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Customer: Steve's Yard Care authorization records are false

Posted at 5:35 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 17:10:03-04

The Collections Analyst Inc., the attorney for Steve's Yard Care — under fire for taking customers to court — has turned over to KMTV 3 News Now records for one of the customers we profiled.

Many of Steve's customers have told 3 News Now that the company repeatedly billed them for services they did not ask for.

Steve's Yard Care has filed 76 lawsuits in Douglas and Sarpy Counties since Jan. 19 for backpayments.  Of those, at least 20 have similar stories: homeowners being sued said they had Steve's do specific yard work, most paid him, but then he kept doing other work they didn't ask for, then billing them.

The attorney who filed the suits says the high number is because they didn't file any from 2014 to mid-2017, and it's less than 5 percent of the overdue payments. They gave KMTV the documentation for Phil Berkowitz that the company made from 2016-2017 including hand written notes that claimed work was authorized. Berkowitz says he hired Steve's to aerate his lawn once, but he kept coming back. Phil said he paid two more times in good faith, but Steve wouldn't stop when he told him to so Phil stopped taking his calls.  Berkowitz says the records are false.

"All these notes he's putting 'yes', 'yes', 'yes', 'yes', 'yes', 'ok per Phil' and I never talked to him, I never agreed to any of this.  He called my cell phone and left messages but i never returned his call," Berkowitz explained.  "It's bad ethical business practice to me because he's trying to take advantage of people because anybody can sit down and write down notes; put 'yes', 'yes', 'yes.'"

VIEW: Example of Steve's Yard Care notes

Berkowitz said he didn't return calls because when he told him no they'd send people out anyway, and now he's being sued for $3,000.

Steve's attorney says Berkowitz never indicated he didn't want the work done, and didn't communicate in writing the work wasn't authorized.

Officials say the best thing to do if you're being taken to court for a civil case is answer the lawsuit because if you don't the collections attorney could ask the judge to order you to pay for not responding.

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