More problems with Avalanche snow removal
Published Wednesday, February 3, 2010 7:34PM EST
The first snowfall of the season generated an avalanche of complaints from West Island customers who had signed up with Avalanche Snow Removal.
It turns out residents in Laval's Fabreville district also thought the service they received was less than stellar, and so many have demanded a full refund.
Jacques Croteau is one of the people who said no plows showed up in December.
"No snow removal at all," said Croteau. "Absolutely no contact with the snow removal Avalanche company here."
He signed up for the service after receiving a flyer in the mail, and was enticed by boasts of 24/7 service and a low promotional price.
Debra Benoit signed up too, only to be disappointed.
"They never came around," said Benoit. "I kept looking out the window 'are they coming, are they coming, are they coming?' They came a day and a a half later, they did the front of the car and they left."
Both Benoit and Croteau paid the company in two installments, and both cancelled their second cheques and demanded a refund.
Croteau contacted Steve Fernandes, the man he'd signed a contract with, to no avail.
"He told us he was not working for Avalanche anymore, and recommend to us to get another contract," said Croteau.
So Croteau called the number on the post on his driveway, and reached the Pointe-Claire office, where many customers had complained about a lack of service.
Croteau says that after repeated phone calls, he was told the cheque is in the mail.
He eventually was reimbursed for the full amount, as was Benoit.
Not registered in Laval
During the On Your Side investigation, CTV researchers learned that Avalanche was not registered as a private contractor in Laval.
According to city bylaws, each company vehicle in Laval must have a $25 permit placed on the windshield, and the company needs to hold a $1 million insurance policy.
Officials at Laval City Hall told CTV that Avalanche met none of those requirements, although someone named "Frank" who answered the phone at the Pointe-Claire office said Avalanche did indeed have a permit, and that it subcontracted work in Laval.
Some clients still frustrated
Benoit says that even though she's been reimbursed, she does not like how she was treated.
"I just think if Avalanche was on the up and up why not just tell the truth?" said Benoit. "Just be honest."
Clients in Pointe-Claire who have contacted CTV say they only got half their money back, despite getting no snow removed at all.
Some are going to court to get their money back from the company.