB has reached out to the consumers to obtain more details on their experience, further information is not yet available. BBB does suggest consumers do their research before choosing any contractor. You should get 3 bids with all the details in writing so expectations are clear. Are you paying for an entire season, per month or per plow. What is the snowfall amount required before the service will begin. Know exactly what you are paying for and when work is expected to begin, what months of the year does it cover.”Dawn Carlson, Vice President, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says this kind of thing is something that happens every now and then– and there’s a pattern.
“What we tend to see is that they prey mostly on our elderly population,” said Deputy Brendan Hurley.
Hurley said usually scammers will try and rope people in online and get them to pay with an unfamiliar cash application. Hurley, not mincing words when it comes to businesses that get into binding agreements with customers and then disappear.
“It’s a crime to enter into a contract like this and not fulfill their end of the bargain,” said Hurley.
News 8 did try to reach out to the business in question multiple times for weeks. So far, there has been no word from Hopkins Retouch.
Deputy Hurley encouraged anyone feeling like they have fallen victim to any kind of scam– to call 911 and file a report.