7OYS: Economy Plumbing customer pays thousands for shoddy work

(WJLA) -- It's turned out to be a nightmare -- one Alex Rodriguez can't help but think about when he walks through his yard these days.

Last November, Rodriguez hired a man named Jermayne Sturge and his company, Economy Plumbing of Laurel, to replace a leaking sewer line. He paid him $3,400 for the job.

However, while workers were digging, they struck Rodriguez' gas line, and later, Rodriguez says they incorrectly reinstalled the home's discharge line.

Then it rained.

"The water came in, overflowed the sump pump, the water was just flowing in," he told ABC7. "I stayed up all night vacuuming out water."

Water and muck filled the basement, Rodriguez said.

"It went into the laundry room....the bathroom, the closet," he explained.

The clean-up and water-proofing ended up costing Rodriguez another $6,000.

"I felt betrayed," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez' complaint is not the first one 7 On Your Side has received about Jermayne Sturge and Economy Plumbing. In 2012, 7 On Your Side got Sturge to refund $3,500 to Rhonda McDaniel and her mother for a job at their home.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has notices of violations against Sturge dating back nearly a decade.

Lyn Riggins, spokesperson for WSSC, said, "He does not have a current WSSC license, and is apparently doing work without permits or inspections."

Sturge, who declined an interview with 7 On Your Side, blamed the issues at Rodriguez' home on a sub-contractor.

After repeated calls from 7 On Your Side, Rodriguez' money was returned to him.

"It's definitely a relief. I feel great," Rodriguez said.

To do plumbing work in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, plumbers have to be licensed through WSSC. The name of the company and license number should be clearly displayed on the company's vehicle.

7 On Your Side's Kris Van Cleave also suggests getting multiple estimates before choosing a plumber, and advises that WSSC will come out to customers' homes and inspect work after it is completed.