Un­happy cus­tomer

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By HARRY SUL­LI­VAN hsul­li­van@truro­daily.com twit­ter: @tdnharry

A Shortts Lake man says a Bi­ble Hill shed builder has fallen short in his com­mit­ments, and as a re­sult, has filed an ap­pli­ca­tion in small claims court.

A Shortts Lake man has filed an ap­pli­ca­tion in small claims court against a Bi­ble Hill busi­ness­man who’s al­legedly failed to live up to his com­mit­ments.

“The guy is gen­uine when you talk to him. He is very be­liev­able,” Paul Hig­gins said, re­gard­ing Mike Up­ton of Bet­ter Built Con­struc­tion on Pic­tou Road.

Hig­gins gave Up­ton a $2,000 cash de­posit in April to­ward a $4,200 cus­tom-built shed.

“It was to be a three-week de­liv­ery and I’ve got a re­ceipt that says that,” Hig­gins said. “I gave the guy four weeks and then I started call­ing him. And when I called him, it was more sto­ries about why the shed wasn’t there.”

After re­peat­edly be­ing given a num­ber of vary­ing ex­cuses as to why the shed had not been de­liv­ered, Up­ton even­tu­ally told Hig­gins he re­quired an ad­di­tional $1,600 to­ward the fi­nal cost and the shed would be de­liv­ered the next day.

Hig­gins paid the money but the shed was never de­liv­ered.

By late July a frus­trated Hig­gins took his com­plaints to the Truro Daily News, who con­tacted Up­ton about his con­cerns. That ul­ti­mately re­sulted in him get­ting an ini­tial refund of $2,000 and then a fur­ther in­stall­ment of $1,000.

“While an ef­fort has been made by Mr. Up­ton to refund my de­posit, he has not done so com­pletely,” Hig­gins wrote in an email to the Truro Daily News.

“Mr. Up­ton con­tin­ues to prom­ise/lie about when I should ex­pect the refund. The Pic­tou Road busi­ness con­tin­ues to op­er­ate and Mr. Up­ton con­tin­ues to build sheds while past cus­tomers have not re­ceived their sheds or full refund of their de­posits.”

Up­ton ad­mit­ted to the Truro Daily News that he has made mis­takes in the way he op­er­ates the busi­ness. But Up­ton said he has also en­coun­tered fi­nan­cial prob­lems be­cause of peo­ple he has done work for who have not paid him.

“I don’t want a bad re­port, we’re try­ing to change, OK,” he said, adding he no longer plans on ac­cept­ing de­posits for un­built sheds.

And while Hig­gins said he plans to pro­ceed with his small claims court ap­pli­ca­tion, he is not op­ti­mistic about re­ceiv­ing the fi­nal $600.

“Based on Mr. Up­ton’s crim­i­nal past and failed busi­ness his­tory it is doubt­ful re­funds will be re­turned to cus­tomers or col­lect small court claims,” he said.

In 2005 Up­ton was sen­tenced to seven years in prison for rob­bing and at­tempt­ing to rob the East Coast Credit Union in Up­per Stewiacke, twice within two weeks.

As well, the Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau of At­lantic Canada has posted an “alert” on its site for Bet­ter Built Con­struc­tion.


Paul Hig­gins of Shortts Lake has filed an ap­pli­ca­tion with small claims court against Mike Up­ton of Bet­ter Built Con­struc­tion on Pic­tou Road, Bi­ble Hill, after he paid a de­posit for a shed that was never de­liv­ered.

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