Local News

Five On Your Side Helps Secure Refund For Rejected Project

Posted May 14, 2004

— If you pay for a product, then cannot get it, you expect a refund. A Franklin County man found out it is not always that simple and called Five on Your Side's Monica Laliberte for help.

Get it in writing is a piece of advice Five On Your Side has given many times. It is a precaution Larry Carpenter took, but he says he still could not get the business to follow through.

Carpenter wanted a garage built at his retirement house at the lake.

In December, Carpenter paid Carolina Structural $4,000 of the $11,700 price to build a steel garage. The contract clearly states he can get a "refund" if the garage is "not approved by the Lake Royale Building Committee" -- Carpenter's homeowners' association.

"I wasn't about to give them money without some kind of warranty or guarantee that we're going to get it back if it doesn't go through," Carpenter said.

Carolina Structural provided the association with plans, showing what the garage would look like.

"It just kept getting turned down and turned down," Carpenter said.

By early March, the committee had rejected it four times. Carpenter decided to just drop the idea. He says he called Carolina Structural for a refund.

"I know I called them several times about it, and every time I just kept getting put off -- 'Well. we got this meeting. We got that meeting,'" he said.

A month later, Carpenter called Five on Your Side.

After a heated conversation between Five On Your Side and owner John Williams, he agreed to refund Carpenter's money.

Williams later claimed he had already planned to send Carpenter his money, but was waiting for what he believed was the homeowner board's absolute final rejection. That did not happen until after Carpenter called Five On Your Side. Carpenter says Williams never told him that. He is just happy he has his $4,000 back.

Williams says Carolina Structural wanted to continue pushing for approval because if the board approved one garage, the company could have potentially built 100.


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