‘He got us’: Chester woman feels ripped off nearly $ 3,400 after painter fails to show up



CHESTER, Virginia (WRIC) – A woman from Chester said she felt cheated after paying thousands of dollars to make a deposit on a paint job for her house, but the painter never showed up.

Colleen Stenglein said the painter not only failed to show up for work, but the check she handed over for the 50% deposit was cashed just three days after she handed it over.

Stenglein and her husband saved for 15 years so they could renovate their kitchen.

“This house has been a project since the day we bought it, and we knew it,” she told 8News in an interview.

She was hoping to have her kitchen cabinets and a hallway painted on October 11 by Jay Withrow with Tru Colors Painting and More. She signed a contract and paid the 50% deposit in August, but Withrow said they were busy and expected to start the project two months later.

“I found three different companies that were recommended by neighbors. He was one of them. I received estimates from all three. He came to the house, wrote us a proposal. I said I was impressed with him because he said he was a veteran and a small business owner, ”Stenglein said.

The business card for Tru Colors Painting and More that was given to Stenglein shows an address that led 8News to a PO Box at a UPS store in Mechanicsville. (Photo: Colleen Stenglein)

She said she wasn’t worried when he said they couldn’t start until October because the other two companies she was in contact with had similar delays.

After signing the contract with Withrow and his company and paying $ 3,357.45, October 11th passed and Withrow never showed up to do the job.

A copy of the check Stenglein wrote Withrow on August 13. The check was cashed three days later, on August 16. (Photo: Colleen Stenglein)

“On the Friday before the 11th, I was a little worried that they hadn’t confirmed what time they were coming,” she said. “I fell in love with the hook, the line and the lead of the story.”

Stenglein said she left repeated messages saying she would like to know what was going on and never heard from them.

Withrow never showed up, leaving her cupboards and hallway unpainted. The address on Withrow’s business card led 8News to a PO Box at a UPS store in Mechanicsville.

8News also contacted the Department of Professional and Professional Regulation after noting that Withrow did not have an online license. DPOR officials confirmed that Withrow was unlicensed.

DPOR has confirmed with 8News that Jay Withrow with Tru Colors Painting and More is not licensed with the department. (Photo: Sabrina Shutters, 8News reporter)

If an unlicensed painter does work over $ 1,000, it is a criminal offense, punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor, if prosecuted by local Commonwealth prosecutors.

When we asked Withrow where his DPOR license was, he said, “We have our license and everything. He went on to say he would show us a copy of his license on Thursday.

8News has never received a copy of the license that Withrow claims to have. The Better Business Bureau is also presenting complaints against its business dating back to 2019.

When asked 8News why Stenglein’s paint job had never been done and she never had his money back, he replied, “My father just passed away and when I went to Florida for the funeral from my dad, I literally lost my secretary and two of my guys. at a time. So I had just come back from Florida and had to catch up with everyone, get hold of everyone.

Withrow said that while in Florida, his secretary left with the company phone and all passwords for work email and other accounts.

“I’m going 100% if she wants her bond refunded, I’ll give her back her bond, or we’ll do the job,” Withrow told 8News Wednesday.

Stenglein isn’t holding his breath and is already looking for a new painter to help him complete his long-awaited kitchen renovation.

“Honestly, don’t expect to get anything, but I’ll try,” she said.

Stenglein has filed a civil lawsuit for his money with the General District Court.

For now, 8News will be waiting alongside Stenglein, following when she gets her money back or when the job is done.

Stay with 8News for updates.


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