MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Duriya’ Caldwell fulfilled a longtime dream when she opened the Black Pearl Nail Academy in Whitehaven two years ago. But she always knew the property needed a little work.
“This is the sewer drain the city put in,” she said. “That meant I had to get a ditch or dike to bring the water to the sewage drain.”
She got a name from a friend: Willie Evans, who goes by “Hollywood,” and owns 1Solution Services, a company billing itself online as “the odd jobs experts.” The website advertises multiple services including electrical, plumbing and remodeling and states they’re licensed in Tennessee.
Caldwell showed the Problem Solvers the invoice where she agreed to pay more than $11,000 for the job, referenced as a “ditch valley” in the paperwork. She took cell phone video of the 1Solution team completing the work soon after.
“This was 2018. Not sure what month he finished. The work was done pretty quickly,” she said.
But her confidence in that work quickly began to crack; she said the ditch valley wasn’t carrying water off her property, and instead would pool.
“The ditch should’ve had curvature to it so the water would flow. It dipped. So the water sat,” she said.
It got so bad that mosquitoes would gather outside her building and her students’ cars would get stuck in the mud, she said. She even had to pay to get them towed at times.
Caldwell tried contacting Evans about the issues, she said.
“I do have a showing of all the texts of me trying to get in touch with him, begging him, sending videos saying, ‘Look what you left on my property,’ and him not responding at all,” she said.
Finally, in one of the last texts, nearly a year after the work, she told Evans, “this is the last opportunity I am giving you.” She said he didn’t respond, so she filed a lawsuit in Shelby County court, which she later won.
According to the May 2020 judgment, Willie “Hollywood” Evans owed Caldwell $17,000.
But two months after the ruling, she still didn’t have her money.
“The court says I’m owed but he still feels like he doesn’t owe me that. Like I’m not deserving of my money,” Caldwell said.
So she called the WREG Problem Solvers. And by the time the Problem Solvers made it to her next court hearing, Evans had paid up. His attorney told the court she advised him to take extreme measures.
“That was me encouraging my client to go and obtain a loan so that we could get rid of her,” attorney Melanie Taylor said.
But they could not get rid of the Problem Solvers, who went to Taylor after the hearing and asked why it took so long for him to pay her back: two years from when he started the original work.
“It wasn’t that long at all,” Taylor said, explaining her client was waiting for the legal process to play out.
The Problem Solvers then asked if her client was changing his business practices and if he’d treat other customers the same way.
“You’re harassing me so why don’t you talk to him about his business?” Taylor said.
So we did, calling Evans directly.
“I don’t know why it took two years,” he said on the phone. “Anyway, the debt is settled so we’re okay.”
Then we asked if he was going to treat other customers in the same way.
“Ma’am, there’s no way,” he said. “So look, I’m going to hang up because I’m not going to deal with this.”
But remember that section on the website saying 1Solution Services is licensed in Tennessee?
The Problem Solvers could not verify that under his name or his company’s name under any Tennessee license category.
WREG went to 1Solution’s Airport Area office to try to get answers, but no one was there. So we called Evans back and asked him multiple times about his license information.
“I was trying to figure out what you’re licensed under, because I can’t find anything online… Are you licensed as an electrician, as a home improvement, as a contractor? What’s your license under?”
Evans never responded with the information, instead telling me to leave him alone and eventually hanging up.
For her part, Caldwell has since hired someone else to replace 1Solution’s work. In the end, $17,000 will not cover all her costs including towing, court and attorney fees, she said.
“I wouldn’t advise anyone to do business with him,” she said.
Caldwell said she’s continuing her court battle and plans to file a new claim for another $8,000. She has also filed a complaint against the company with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, who regulates licensing of contractors.