BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – News 4 has been looking into a local snow plow service operator, after receiving numerous complaints that he was paid to plow during the winter, but did little to no work at their homes.

Many people now want their money back and contacted Call 4 Action. One person who contacted us was Dana Warford of Buffalo.

“A little panicky, and a little betrayed, you put your trust in someone and you expect, they’re going to follow through on their end of the deal,” Warford said.

Dana Warford feels let down and betrayed by Zach Wright the operator of Wrights Handyman Services — a snow plow business in Cheektowaga.

“I first got Zach’s name from a friend on Facebook, we were looking for a snow plow service, our service last year was great, but he was no longer continuing the service,” Warford said.

Warford agreed to go with Wrights Handyman Services. According to the contract residents received, the business would provide snow plowing services from November to April, saying they would plow after two inches of snow fall by 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and asking for payment due upon signing with cash or check made out only to Zachary Wright.

Dana Warford says she paid $400 for the season for her driveway to be plowed.

“He never came to plow,” Warford said, “When he didn’t show up and didn’t even attempt to contact me after I asked for a response I asked for a refund.”

She also took Wrights Handyman Services to court — filing a small claims case against the business. A judgment was awarded in the Warford’s favor for $400 in damages, plus $15 in costs.
She also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

The Warford’s ended up buying a new snow blower and plowing their own driveway.

“I would just say I feel I am entitled to my refund back, I would appreciate my refund the contract is for services rendered you never rendered any services so it’s only fair to pay that back,” Warford said.

We were able to reach Zach Wright by phone and offer him the chance to do an interview to explain his side of the story. But, he told us he was not available. Instead, he told me by phone he made a mistake and apologizes to his clients. He says he’s in the process of paying people back and will make everyone whole by the end of the month.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Warford said.

News 4 will stay on top of this to see whether Zach Wright does in fact pay all his clients back.
Three complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau against Wrights Handyman Services for not fulfilling their snow plowing agreements.

Here are some tips on what to do before hiring a snow plow service:

-The Better Business Bureau suggests consumers do their research before choosing any contractor.

Check bbb.org for our business profile reports, look for BBB Accredited companies who have made a commitment to marketplace trust.

-You should get 3 bids with all the details in writing so expectations are clear. Are you paying for an entire season, per month or per plow? What is the snowfall amount required before the service will begin? Know exactly what you are paying for and when work is expected to begin, what months of the year it covers.

“When you do settle on a company to hire you shouldn’t accept a verbal agreement, it’s important that you ask for a contract and you know exactly what’s in that contract,” said Katarina Schmieder, a spokesperson for the BBB, “Also, if someone asks you for full payment up front that’s generally a red flag most snow plow services will let you split payments either at the beginning and end of the season or beginning, middle and end of the season.”

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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.