Better Business Bureau Great West + Pacific has issued a warning to consumers about Kent-based DJE Concrete & Construction.
DJE has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), according to an Oct. 23 press release.
BBB has received three complaints and one Scam Tracker report in recent years about DJE and its tactics, according to the press release. DJE and its owner, John Taufa, have a demonstrated history of engaging in door-to-door sales tactics for small construction jobs.
According to the complaints, after accepting money, DJE only partially completes the job, leaving the customer searching for a refund and a new contractor to complete the job. The company responded to a customer’s request for a refund once BBB brought complaints to the attention of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).
The Kent Reporter tried calling DJE’s phone number, but a recording said the number was not in service. The company has a Kent address of 10404 SE 224th St.
One customer in Kent, reported to the BBB’s Scam Tracker they agreed to have DJE install a new driveway in April 2023, according to the press release. The customer produced their own contract outlining the work to be done and payment terms, which Taufa signed. The customer paid $3,000 in April 2023, agreeing to pay an additional $3,500 after the job.
A few weeks later, the DJE crew removed the old driveway. Taufa communicated he would return on May 1, 2023, to pour the customer’s new driveway. The customer said DJE and Taufa did not return, leaving them with an unpaved driveway for many months while they searched for a contractor to complete the job.
The customer later discovered that DJE did not file for the appropriate permit with the city of Kent, leaving them to pay an additional $1,200 to the city.
Another customer reported their experience with DJE to the BBB:
“I entered into an agreement with DJE Concrete and Construction (John) to pour a concrete pad in the backyard and sidewalk on the north side of our home. Since then, they have shown up to our home sporadically without notice or schedule. Almost a month later, they haven’t finished framing the project. Phone calls and text messages for information are rarely returned if at all, leaving us in the dark about what’s going on.”
BBB reached out to DJE and Taufa on three occasions since May 2023 and has received no response. After the customer from Kent began working with BBB, BBB contacted L&I. Once an investigator from L&I was involved, Taufa began responding and returned an agreed-upon $2,000 to the customer in Kent.
According to the public record of DJE Concrete & Construction on Lni.wa.gov, the state registration for DJE was suspended by L&I on Sept. 12, 2018. The company has over $37,000 in unpaid tax debts and nine violations dating back to 2018, with the most recent fine being levied against the company in October 2022.
In BBB’s investigation, reputable online data sources show John Taufa is related to Sione Taufa. KING 5 NBC highlighted actions by Sione Taufa in 2007 and 2011 similar to those taken by John Taufa in recent years.
The BBB encourages any individuals engaging in a business transaction with DJE, John Taufa, or a related company to proceed cautiously.
BBB recommends the following tips for finding a reliable and trustworthy general contractor:
• Check a contractor’s business profile at BBB.org
• Do your own research on contractors; don’t believe the advertisements
• Verify your contractor’s registration or license and insurance at Washington L&I’s ProtectMyHome.net
• Get three quotes from different contractors
• Get everything in writing
• Ask for references
For more information, visit BBB.org/HomeImprovement for more guidance on your next home project.