Company responds to homeowner’s frustration over new fence

MONROVIA, Ind. -- CBS4 Problem Solvers helped a Monrovia man get his new fence fixed, after months of frustration.

James Payne said that after six years in his home, he decided it was time to pull the trigger and fence in his backyard. He asked his next-door neighbor who built his fence and ended up hiring Spence's Fences and Decks.

"They were probably about $600 to $1,000 cheaper than anybody else I talked to," Payne said.

The company installed the fence in January. Five months later, Payne was calling CBS4 Problem Solvers to try and get help with issues he said went unresolved.

Payne pointed to areas on the fence where nails and screws were sticking out, a hole he said the crew made in his siding, and a gate that wasn't secured. He said that he had to install another lock to keep that gate closed.

Payne said Spence's Fences and Decks owner, Stephen Spence, told him he'd come by to fix the issues, but months later it took a negative Facebook post for a crew to arrive. Payne said the crew left without fixing all of the issues.

"Yeah, there’s a fence here, but it’s definitely not what I would’ve expected for what I paid," Payne said.

CBS4 Problem Solvers looked into the company, and found it has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, which said it couldn't get a hold of Spence to respond to nine complaints. The Indiana Attorney General's Office has fielded four complaints since 2010. In one, it sent a warning letter.

CBS4 reached out to Spence to get an explanation. He responded immediately, saying he thought had had fixed Payne's problems and did not receive correspondence from him.

"I had no idea. If I would’ve know, it would’ve been done," Spence said.

The BBB said that six complaints it forwarded to Spence bounced back in the mail.

"I moved in the past year and a half and I don’t know if that’s the problem, but I will contact the Better Business Bureau and get my address changed," Spence said.

As for the workmanship on the fence, Spence said he no longer employs the subcontractors who did the work. He went to see it himself the day CBS4 called him, and promised he would fix it within a week.

"It’s getting taken care of. I’m going to be out there in the morning to take care of it myself," Spence said. "I don’t want anybody upset about anything. I mean, I want everybody to be happy."

That was welcome news for Payne. He told CBS4 Problem Solvers that Spence made good on his promise, and the fence was fixed to his liking.

Payne said that, while he is grateful the problem is resolved, he wishes he'd asked more questions and done more research before he signed a contract.

CBS4 Problem Solvers hears about a lot of problems that might've been prevented by research on the part of both consumers and businesses. We'll bring you tips to avoid a bad experience on CBS4 News at 11.

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