BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – A couple accused of making false promises with their cleaning business is ordered to repay thousands of dollars today Monday morning after they were sued in Brown County Court.
In the market for a new cleaning company, Teresa Garland of Green Bay hired Bright Day Cleaning of Allouez, a suggestion from Home Advisor. “I—by choice—try to use small businesses in Green Bay because I like to give those businesses our income,” Garland told Action 2 News. “We just didn’t expect to be so scammed like this. It’s a nightmare.”
Garland says she signed a contract with several thousand dollars down upfront—in exchange, she was promised cleaning, painting and remodeling with “100% satisfaction guaranteed.”
Garland says it didn’t happen, and when owners made more false promises, she and her husband them asked for their money back and got a series of hostile responses.
“That was when I began feeling this was not right,” said Teresa Garland. “At that point, I went to Home Advisor and they began advocating on our behalf to get our money back.”
Having no success negotiating over the phone or arguing via email, Thomas Garland says he decided to get into his car and drive to the Bright Day Cleaning headquarters. He says he was shocked to drive into this parking lot and discover not a business, but a UPS P.O. Box.
“So then I call this Kathleen,” Thomas Garland told Action 2 News, “and I say ‘Kathleen, what’s your last name?’ and she hung up on me.”
Garland investigated, searched online, asked around and found Kathleen Belsha and her husband Harry were the owners—even more, he found reports that they’d been investigated by law enforcement, journalists, and even successfully been sued before.
“Go look their names up. They are criminals,” said Thomas. “Court cases in Washington, court cases in Wisconsin, theft, fraud.”
Since the Garlands filed their lawsuit, others in Northeast Wisconsin have come forward with similar stories. Randy Georgeson told Action 2 News his 93-year-old mother struggles with memory loss, and wrote the Belshas tens of thousands worth of checks until her account was completely out of money.
Georgeson looked on as the Belshas were ordered to pay more than $11,000 back to the Garlands in Brown County Court Monday, taking notes the entire time.
Action 2 News chased down the Belshas after the court was finished, but they refused our request for comment.
“We don’t honestly think we’re going to get anything out of this, but at least I know I’ve helped a few people,” said Teresa Garland.
“You can win, but you’re not going to collect,” said Thomas Garland.
“It’s costing us more to go after this. We want to make sure that everyone knows exactly who these people are. Belsha. B-E-L-S-H-A,” he said, looking into the camera.
Home Advisor has removed them from their website, but Bright Day has not removed their reported endorsement from its own website.
The Belsha’s home address on the Wisconsin Circuit Court website appears to be in Bellevue, but Action 2 News found the property to be a warehouse that is empty and on the market to be leased.
TO FILE A COMPLAINT:
Consumer Protection Hotline 800-422-7128