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Callaway County contractor accused of ripping off customers

Some mid-Missouri residents claim they’ve been ripped off by a Callaway County contractor, saying they paid him for work he didn’t finish or work they say was done poorly.

Auxvasse resident Thomas Mcgrath said the plan was to have a fence built on his property before the end of the summer so he could raise steers to feed his family during the winter and fulfill his girlfriend’s dream of having a horse.

That’s when he said he contacted Robbie Salmons Construction Services.

“It would take a week,” Mcgrath said. “That’s why we jumped on it because he said it’d take a week.”

Mcgrath signed a contract in May. He agreed to pay $900 and hand over the title of his truck to Robbie Salmons as payment for the first phase of construction.

But he said Salmons didn’t complete the project in a timely manner. Mcgrath also said he didn’t even build the fence right.

He said he gave Salmons multiple chances to come fix the problems, but since he didn’t, Mcgrath didn’t pay him the final $300 for the job.

“Every time I tried to explain to him that I’m not happy or questioned how he was doing it, I got overtalked and he got irritated,” Mcgrath said.

Mcgrath told ABC 17 News he can no longer get a hold of Salmons.

“I go to work every day and do an honest job, you know?” Mcgrath said. “I put in honest work for my job. And I expect somebody to do the same when I’m paying them out of my hard earned money.”

Mcgrath is not the only one.

“We are in the process of remodeling the bathroom,” Kingdom City resident Megan Trout told ABC 17 News. “It’s almost finished. There was like clip on tile.”

She said Salmons tried to rip her off too.

“He said that he would come take a look at it and he gave me a quote of like $100, and I mean, the material was not even going to cost that much,” Trout said.

But Trout is not just any potential customer to cross paths with Robbie Salmons.

“He’s my stepfather,” she said.

Trout said her mother is married to Salmons and helps him run the business. She warned potential customers to stay away from what she called “a scam.”

“They’re both in on it, they both have no experience, no training, no trade skill, nothing,” Trout said. “No business license, no insurance, nothing.”

And ABC 17’s Jillian Fertig found the same thing.

Fertig called all cities in Callaway County, as well as the county courthouse, and found Salmons has no business license and there is no record of him ever having a license.

Fertig also contacted the Callaway County Sheriff’s department to see if it had received any complaints.

The department said it is “aware of several complaints, but it is an open investigation, so we can’t comment.”

Fertig called Salmons several times at the number listed for his business, but calls were not answered or returned.

So Fertig tracked him down at the home he has been living in with his wife in Kingdom City.

“We just have a few questions for you about some people you did business with,” Fertig said.

“Yeah, why don’t you go back and ask them why they lied about what they said?” Salmons’ wife said.

“This is your chance to tell your side of the story because this airs whether you talk to me or not,” Fertig said.

“Well you’re going to have to come back another time because we’re on our way to church,” Salmons’ wife said.

After Salmons and his wife went inside, they called the sheriff’s department on the ABC 17 News crews.

Deputies arrived and told Salmons that unless ABC 17 News was on his property, they weren’t doing anything wrong.

After refusing to answer Fertig’s questions, the couple drove away.

Although Mcgrath said he’s already chalked it up as a loss, he said he has learned a lesson.

“Really check the background,” he said. “Really know who the person is that is doing it and don’t pay until it’s done right. Get it in writing for sure, exactly what needs to be done and double check the work regardless.”

And the stepdaughter of Salmons has a similar message.

“If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” Trout said. “Do it yourself, if not, get someone who is licensed, has good references, knows what they’re doing and see their work before. If you look at all of Robbie’s past work, it’s not work.”

ABC 17 News checked and Salmons has had multiple lawsuits filed against him in the past.

Since Fertig started working on the story, she received several phone calls from other customers who said they are also out money.

ABC 17 News checked with the Better Business Bureau as well as the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and both have received one formal complaint about Robbie Salmons this year.

Anyone who feels they have been ripped off by this man or any company is encouraged to file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

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