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Castle Rock couple out $5,000 after landscaping contractor who never started project

The contractor is refusing to refund the deposit, couple says
Chris and Robert Axelrod reviewing contracts from Aria Alfresco LLC
Posted at 11:04 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 01:04:02-05

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Chris and Robert Axelrod moved to Castle Rock in June. One of their first tasks was to start looking for a landscaper in to remodel their backyard.

They came across Aria Alfresco LLC.

"They were highly rated with the Better Business Bureau," Chris Axelrod said. "They had glowing Google reviews."

They were contacted by a salesperson and in August. After going over several reviews, they signed a contract. The contract required 20% down payment, $5,000, to begin the project.

They say after they handed over the money, the communication with Aria Alfresco ended. After months, they said no work has been done and there is no communication.

"We've asked the owner to respond to us. I've called him and left him messages. He will not call us back... will not respond," Robert Axelrod said. "[They] just basically stole our money."

Four months later, the couple says the company has done little to remedy the situation. The company's owner, Suresh Chadalavada, hired an arbitrator to reach out to the Axelrods but offered no refund.

Contact Denver7 reached out to Aria Alfresco as well. An anonymous representative responded on the company's behalf saying they have reached out to the Axlerods multiple times.

"We have spent a considerable amount of time on the design and corresponding edits for that design," the email from Aria Alfresco states. "Because of being short-staffed, we have not had time to see how much time went into the design, the multiple site visits and queuing installation planning for the job."

Chris and Robert Axelrod, however, say that the design plans were given to them before they signed a contract. They also say the arbitrator has been one-sided.

"There's been no work out in good faith at all. The arbitrator, which is employed by them, not a third party has called us and basically said, we're not getting our money back," Chris Axelrod said. "The owners decided not to give us a penny."

Concerned about the ability to landscape as the weather cools off, they said they had to hire a different company to complete the work.

"We had no choice at this point but to hire another landscaper," Chris Axelrod said. "Our HOA has been after us. We have to have landscaping installed."

They say after months without any renovations, they just want their money back.

"Return our deposits," Robert Axelrod said. "That's all we're asking for."

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