Wis. BBB revokes membership for Steve’s Outdoor Services, LLC.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — When three people complain about the same company all at once, FOX6’s Contact 6 takes notice — especially if customers aren’t able to get out of their driveways!

Two heavy snowfalls in December 2013 left people scrambling to get the snow moved so they could get moving.

Jean Stuempfl paid $350 to Steve’s Outdoor Services for seasonal snow removal. However, Stuempfl says owner Steve Johnson didn’t live up to his contract. He promised to shovel anything more than two inches of snow, and missed the two biggest snowfall days of the year.

“They would come out after the fact.  They just weren’t dependable,” Stuempfl said.

Contact 6 received three complaints in one week against Steve’s Outdoor Services, all claiming the company wasn’t providing the service they paid for.

“I think it stinks.  I don’t mind paying him if he does his job within a decent amount of time, but if he doesn’t do his job he shouldn’t get paid,” Stuempfl said.

Contact 6 asked Johnson for an explanation. He declined to go on camera, but sent a statement, saying he has reached an understanding with Stuempfl, something she says hasn’t happened.

The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau has revoked the company’s membership, because it received 11 complaints, but Randall Hoth, president and CEO of the Wisconsin BBB, says he still wants to work with consumers on understanding best practices when hiring a landscaping or snow removal service.

“Making a deposit is perfectly legitimate knowing that if you make a deposit on this contract, we will show up and do the plowing.  You’re making a good faith deposit, or an estimate, or what you could spend in the year.  That’s not unusual.  That’s not unreasonable,” Hoth said.

Even if you decide to make a full payment up front, put it on your credit card. Your credit card company can protect you if the work isn’t completed.

Also — ask the company for customer references so you can call them and ask what kind of work they do.

And — always get a signed contract spelling out what work will be done and when, because you want your agreement like you want your sidewalk and driveway — clear and safe.

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66 comments

      • JLC

        He hasnt defrauded me, he has done everything the contract I signed states. Not sure why you hired a landscaper to fix your roof? Do you hire plumbers to fix your car?

        You had a bad experience I get it, I have had a great experience with everyone that works with him.

      • Joe

        Because before he only did landscaping/snow removal, he did roofing and siding as well. Ask the following how well that went: Solano, Worgull, Hernandez, Robles, Albert, Lasky, Halbur, Rutkowski, Kusik..the list goes on. It’s all public record, go look for yourself. So while he may have good intentions at times, deep down, he is a con-man that is preying on people in order to pay his own bills. Check how many tens of thousands he owes the state, various compaines in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Milwaukee…Katrina just hit the tip of the iceberg on this one!

      • TJ

        Boy you must be bored! So in other words he is a con-man who is ripping people off? Good one! Gee I wonder who this is lol. Sounds like someone here is preventing him from working to put food on the table.

  • Ken

    Steve is a poor contractor he lies and he is not honest at all. His word doesn’t mean anything. Things that he said he would fix. Steve didn’t fix on the roof. I end up having somebody else doing it. Steve is a poor contractor.

  • MM

    The header of this story is completely wrong and misstated. The Better Business Bureau is a private organization with no authority to revoke a license of any kind. The BBB does however has the authority (contractually) to revoke the membership of its paid clients should wrong doing be discovered.

    • Ken

      Steve does not hold to his contract. He also does roofing too. He never pulled the building permit out, he was short on materials and the list goes on from there. He was also to do lawn care for me. Never showed up when he said he would be here. It took many phone calls to get him here.

  • JLC

    I hired him and he has been here every snow fall within an hour of it stopping to clean up even if it is the middle of the night, I haven’t had one problem with him at all. I guess I would want to know the people who hired him and said he doesn’t come within a reasonable amount of time what time frame they expect snow to be done, City says 24 hours to clear your snow so if a crew shows up in under that and there is no time frame on your contract they are doing their job

  • Joseph

    The headline talks about the BBB. The story is about a granny in her chair complaining about the service she is receiving, just not fast enough, the goes back to the BBB. What is this story about??

    I have been in the snow removal business for over 25 years and am here to tell you, the guy charged her 350 bucks form the entire season and she is complaining about the amount of time it takes to get there? What?!?

    Why is this a news story for Contact 6? Over 350 bucks??? Anyone else been looking out the window?? That poor fella has probably been there 25 times already this year, and she wants a refund? Its no wonder nobody in this business wants to deal with the old farts..

