Our industry responsible for 36 per cent of all Ontario Consumer Protection violations
Albanis Hernandez and Durer Construction are among the latest to join the "36 per centers" club
By John Bleasby
Last month, Albanis Hernandez* became the latest contractor to have his name publicized as a violator of Ontario’s Consumer Protection laws. We would like to talk to Albanis, for publication, but he’s vanished. Try to find any trace of Hernandez or his firm, Durer Construction, and you’ll likely come up as empty-handed as we did. The Toronto-based ‘contractor’ was convicted last month of a number of offences, including “engaging in an unfair practice by making a false, misleading or deceptive representation to a consumer, and using a consumer contract that did not comply with the regulations under the Consumer Protection Act.”
*[please note: While the official conviction notice names owner ‘Albanis Hernandez’, Durer Construction’s own web site , as quoted below, names the owner as ‘Hernandes Elbanis’]
$1,800 fine and $1,275 restitution
According to Consumer Protection Ontario, “Hernandez entered into a contract with a consumer to provide front yard renovations. The consumer provided him with a $1,400 deposit. Hernandez demolished the consumer’s retaining wall, but never returned to finish the job. He also did not provide materials the consumer had paid for.” For his crimes, Hernandez was fined $1,800, ordered to pay $1,275 in restitution to one consumer, prohibited from accepting more than 20 per cent deposit on any future consumer agreements, and put on probation for 15 months.
Hernandez makes up part of the 36 per cent of convictions under the province’s acts by those engaged in the home building or renovation industries.*
It’s a shocking statistic given the number of industries which also contain shady operators. It’s not something our industry should be proud of.
*Statistic provided by the Consumer Protection office for convictions between 2011 to 2105
Albanis Hernandez in his own words
On his own website, Albanis Hernandez describes his services as specialising “in building custom-built homes, home renovations, home additions and commercial offices. We specialize in stonework, bricklaying, concrete, demolition, stucco, foundation forming , sandblasting, and landscape redesign.”
He also boasts of leading “a team of 8 professional tradesmen providing you with the highest quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.”
Deceptive and misleading representations
Hernandez is even more boastful on his company’s 411.ca website listing:
“When dealing with Durer Construction you will deal directly with the owner Hernandes Elbanis, a licensed Civil Engineer with over 10 years experience.”
Confirming whether Hernandez is actually a licensed civil engineer has proven difficult. His name does not appear on the membership list of the Association Professional Engineers of Ontario (APEO). As for Durer Construction, the company has no listings or reviews on either the HomeStars or TrustedPros websites.
As so often is the case, once charges get serious and convictions result, the phone goes dead. Calling both of Durer’s numbers gets the standard blow-off from Silicon Sally: “This subscriber is unable to receive calls”.
Such also seems to be the experience of perhaps another of his victims, as posted on ripoff.com October 10th:
“Durer Construction of Toronto and GTA, Canada: Hired him to do the foundation of my house, gave him money every week, took extra monies for supplies. After that, he never came back, does not answer my calls.”
Hernandez claims on his website that Durer is “an honest, reliable company with our sole emphasis on total customer satisfaction.”