Attorney General James Obtains $44,000 From Home Improvement Company For Failing To Provide Services To Rochester Consumers 

Company Defrauded Customers By Receiving Full Or Partial Payments For Projects That Were Never Fulfilled 

ROCHESTER – Attorney General Letitia James today announced a settlement with Frank Arena and David Frazer, the owners of Decks by Design, LLC, based on their failure to provide home improvement services for consumers in the Rochester area. The New York State Supreme Court has ordered the owners to pay restitution, costs, and penalties of at least $44,000.

Arena defrauded consumers by receiving full or partial payments for home improvement projects but failing to perform any work, and the work that was completed was often done in a shoddy and unprofessional manner. 

“A home is often the most significant investment that consumers make,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The hardworking residents of this state should not face scammers when they try to obtain honest services. My office will continue to hold accountable individuals and companies who think they can take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.” 

The Order, issued by New York Supreme Court Justice, Hon. John J. Ark, bars Arena from ever owning or operating any home improvement business in New York, and orders Frazer to pay $19,211 in restitution. Arena has agreed to pay $25,000 in penalties.   

When planning to use a home improvement contractor, consumers should consider the following tips:

  •  Never agree to have work done on the spot, especially when potential contractors are marketing door-to-door                                       
  • Determine exactly what you want done, then look for a qualified contractor  
  • Shop around; get at least three estimates from reputable contractors that include specific information about the materials and services to be provided  
  • Ask for references: check with the Better Business Bureau, banks, suppliers, and neighbors.  
  • Always contact any references provided to you  
  • Insist on a written contract that includes the price and description of the work needed  
  • Do not pay unreasonable advance sums; negotiate a payment schedule tied to the completion of specific stages of the job  
  • Never pay the full price up front  
  • Remember that you have three days to cancel after signing a home improvement contract, but all cancellations must be in writing  
  • Additional information on how to avoid fraudulent home improvement contractors can be found on the Attorney General website.

Consumers who believe they may have been defrauded by Decks by Design are urged to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Help Line in the Rochester Regional Office at (585) 327-3240 or complete a complaint form online

In order to be eligible for restitution, the complaint form and supporting documents, such as a copy of the contract and canceled check, must be received at the Attorney General’s Rochester Regional Office located at 144 Exchange Blvd., Suite 200, Rochester, NY 14614 on or before May 22, 2019. 

The case is being handled by Benjamin Bruce, Assistant Attorney General, the investigation was handled by Inv. Jessica Holland both of the Rochester Regional Office which is led by Ted O’Brien, Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge.  The Rochester Regional Office is a part of the Division of Regional Offices, led by Jill Faber, Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs.