5 On Your Side

Promises, Delays Plague Woman Wanting Sprinkler System

Posted June 20, 2007
Updated June 27, 2007

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— A sprinkler system can make it easy to keep a lawn alive this time of year. When a Holly Springs woman paid to have one installed and she didn't receive it, she called 5 On Your Side for help.

Tina Jones is proud of the backyard in which her 2-year-old daughter, Willow, plays.

"I work really hard to keep the grass looking nice," she said.

Part of keeping the backyard nice is watering it. After being tired of dragging around hoses, she decided in March to get a sprinkler system.

"I wanted to try to beat the spring and get it in before the weather started to get warm," she said.

Jones contracted with Evergreen Sprinklers in Fuquay-Varina and paid owner Rick Fritch $570 – a 30 percent payment upfront.

Jones said weeks passed without a word from Fritch. She said she left repeated messages, but Fritch did not call back. Finally, she left a message asking for a refund.

"They finally left me a message and said that they had been having some personal things going on and they didn't like running their business this way, and they'd be happy to give me my money back or put the system in," she said.

Near the end of April, Jones opted for the refund and said she was told she'd have it in two weeks. When Jones did not get it, she called again.

"They called me back, left a message saying it should be in my mailbox already that they don't understand why it wasn't there, and I should be getting it that very day," she said. "Of course, I didn't get it that day either."

Five On Your Side called Evergreen Sprinklers and also left messages. After Five On Your Side's  third call, Jones got her refund – a money order dated the day before.

Jones said she plans to hire someone else to install sprinklers.

Karen Fritch of Evergreen Sprinklers sent a note with Jones' refund apologizing for the delay. She said the company thought Jones had received it, but then got word the check came back because of an address problem.

Fritch told 5 On Your Side Jones got her refund within the time promised. When 5 On Your Side questioned Fritch, she then said her husband was more familiar with the case and would have him or his attorney call us. Five On Your Side has not heard from either party.


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  • Emkay Jun 24, 2007

    I'm sorry she had a bad experience. We had a very different experience with this company. They installed our sprinkler system and did a great job. The cost was low compared to what many of our neighbors paid other companies, everything was completed quickly (in two days), and our system works great. We found them to be very friendly and helpful.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jun 23, 2007

    I'm glad it got settled. You should always set a contract where you pay only by achieving milestones. Check insurance coverage. Plus document everything.

    BTW, I thought we were under a water restriction?

  • Steve Crisp Jun 22, 2007

    Grammie, just because she's related, doesn't mean that she's not crazy. I'm fairly sane and ust look at my mother. :)

    I'm glad everything worked out well.

  • Grammie Jun 22, 2007

    She is not crazy! She's my daughter. It was more like 30 or 35% that she paid down. It might have been quoted wrong on WRAL. I'm just happy that 5 On Your Side was able to help. That's one reason she went with Evergreen was because he was one of the cheaper estimates she got.
    Thanks WRAL!

  • CherryDarling Jun 22, 2007

    $570 was 20%?!?!?

    She's crazy...

  • wheat Jun 21, 2007

    no shes not an idiot she has that backyard for her children to play in and not in the streets she wants to take care of it

  • bonnieborchert Jun 21, 2007

    I am amazed that $570 was 20%. My brother installs systems in Wakefield and other high dollar subdivisions and does not charge that. He has been doing it for over 10 yrs and said that there are tons of unethical companies out there doing exactly what happened. I agree with Steve above- never pay someone before the job is done.

  • Steve Crisp Jun 21, 2007

    Never pay anyone until the job is done and done to the terms of the contract. If the contractor won't accept those terms, find another contractor who is not a scam artist.