Winnipeg plumber's track record prompts buyer beware warning
Manitoba business group gives company failing grade
Donald Connors has been on the frontlines in Winnipeg's on-going battle with frozen pipes.
The plumber, who owns Shields Plumbing and Heating, claims to have restored water to hundreds of homes and businesses caught in the freeze-up.
But CBC News has learned Connors has a questionable track record in Alberta, where he co-owned a company called 'Drain Rescue.'
The province described it as "a troubled business," and charged Connors with 'operating without a prepaid contracting licence, misrepresenting that a repair was needed and using a contract that did not meet provincial requirements.'
He was also charged after failing to refund an Edmonton woman more than $4,000 for work he never did.
Alberta officials told CBC they issued consumer warnings about Connors' practices.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Connors admitted he'd made mistakes in Alberta.
"I plead guilty," he said. "Sorry, my apologies. I made a mistake in terms of a business choice. But [that] doesn't mean that's the business choices I've made from here forth."
Connors also admitted he still has not reimbursed the Edmonton woman but explained that the matter is before the courts.
Manitoba business group gives company F
The Better Business Bureau has rated Connors and his company "F," due to what it calls one unresolved complaint and four others that have been 'unsatisfactorily resolved.'
Connors said he has addressed the BBB complaints with his clients.
"You know, I accepted responsibilities and stuff for and plead guilty on my own merit," he said. "You know, there is no plea bargaining. I plead guilty."
Gail Anderson of Manitoba's Consumer Protection Office said people should always check before they do business with any company.
"We would encourage people to ensure they check the references, ask for references from the contractor, check those references, have a written contract," she said.