Troubleshooter: Fence problem

July 9, 2010 3:13:57 PM PDT
Troubleshooter Diane Wilson is investigating complaints that a Cary fence company is taking thousands of dollars in payments from homeowners and not finishing the jobs.

The company hit up several residents for money using the same pitch. The company always offered a good price on the fence, it claimed it could complete the job right away, but said they needed money up front to buy the materials.

The problem is the homeowners didn't get what they paid for.

Homeowner Kelly Castillo has a gorgeous fence, but no thanks to CA Fence company.

"We paid them $2,300 up front," Castillo told Wilson. "[The] check was cashed the same day, and we couldn't get it touch with them."

Castillo said her husband took matters into his own hands and showed up at the owner's house.

"After two visits to house, we did get them to come out and set the posts but again they disappeared," she explained.

Joyce Angel has a similar experience.

"The just took the money and left."

Angel paid CA Fence $1,100 to start her job.

"They came one day for maybe 4 to 3 hours, brought some posts, tore up part of the fence and left the rest just hanging," she explained. "It's dangerous and left the debris everywhere."

She says she never heard from them again.

"They would not answer e-mails, phone calls, texts, nothing," Angel explained.

Both Angel and the Castillos called the Troubleshooter, who then called and e-mailed the owners of CA Fence. The Troubleshooter did not get a response and then went to the address listed on their customers' contracts.

The address led ABC11 Eyewitness News to a neighborhood in Cary in search of Saul Bonilla.

When ABC11 arrived, said Bonilla was there but he didn't want to talk to anyone. She asked, "What's going on?"

After explaining that the story was about claims that Bonilla took money from customers and never completed the jobs he was contracted to do, the woman identified herself as Janelle -- Bonilla's wife.

Janelle said her husband is working to get the people their fences.

When asked, "What's he working on as one is already done?" Janelle claims to not know what is going on.

Then when asked why the check from the Castillos is made out to her, she replied, "I just cashed the check for them and that was it, and then they went to buy the materials supposedly."

Janelle went on to explain that the check was written to her because technically the company belongs to her. She also said she was not in possession of any of the money and that she only signs the checks so that materials can be purchased.

When asked where Marlon Chandon is, she says he's currently "with the officer right now." Chandon is Janelle's brother and another main person who works for CA Fence.

While ABC11 was at the business looking for answers, Cary police arrested Chandon on a warrant connected to another fence job that he allegedly failed to do -- despite getting paid.

That job was at David Plye's home.

"We hired them," Plye said. "They said they could start as soon the yard was marked. We got the yard marked but they basically showed up [and] never did anything for us."

CA Fence took off with his $300 deposit and in e-mails promised to return it, but that never happened. Now, Plye will see Chandon in court.

"It felt pretty good to get him arrested," Plye said. "He's on probation so hopefully that will allow the judge for that case to see that he's still doing this, still scamming people."

Chandon has a record and is on probation. His court date for the most recent charge is in August.

All of the customers that contacted ABC11 say they found CA Fence on Craigslist. An ad for the company's services is still listed on the website.

Also, CA Fence has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau for failing to respond to any of the three complaints filed with the BBB.

Before you hire anyone, make sure you do your homework. Check them out with the BBB and be leery of the best price. In all cases, the customers say CA Fence gave them the best quote and beat any other price they had gotten elsewhere.

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