St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 13, 2012 – Arrow Fence, a contracting company in Granite City, Ill., is the focus of complaints from consumers who say they paid the company for fence work that was never done. They said the company refused to return their money.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges caution when dealing with Arrow Fence, a 6-year-old business run by Justin Blunt. Customers say they paid Arrow hundreds or thousands of dollars for business or residential fence construction, and then could not get their money back when the company reneged on construction promises.
A businessman from East St. Louis, Ill., said he lost nearly $13,000 to Arrow last fall and finally had to hire another company to erect the fence in an industrial section of Washington Park.
A longtime acquaintance of Blunt said he is aware of several cases where Blunt and Arrow failed to live up to contracts. “It’s a shame,” the acquaintance said. “He was a pretty good fence guy at one time.”
Arrow Fence has an “F” grade with the BBB, the lowest grade possible.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said businesses have a basic responsibility to live up to agreements. “If they don’t, the consequences can be devastating,” she said, “both in terms of an erosion of public trust and loss of business.”
The East St. Louis businessman said he paid Arrow $12,800 on Sept. 23 as partial payment on a $20,000 chain link and barbed wire fence. The agreement called for the company to start work in one week and finish the project in three weeks.
The businessman said he tried numerous times to contact Blunt, both by phone and by leaving notes on his office door, before finally confronting Blunt at the office. The next day, an Arrow worker dug a series of fence postholes on the property, but the company never erected the fence.
A customer from Granite City said she paid Arrow and Blunt $714 on Dec. 9, half the price to erect a fence on her property. More than three weeks later, a worker drilled fence postholes, but no other work has been done. She has been unable to contact anyone with the business.
“I just want my money back,” she said.
A man from Carrollton, Ill., said he paid Arrow $2,500 in the spring of 2010, half the cost of building a six-foot-tall vinyl fence on his property. Six weeks later, a worker erected several fence posts, but no other work was done. He has been unable to contact anyone with the company since then. He said he eventually got a court judgment against Arrow, but has been able to collect only $900 of what he paid.
“He gave me a lot of stories, a lot of excuses,” the man said. “It was a horrible experience.”
The BBB has been unable to reach Blunt or other representatives of Arrow Fence.
The BBB offers the following tips on hiring a contractor:
- Make sure you have a written contract that spells out exactly what you will be getting, types of materials to be used, expected work deadlines and when and how payments will be made.
- It is usually a good idea to pay 1/3 of the price at the time the agreement is made, 1/3 when work has begun and the final 1/3 on completion of the job.
- Ask for several references and check them thoroughly.
- Check the firm’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org or 314-645-3300.
Contacts: Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-584-6800, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, 314-584-6743 or 314-681-4719 (cell), email@example.com, or Bill Smith, Investigator, (314-584-6727, firstname.lastname@example.org