GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — People who paid for plow service are still stuck in the snow. Target 8 is familiar with the plow business operator, who has a history of leaving customers in a lurch.
George Thomas paid David Roskiewicz — operator of Rosko Outdoor Services of Greenville — $150 to clear his driveway. But he never showed up.
“Wouldn’t show up. Wouldn’t answer his phone. Wasn’t plowing,” Thomas said.
Thomas is a throat cancer survivor. It weakened him and makes it hard for him to shovel his driveway. That’s why he was depending on the plow company.
But he’s also a Vietnam vet and former corrections officer, so he quickly got suspicious when Roskiewicz showed up a week later unannounced.
“I didn’t even know this guy. He comes to the house on a Saturday afternoon,” Thomas said.
He said Roskiewicz told him he couldn’t cash a check and asked him for $180, promising to pay him back in a week.
“And all of a sudden these alarms go off in my head,” he said.
That’s when Thomas thought it would be a good idea to buy a snowblower. He’s glad he has it now.
Target 8 investigators found last month that Roskiewicz left many people angry because he ditched landscaping jobs and didn’t pay employees.
At the time, he told Target 8 he had “every intention of doing the work.”
Now it looks like Roskeiwicz is out of business. The outgoing message on his phone is an apology.
“Unfortunately, my decisions cost me everything. I no longer have a business, trucks, nothing,” he says in the message.
Roskiewicz said he wants to pay everybody back but that it will take awhile. He told Target 8 investigators last month that he has a prescription drug problem.
“I will be unavailable for about six months getting the help I need,” his message says in part.
The Better Business Bureau said it has been getting a lot of complaints about snow plow services this winter. BBB of West Michigan President Phil Catlett says the bad winter has pushed plow services to the breaking point.
“I think it just gets out of hand and they can’t keep up with it. And it might be mental, it might be physical, it might be equipment — but something’s happened that they just can’t do it anymore,” Catlett said.
He said customers should hire a service with a solid track record that they can check. Customers are advised to find out how long their plow service has been in business and get some references.