OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – Paula Mason’s parents had fallen on tough times.

Her 93 year old father suffers from dementia. In the spring of 2020, her now deceased mother was homebound in need of hospice care.

Amidst all this, the couple’s plumbing started backing up.

“We just thought it was a blockage,” said Paula. “Found out it was a busted line, broken line.”

The problem persisted for months, with temporary fixes along the way.

But come fall, Paula says the flooding reached a breaking point.

“Water was almost to the door, maybe two inches deep,” she explained. “Carpets were already soaked.”

She contacted Steve Maxson, having used his services months before on her hot water heater.

An Oklahoma family says the plumber they paid up front didn’t do his job and didn’t refund their $3,100.

Operating under the name Maxson Plumbing, Paula says Steve requested $3,100 up front.

But the work soon stalled.

“He explained at first he was very busy, and I understood that he was supposed to come back in a matter of days,” said Paula. “He never came back.”

With the problem worsening, and her parents stuck inside amongst the mess, Paula says she needed immediate assistance.

She ultimately opted to hire another plumber who got right to work, and requested a refund from Maxson.

In text messages sent to Paula, Steve initially agreed to refund, but claimed to be waiting for money from vendors.

But that was in early November. Paula tells our team she hasn’t heard from Steve since, and attempts to take him to court have failed as well.

“It was very stressful,” she said.

KFOR’s attempts at reaching Steve took an unexpected turn.

Steve Maxson is the son of a Stephen Maxson from Afton.

Stephen Sr. is a plumber himself, with a business in Eastern Oklahoma.

He tells our team he knew nothing of Paula’s situation.

“That is not this company,” said Stephen. “And if he did that, his [expletive] oughta be in a lot of trouble.”

Stephen Sr. helped our team get in touch with his son.

Steve Jr. claimed Paula was too quick to cancel his job, but said a refund would soon follow.

Paula says her family desperately needs that refund, but hope they don’t have to use the money any time soon.

She tells our team that others can learn from her story.

“That was money we were setting aside for [my father’s] burial,” noted Paula. “Do your due diligence, definitely do your due diligence.”

So far, Paula has not heard from Steve Maxson. He’s now also ignoring phone calls and texts from News 4.

We’ve learned Steve is not a licensed plumber. He tells our team he planned to contract Paula’s job out.

To check the certification of your contractor, visit the Construction Industries Board’s website.