Ontario contractor convicted of ‘unfair practice’
“Stay away from Doug Barber. He will rip you off, guaranteed!”
By John Bleasby
People commenting on-line about Huntsville, Ontario contractor Doug Barber and his company DDB don’t hold back their words when describing his business practices. The law finally caught up with Barber. On March 31, he was convicted in court of one count of unfair practice contrary to the Consumer Protection Act, 2002.
A release from the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Affairs states, “Operating under the company name DDB, Mr. Barber was hired by the consumer to perform substantial renovation work to a cottage property. Between October 1, 2013 and December 8, 2014 the consumer paid Mr. Barber a total of $26,540. Mr. Barber performed a small amount of the work contracted for and eventually abandoned the job. Mr. Barber promised to provide the consumer with a refund but failed to do so.”
Barber was placed on probation and ordered to pay his victim $25,000 in restitution plus monthly payments of $167. Justice of the Peace Cheryl B. McLean also order Barber to complete 60 hours of community service work. In terms of any future work undertaken, Barber cannot accept deposits exceeding 20 per cent of any contracted agreement until all the materials have been purchased and the work completed in full.
A history of bad behavior?
Over the years, Barber has received several criticisms for his business practices. Extremely negative comments going back to 2014, posted on TrustedPros, suggest recurring bad behavior. “Rhonda from North Bay” claims in a review in late 2014 that she hired DDB “to build us our dream home,” but that “Doug Barber AND his crew disappeared without completing the project, left with an advance of cash (work not completed), unpaid workers, a concrete company threatening to put a lien on our home for non-payment, and many framing errors that we had to pay extra for to hire a new crew to complete the work.”
“A church-going, family man who you would never expect that from”
Failing to pay workers and subs is a claim also made by “Ross.” “My small construction company completed extensive amount of work for Doug Barber and got totally ripped off,” he writes. “So I took him to small claims court, was awarded less than half ($17,000) and didn’t get a dime of that either. He’s a church-going, family man who you would never expect that from… Stay away from Doug Barber. He will rip you off, guaranteed!”
Other comments indicate that in addition to leaving his workers unpaid that Barber was late in starting projects, under-quoted the projects and collected deposits for work that was never completed.
Barber’s company DDB can still be found on several on-line listing sites in the area. More than one phone number is listed, but the company address, when using GoogleMaps, indicates a location in a row of townhouse units near Hidden Valley Resort in Huntsville.
Operators like this convicted constructor cast a bad light on the entire home building industry. As always, Canadian Contractor magazine supports the highest levels of ethical standards, workmanship and honesty.
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