    As for the BBB, they don’t even investigate complaints against a business, just grade us based on how fast we respond. I took a look at the guys page and 4,complaints when unanswered resulting in his revocation, not the number like Fox 6 said. The unanswered complaints all came within a week of each other in the same time frame the guy had to tell the BBB to get his address of their forum because he was fearing his kids well being. Oh, and their are compliments on there as well. That ain’t easy to do folks. Nobody says well done anymore.

    I couldn’t agree with the others on here more, there is something else going on here. I’m still scratching my head on why this is news in the first place….

    • JLC

      I would agree Joseph there is something else going on here, The story title is completely misleading as the BBB CANNOT revoke his actual license only his BBB accreditation, this story stinks on so many levels. If there were 3 complaints on the same day why aren’t the others on camera. I use his service have no problems WISH I only paid $350 bucks for the season sounds to me like he was trying to help an elderly woman out and it backfired on him. No point in trying to help people anymore everyone wants something for nothing. I had a different service last year and guess what they closed their doors you know why? residential properties are a nightmare to deal with, wasn’t worth the headache and they lost money on them.

    • RIGHT....

      I know first hand that this company was only throwing a handful or two of salt on their driveway…hardly worth $350, no? He has lied about giving them a refund also…never happened. They only wanted him to do his job…only makes sense if one is paid to do something and there is a signed contract…do what you are being paid to do or refund the money…not stick it in your pocket and do nothing except have the spouse come on here whining and complaining about elderly people picking on her poor bum husband and making things up as she goes.

  • RSC

    Katrina Cravy really needs to edit this story. Does she not realize that the Better Business Bureau can only revoke MEMBERSHIP and not a license? A revocation of a license indicates to the consumer that the business is continuing to operate outside of the law. With many people taking “news” as the gospel these days, a poorly written article is misleading at best, slanderous and libel at worst.

    I have no idea who this snow plow company is and I have no idea if he is reliable or not, but I do know that any news station using their power to sway public opinion should at least be doing so by reporting facts in an accurate manner. It would also be helpful if when writing a news piece, you tell people who the quotes are from. Reading this story I have no idea who Randall Hoth is and why his opinion should matter. Is he with the BBB, a representative with the company in question, or some random person who just thinks consumers should be more educated before purchasing a service?

    Dig a little deeper and get some facts. Find out if the sheer amount of snow during any given snowstorm or equipment malfunction due to temperature this year MIGHT have played a factor in the tardiness of the contractor (I bet it has). I’m all for exposing business practices that are negligent, but I am quite sure there is more to this story than has been represented here. That chance alone makes me question Ms. Cravy’s reporting integrity.

    • RIGHT....

      If this “company” had done what they had said they would or at least refunded the money it would not had come to this…they had been asked many times to just refund the money and wouldn’t and still haven’t done that. I don’t think that is an unreasonable request when the work is/was not being done…it just makes good business sense to do especially if the so-called “company” wants to thrive and having his spouse come on here and make things up really does not look good. Yes, I am the daughter of the elderly woman on here…and have been hearing about it way before it hit the news. I hope no one else gets taken advantage of.

  • Stupid Flanders

    Don’t forget the BBB is a scam itself. Most people don’t realize it is not a government agency but a ‘pay-to-play’ for-profit organization. BBB is the biggest ongoing scam in the country.

    • Cindi

      LB hmmmm. So personally??? How would you know him personally? Are ya just on here to blast someone that saw through your BS? Seriously? Lets get on the bandwagon and blast a snow removal guy who you know personally? Ok.. Love that fact that most of the people on here dont wans to put their real name on here.. wonder why??? LOL

  • Kathy

    I bet no one on here knows about the handful of people this gentleman services for free? I am a family member of one of those people. Watching a family member living with cancer, having bills they could not possibly pay monthly, this young man charges them ZERO!!! I cannot say enough about the integrity of this young man. Nice job Fox 6 for destroying a mans self worth. Wonder how his family feels? Won’t be watching this station anyone!

  • Lisa

    Katrina Cravey doesn’t know what she is doing. This contractor has been so harassed and he has done soooo much for free and for the elderly especially. People don’t realize….this is a FAMILY’S LIFE you are accusing and when you accuse without PROOF you take their livelihood- it is not just about the inconvenience of coming out to shovel 10 minutes after the 24 hour deadline. I feel bad for the family.

