In Your Corner: Local Company Under Fire

By Ryan Elijah

June 18, 2010 Updated Mar 20, 2009 at 9:41 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IND. (Indiana's Newscenter) - A Fort Wayne company is under fire from upset customers and contractors.
Vista Bay Homes changed it's named in December to Westview homes but still operates at the same location. Jeff and Margo Robinson paid them over 170-thousand dollars for a manufactured home. Several months after closing, they say Vista Bay has left them with a house that's unfinished. They have a list that details many of the issues from walls cracking to several inches of water that collect in the crawl space. Jeff says the company won't even return his calls "they just ignore us, we've been at the point where we could just walk away"
Jeff showed us a closing agreement signed 7 months ago by Vista Bay's owner saying a water softener would be installed, after months of waiting he finally bought this one on his own. Jeff isn't alone, we've received complaints from 10 different areas, from Waseon, Ohio to Hoagland. Many of them have similar complaints. A Home Inspector, hired by the Ronbinson's, has inspected some of those homes, he says there's plenty of blame to go around, from state inspectors to Vista Bay.
Jim Goddard- "a lot of people not doing their jobs and it's the homeowner that gets hurt"
We received our first complaint about Vista Bay homes a little over a year ago, Mike Johnston, of Ohio sent us a detailed report of what he described as a "terrible" experience with the company, but that company, Vista Bay, no longer exists.
3 months ago, Vista Bay changed their name to Westview Homes, but the address, phone number and owner remain the same. As our investigation got bigger we also found a number of local contractors that are pursuing legal action after not being paid by Vista Bay, Decatur's Steve Miller is out nearly 12-thousand dollars after spending two weeks installing Jeff Robinson's septic system.
Steve Miller- it's extremely frustrating, I would like to see something done to put people in their place that take people's money.
Two Amish contractors also told us they're owed over 20-thousand dollars by Vista Bay, they wouldn't go on camera but did agree to tell their story.
"it hurts a lot, it hurts a real lot for me, I'm just a small guy. I've never dealt with anyone like this"
When we approached Westview about the story, no one was at the office, when an employee did arrive, whom we believe to be manager John Marano, he left quickly after seeing our camera. Owner Ben Music did return our call and admitted his company has had some "difficult times", he indicated that in many of the cases his company wasn't obligated to do some of the work. Contractor Steve Miller presented us with a contract showing his agreement with Vista Bay. While the owner was cooperative, he was advised not to meet with us for an interview. According to the Attorney General's office they've had 5 complaints about the company, while the Better Business Bureau gives them an F rating for not responding to complaints. Meanwhile, Jeff Robinson and Mike Johnston are among 3 Vista Bay customers that we've found who now can't sell or refinance his home after a lean was placed on it by unpaid contractors. This despite a signed affidavit that Jeff received at closing indicating that all workmen were fully paid.
The office of Indiana's Attorney General advises any consumer with complaints about a business to file those online at Indianaconsumer.com

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