BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — News 4 is hearing from more people who have been taken advantage of by a local contractor.

Our Call 4 Action Department has been staying on top of Lake Effect Services to make sure they repay people for services that were never performed.

Last month, Call 4 Action reported on a Cheektowaga family who was repaid for a fence job that was never completed.

The Ebert family of Wheatfield had the vision of expanding a concrete pad at the side of their house right by a garage and expanding a pad at the front of their house, but both unfortunately are a muddy mess thanks to a local contractor.

News 4’s Call 4 Action team has heard from a number of people who were promised a good deal from Lake Effect Services, LLC, but instead, were left scrambling trying to get their money back.

Penny and Paul Ebert wanted to expand their front pad to give Penny more room for her scooter. Over a year ago, they hired James Vaccaro from Lake Effect Services, which might also go under the name Concrete Experts or Concrete and Landscaping Experts of WNY. Vaccaro, in the past, has claimed to have a shop on Bedell Road in Grand Island.

“I wouldn’t hire him,” Paul said laughing.

Paul showed us the contract he had with Vaccaro for $24,500, but he says the project ended up going for several thousand dollars less which Paul says he paid up front.

“I was kind of stupid for doing it, but it sounded too good to be true I guess,” Paul said.

The Ebert’s documented everything, taking pictures of their property being dug up, but hardly any work actually being done. Materials from the project have been here for over a year.

“That’s laying there now so I’m stuck with that I gotta get rid of that somehow, pay somebody get rid of that,” Paul said.

Vaccaro says he hasn’t been able to complete projects because of health issues and because he can’t get workers because they’re busy with ongoing construction of the new Bills Stadium.

“It’s just been a hassle and I finally said I’m done, I want my money back,” Paul said.

So they filed a complaint with the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Call 4 Action took a look into the Ebert’s situation, and an attorney for Vaccaro, Mark Frentzel says they are working on a settlement with the Ebert’s and answering the complaint through the A.G.’s Office this week.

“We’re hoping we can get our $20,000 back,” Paul said.

Call 4 Action will certainly stay on top of this situation and work hard for the Ebert family. If you have a Call 4 Action complaint, you can call our hotline 716-879-4900.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.