On Your Side Investigation: Customers say deal not done with Springfield fence company

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 9:58 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2020 at 11:05 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Customers tell On Your Side they paid a Springfield fence company thousands and waited for weeks, but the jobs are not done.

Some haven’t started.

Debbie Bowling in Chadwick thought by now she could open the door and let her two dogs, Biscuit and Dixie, out on their own.

“We were going to do a small fence because I have two little Chihuahuas. Their leashes, they get stuck underneath the porch. I can’t get them undone,” said Bowling.

She hired Justin Schmidt with Missouri Fence Company. She put half down, a little more than $1,000.

“They were supposed to put the fence in on July 18,” she said.

When that didn’t happen, she called.

“She said we’ve worked the schedule out. We are going to come out Monday and put a fence in. That was around August 3,” she said.

Thomas Mecke in Nixa has a similar story. He paid more than $1,400.

“It has been a month since we’ve heard from him,” he said.

The deal was to enclose his property around a fence.

“At this point, I want my money back. That’s all. Clearly you are not going to do the work, so just give me my money back so I can hire someone who is going to do the work,” he said.

Then there’s Mike Wallace in Greene County, who hired Missouri Fence Company in May. He paid $1,500.

“The one thing that bothered me was no phone calls, no communication, to tell me what was going on,” he said.

He wants his backyard out of limbo.

“Bring my product. I’ll put the fence up,” he said.

A supplier, Meek Lumber Yard, is suing Justin Schmidt and his business, asking for more than $48,000.

Meek’s has copies of about 80 pages of unpaid bills, dating back to the fall of 2018. Schmidt hasn’t filed a response in the Meek’s lawsuit yet – a hearing is scheduled in October.

On Your Side went to the business on Chestnut Expressway. The building appears empty. Ashley Reynolds called and couldn’t leave a voicemail. A customer gave On Your Side a number of a family member who is helping with the business. She called back. She declined an on camera interview.

She later emailed and stated in part:

“The contracts that these customers signed did not give a timeframe on when their fence would be built.”

Workers with the Home Builders Association say communication is key.

“They need to keep you in the loop because that is critical in making a customer happy and keeping everybody happy,” said Aaron Wahlquist, Communications Director for Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield.

“I think we’ll be a little more careful on the next contract probably and make sure it says the timeline and a lot more information,” said Bowling.

You can always ask for an estimated completion day or week in a contract.

After On Your Side called the company, the next morning, the Wallace family in Greene County tells us some supplies were dropped off at their home.

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