  • Paul

    Steve is NOT a good guy. He would have given the names & numbers of all those people he was helping for FREE. Ken is right. EVERYTHING he says is a LIE. I’m sure ALL these WORDY posts supporting Steve are done by himself and the SLAMMING of Katrina Cravy is just Steve’s way of trying to take the HEAT of himself. He’s a BAD guy!

    • Kathy

      Well I can honestly say I’m not Steve lol. My family posed that same question to him. Why not tell them about the good you do?There is a reason why he didn’t, he doesn’t look for recognition. Wait a little bit and you will see why.

  • Jason

    The guy is a bum. I personally worked for him and was not paid what was owed to me. I also know 7 others that worked for him that were not paid. Claims with the DWD have been made several time. He is a seasoned B S er. Don’t trust the guy he’s a crook.

  • LT

    Well Joe, interesting list of names there. Imagine working to pay your own bills…..what a bad man. Not interested in what he owes anyone else, he has always done what I contracted for. While you seem to have quite a vetting system for someone to work for you. And enough time on your hands to look it up and slam him for it. I don’t know, maybe I should make sure the check out girl at pick n save doesn’t owe anyone money next time I shop. You don’t and can’t pretend to know him “deep down” so please don’t make it a personal matter because you probably would have to admit he is a nice man. And this isn’t Steve either trying to fool anyone either.

  • nicky

    Obviously this company has issues that can’t be ignored. If you are payed for a service and you do not follow though…..that’s a problem.
    I am not concerned about what kind of family man he is. This is a business, and if you break a contract you must refund the money. Or how about just don’t over commit so you don’t portray yourself as a thief and a liar.

    • TJ

      Nicky, the story at hand does not make him a thief or a liar. that’s the point. Contact 6 did not put his side of the story on. He didn’t break the contract. No one ever wants to here the other side anymore.Did you happen to notice the letter he responded to to fox 6? Probably not! It was a full page letter!
      The only thing the editing room put across the screen was that he was in contact with the lady. The old lady is a typical senior citizen complainer, her husband has dementia. Duh, think about it.

      • Sarah

        “The old lady is a typical senior citizen complainer”. Considering your role in this company, this speaks VOLUMES to the “morals” that your POS husband has, I see it runs in the family. Also, it’s HEAR not HERE.

      • RIGHT....

        Yes, it kinda does make him a thief and a liar just as you are…her husband/ my father does not have dementia and this asshat still has not refunded their money. Throwing a handful or two of salt on a driveway costs $350? Really??? Is there ground up diamonds in that salt you use??

  • nicky

    your regards to senior citizens are overwhelming. Steve sent the flyers in the mail. He sought out the business. If he had too many residential clients, than he should not have agreed to the job. But instead he took the money and hoped for the best.

  • dennis kartes

    And if fox 6 would like to do a follow up story,Iwould love to introduce them to quite a few people who would like to get a few things off of their chests.definitely a bigger story than a little snow.

  • CM

    IDK I got paid, I guess I did a good job… watch-out when you hire foreman’s off of craigslist i guess. You will get people that threaten to kill you and your family. Not to mention if jobs were done right in the first place one would probably think they would have gotten paid. But hey.. thats another story.

  • JLC

    While I find TJ’s comments offensive since my husband is technically a senior citizen I don’t believe the owner of SOS subscribes to that same opinion. Again Joe I am a legit customer with an older spouse who is disabled and we have had no issues with his services or team whatsoever. I suggest everyone on this site use caution in their words and generalizations and keep to the topic. Joe if you know so much then go on camera and go public, if you are just trolling then stop. To call someone a predator is a heck of a statement to make and extremely inflammatory.

    Again I will continue to use his service it has been wonderful and thanks to him and his crew who ALWAYS make sure the wheelchair ramp and path to get my husband out to appointments are clear, it has been a difficult winter thus far and you have been rock stars.

  • RIGHT....

