Feb. 13 editor's note: Ruby Valentine received her refund a week after this story aired on NBC 5. Below is the original article.
Two North Texas women called NBC 5's Samantha Chatman after paying Condor Fencing hundreds of dollars up front only to wait on their fences for months.
Consuelo Touchette's family keeps getting bigger — her dogs are just like her children.
"We don't want them to get out. We don't want them lost," she explained.
Touchette said her pups have slid through the cracks of her rundown fence on more than one occasion. Her neighbor eventually called Condor Fencing so that both sides would feel secure.
"We went in half and they did a really good job," she said.
So good, that she decided to hire Condor to build the other two sides of her fences.
Touchette said a man named Jon came by that same week. He took measurements and told her she'd need to pay half up front, which came out to $1,088.
"He told us that hopefully in the next couple of weeks we could go ahead and get the job started and that he would give us a call," Touchette said.
But she said Jon never called, and when she called him, he had a list of excuses for being a no show.
"It's raining, the ground is too wet. Then it was workers, we're getting a new crew," Touchette recalled.
After waiting nearly a year, Touchette had enough of Jon, so she reached out to the owner, Shawn Partain.
"He asked me to send him documentation. He could not find my contract," Touchette explained.
She said she emailed her contract and sent it by certified mail, but the owner said he never got it.
However, she's not the only one in North Texas faced with this problem.
Ruby Valentine of Dallas needed a new fence to keep her chickens from getting out.
"They took my money and never showed up to do the job," Valentine explained.
She paid condor fencing $700 up front, but she said they left her high and dry. Valentine said the owner eventually agreed to a refund, but she never got it.
The NBC 5 Responds team got on the case and called Partain. He told us he's "been swamped" trying to take care of everybody. The owner also said he had to fire a salesman named Jonathan that "messed everything up," but he'd make sure the ladies would get their refunds.
He sent pictures of the checks as proof as proof.
Touchette finally received her check for $1088 from Condor Fencing. Ruby Valentine is still waiting for hers to arrive in the mail.
Jon reached out to NBC 5 after our report and offered this statement:
"I would like to clear my name in regards to the report you ran on Condor Fencing yesterday. I was the salesman for Consuelo and did everything I could to make things go as smooth as possible. But I was not the person in charge of deciding what jobs were done in what order or when, nor did I have the decision on financial making. I left on my own and was not fired due to lack of getting paid. Mr. Partain made those final decisions. When I left I even stayed an extra week to help out and make sure all jobs sold were given to him. Every time a customer called I would communicate their message to him and things did not get accomplished.
I want to make sure that people know that I did not 'mess anything up' nor was I to blame for anything.
I am being used as the escape goat and that’s a sad situation."
Here are Samantha Chatman's Solutions for hiring a contractor:
• Always do your research. We checked with the BBB online and found that Condor Fencing has an F rating and one star on Yelp.
• Consider holding your deposit until materials are purchased.
• Make sure you have a deadline on your contract, an estimated completion date so that your expectations are crystal clear.