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Aftermath Inc charges $22,000.00 for biohazard cleanup in TX

March 8, 2012

> All I can say is wow….
> Watch the video.
>
>
> _http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/investigative/investigation%3A-aftermath-c
> omplaints-030412_
> (http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/investigative/investigation:-aftermath-complaints-030412)
>
>
>
>
> Investigation: Aftermath Complaints
> Published : Monday, 05 Mar 2012, 10:00 PM CST
> *
> _Becky Oliver_
> (http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/about_us/personalities/Becky_Oliver)
> _FOX 4 News_
> (http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/about_us/personalities/Becky_Oliver)
>
>
>
> DALLAS – A death clean up can be a gruesome job but there are companies
> that specialize in that service. They come to a family’s rescue in a desperate
> time of need but some families complain one local company may be trying to
> clean up more than just the mess.
> Aftermath, Inc. does the dirty work, coming in after a murder, suicide or
> death in the family.
> “He was a good kid,” Rick Donato remembers when talking about his son
> Shane. “Everyone talks highly of him. I can’t believe this happened,” he
> continued.
> “I just loved him. He was so beautiful,” said Shane’s mother Brenda.
> The pain rips through Rick and Brenda Donato. In November 2011, the
> unthinkable happened. Their only son, a college student, shot himself in their
> master bedroom.
> “I didn’t see it,” Rick Donato said. “If I had known, that gun would have
> been gone. I would never have kept it,” he said.
> Grand Prairie Police referred the Donatos to Aftermath, Inc. to clean up.
> In a complaint filed with the Texas Attorney General’s office, the Donatos
> say their relief quickly turned to anger.
>
> “You are going to charge me $4 or $5,000 dollars for a clean up?” Rick
> Donato said he asked the Aftermath employee.
>
> “ He said, yeah but don’t worry about it. Your insurance company ought to
> take care of it and he said it twice,” Donato continued.
>
> But that is not what happened. They say their insurance company told them
> they would only pay about one tenth of the $22,000 bill.
>
> It shows 3 workers spent 10 and a half hours at almost $300 an hour. That
> is almost $9,000. Another $3500 was for supplies and $3200 for profit and
> overhead.
>
> “My son was laying right here,” Rick Donato said pointing to the floor in
> the master bedroom. “That is where he was bleeding the most. He shot
> himself in the head.
> Donato says Aftermath, Inc. removed the carpet and pad and sealed the
> floor, scrubbed the wall, removed the blinds and dust ruffle and cut out a piece
> of carpet in the hall. Donato admits he didn’t read the fine print that
> states “providing any estimate would be difficult.” He signed off on the
> hourly rate and charges.
>
> “They caught me at a weak time in my life,” Donato said wiping away the
> tears.
>
> The Donatos are not alone.
>
> “You are in shock that this is happening,” said Rexine Mayes.
> Rexine and Jeff Mayes say Jeff’s step brother also killed himself with a
> gun. He was found around 8 days later. Seagoville Police referred them to
> Aftermath, Inc. In a complaint filed with the Texas Attorney General’s
> office, the Mayes say the company gave them a verbal estimate of around $3,000. A
> bill for that amount arrived but so did a second one.
>
> “It was $31,800.00” said Jeff Mayes.
>
> “How do you jump from $3,000 to $31,000? How do you do that,” asked
> Rexine.
> The Mayes $31,000 bill shows more than $16,000 in labor. The insurance
> company, Geovera, that had the homeowner’s policy, called the charges, “
> excessive” and would only pay $10,000.
> When the Mayes didn’t pay up, Aftermath, Inc. put a lien on the Seagoville
> home. Mayes says had he known the price could even get that high, he never
> would have signed the contract.
> “Be honest. Tell us up front what the situation is, that way we can try to
> make the right decision and do the right thing,” Jeff Mayes said.
>
> Aftermath’s website says it is the nation’s leader in biohazard
> management. Based in Illinois, it has been operating for more than 15 years.
> The owners claim they are part of a family’s healing process.
>
> “Our first purpose here is to assist the family,” said Tim Reifsteck of
> Aftermath, Inc. in a video posted on the company’s website.
>
> The Better Business Bureau in Chicago gives the company a B- rating. There
> have been 13 complaints filed in the past 3 years.
> In 2010, the Ohio Attorney General found Aftermath, Inc. was not in
> compliance with consumer laws after customers complained about “overbilling in
> excess of initial estimates.” The Attorney General ordered Aftermath, Inc. to
> pay $15,000. A report says the matter and the consumer complaints were
> resolved.
> In Texas, we found Aftermath, Inc. has filed 9 liens on properties in
> Tarrant, Collin, Denton and Dallas Counties. 6 liens have been released. 3 are
> still active.
>
> We called Aftermath, Inc. several times, even went by the Ft. Worth
> office. No one responded.
> “They are taking advantage of people,” said Plaintiff’s attorney, Ted
> Lyon. Lyon is representing three families and going to battle for them. The
> former lawmaker believes these types of companies need regulation.
>
> “This is a case that cries out for somebody to do something about it,”
> said Lyon. “It is the most vulnerable time in a person’s life and it is
> really
> outrageous,” he continued.
>
> Aftermath, Inc. claims its prices are reasonable and well below the
> regional average for biological remediation and the company is concerned with a
> family’s welfare.
>
> “We are going to get them going, get them back into their life so they can
> start to live again,” said the co owner of Aftermath, Inc. in a story that
> was posted on the company’s
> website.
>
> “There is no healing with them,” said Rick Donato. Donato says he feels
> like Aftermath, Inc. is trying to clean him out. He fears after losing his
> son, now he may lose his home.
>
> “They can charge a fair price, that is not the problem,” said Brenda
> Donato. “This is not a fair price,” she continued.
>
> “I don’t know how they can do it,” Rick Donato said. “That is taking
> advantage of someone in so much pain. My son was everything,” he said.
>
> Death clean up companies are not regulated in Texas. Attorney Ted Lyon
> spent 15 years in the Texas Legislature. He believes these companies should be
> licensed and they should have to meet certain standards.
> The Seagoville Police Chief told Fox 4 he was not aware his department was
> making referrals. He now has a policy that prohibits giving out the names
> of clean up companies. The Arlington Police policy allows for referrals but
> officers are supposed to hand out a list of company names, not just one
> name. Rick Donato says in his case, he got three names but was told only
> Aftermath, Inc. worked on weekends and it was a Sunday.
>
> Read more on myFOXdfw.com:
> _http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/investigative/investigation%3A-aftermath-complaints-030412#ixzz1oUVqem7n_
> (http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/investigative/investigation:-aftermath-complaints-030412#ix
> zz1oUVqem7n)
>
> Read more on myFOXdfw.com:
> _http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/investigative/investigation%3A-aftermath-complaints-030412#ixzz1oUViXhdt_
> (http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/investigative/investigation:-aftermath-complaints-030412#i
> xzz1oUViXhdt)

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