    I’m a daughter of the elderly couple on here. The most this guy would do was throw a handful of salt at best on their driveway once in awhile…their neighbors with snow blowers were kind enough to help them clear the snow when this clown could not or would not do the job he was paid to do. To this day they still have not seen a refund…he’s working hard to prey on the elderly. I wonder how his family feels knowing he’s ripping off the elderly who are on a budget…

  • pk

    Owner Steve Johnson and his Outdoor Service is manipulative and deceitful, not only does he not complete jobs (whatever job of the week that may be) he does not pay his employees that literally try to help him. No W-2 forms or any normal business practice. No food on the table here. Please don’t be taken in by horrible excuse for a human being. He does not discriminate and preys on all. If there are good comments here, consider yourself very lucky you are the minority.

      • Wk

        I really think fox 6 needs to do a recap story on this and hear from the people he has screwed over. Steve paints a pretty picture but he doesn’t deliver. Contractors like this make bad names for the little starting out and that actually does care about their customers , employees, and business.

  • John

    He’s a nice enough guy, but not consistent and has not fulfilled his contract. I understand that he is very sick and only has a few months to live. I feel bad about that. Wish him the best of luck.

  • Fred

    Even though this poor young man went through this he came out on top! Looks like he isn’t dying. He coached a local Little League team and started a new business. Good luck with Steverino’s Things young man! Thank you for what you did for us!

  • Fred

    Maybe he is on comfort measures? He looked well coaching and out on his boat. His new business seems to be going good. He has lots of nice stuff to sell on his website and Facebook page Steverino’s Things. Maybe I was wrong. I am sure he wouldn’t lie and take advantage of anyone.

  • Arthur Klements

    Fred is right. He does have a NEW career selling “stuff”. The new business is all over social media and Craigslist. It is Uncle Eddie’s Goodies and Giggles. He sells on ebay to. He sells under milwaukeeusedstuff. I don’t think he is trying to fake his own death. I don’t think he is trying to hide anything. Seems very happy. I would bet that he is trying to sell some things in order to pay some people back. I bet he feels pretty bad about this last winter and summer. But I can’t explain why he is trading for fishing things? And the boat? Hmmmmmmm. I bet that all the past kids that worked for him for no pay get paid back soon with this new career to. Why else would he be offering jobs at his new place? No need for another story. He’s a good guy. He does a lot for people. He is trying to save his local YMCA. Just look at his Facebook page for his NEW business. It shows just how good of a guy he is. You can’t coach community youth baseball if you are a bad person or faking your death. Just ask others.

    • CJ

      I don’t think anyone is doubting he does a lot for other, but he fact remains, he screwed a lot of people. We have emails and texts that he sent saying he was in total organ failure and that was ‘taking comfort measures’. He wasn’t able to perform services because he was at Mayo clinic. Come on….at the very least he has lied to his customers. I have seen his new business as well as pics of him coaching–he has made a miraculous recovery from total organ failure. The facts speak for themselves. Maybe it was a bad time in his life, but it still happened. I wish him the best.

      • Wk

        I just seen a picture of Steve on Facebook. boy he sure looks like he’s dying. Lol. If you do business with those man you must like working with a crook. I’m not the only person and he screwed over. He has screwed money out of hard working people and they will never get a dime their money back.

      • Arthur Klements

        He hasn’t changed since his near death experience and opening Uncle Eddie’s Bonanza-rama? I am sorry to hear that.

  • TAL

    Hmmmmm him nor his wife ever said he had health problems. He was coaching over the summer and looked healthy. I’ve been suspicious for the last couple of months and learned about all of this and he is a scammer.

  • Arthur Klements

    Maybe another story should be done to clear this all up. I do know he is back on Ebay selling under edwardz53150. I did notice that his old account on ebay, milwaukeeusedstuff, has a 63.4% rating. Seems to be quite interesting this entire situation.

  • TAL

    He is selling on facebook in local areas and saw something that caught my eye with collecting things for the homeless people in Milwaukee. If I recall he was looking for clothing items for children and I was thinking that he doesn’t have a job then how can he do all this pick up for the homeless? Makes you wonder!!!!!!!

    • Arthur Klements

      He tried collecting clothes for the homeless about three years ago. It never happened. How can he do all of this stuff though if he is dying from some mysterious 9/11 disease like he has told us? I read the comments here and i am confused. i would hope that a person who coaches would not be what these claims on here say. I thought that all coaching programs had background checks.

      • TAL

        Well I don’t think he is dying lol. Look’s pretty healthy. I agree on background check’s and they usually do them not sure how he get’s away with coaching.

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