Never pay for a job in full before the job is done. A Sugar Hill homeowner hired a mom-and-pop business to build her a fence, and $2,000 later she's got half a fence.
When Peggy Daniels approved the work order to build her new fence, she should have added a clause that said "Please Make it Straight."
The posts are in, but they don't line up.
Last May, Daniels hired Sugar Hill Handyman to tear down and rebuild. She'd used the small mom-and-pop outfit before. The deposit for materials was $800.
But several weeks later...
"I had to keep calling them up about starting the fence, and they said, 'Okay, we're going to get on it, the weather is bad,' or 'I've been in the hospital,' or 'I've been sick,' or 'my husband is sick, got hurt on the job,'" she said.
Eventually some posts went in. At least she got half a fence, which is fine if she'd paid half the price.
Here lies her mistake. Ms. Daniels paid the entire balance -- $2,000 -- for a fence that doesn't line up.
When asked what she was thinking, Daniels said, "I wasn't. My heart got in the way of my head because they seemed to have a hard time, and because they were nice people."
No doubt they are, but business is business and Daniels has a contact for a completed fence.
The owner's wife says they were instructed not to come back. She also claims they negotiated a $350 refund.
Daniels got a check, but never cashed it.
When asked if there was any chance we could work it out so they could come out and finish the fence, CBS46 was told, "we could would it out, but she'd have to work upon my scheduling."
We convinced Sugar Hill Handyman to put it in writing. They would complete the fence in four to six weeks. A couple of days later, they changed the deal again.
"As we told the news people, we will finish the fence," they said. "However, the price of materials has changed on the market. Therefore when we are done, you will receive an invoice for the price difference of materials."
They wanted an additional $400.
We've gone back and forth for months trying to work out a deal with no luck. Sugar Hill Handyman's owner claims she negotiated a settlement with the homeowner's attorney, and she claims there's another invoice proving that the homeowner still owes money.
This case is going to the judge.
If you have a dispute, you can email me at BetterCallHarry@cbs46.com.
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