5 On Your Side

5 On Your Side helps customers get nearly $150K in refunds from fence/deck firm

Posted November 20, 2019 6:38 p.m. EST

— 5 On Your Side refused to stop questioning a local contractor about money collected from customers for work that was never done, and the persistence has resulted in almost $150,000 in refunds to customers.

Robco Fence & Deck of Raleigh appears to be making good on its promise to "take care of customers."

Combined, homeowners paid the company more than $266,000 in down payments for work before the company announced it was closing.

Katy Claggett is one of those customers.

She had big plans for her backyard, hiring Robco Fence & Deck to expand her deck and add a patio.

She paid almost $16,000 up front.

"That's a ton of money," Claggett said.

She's one of 31 customers on 5 On Your Side's list of complaints lodged against the firm.

All gave Robco Fence & Deck deposits of 50 percent in advance for projects that never started or were left unfinished.

In early October, 5 On Your Side started calling, emailing and texting company executives, including Chief Executive Officer Jay Robinson and his brother, Andrew Robinson, who is vice president of operations.

After no response, Monica found Andrew Robinson last month, inside a multi-million dollar Raleigh home recently built by another one of their companies-- Robco Design and Build.

The home, located at 3244 Birnamwood Road, is now for sale.

When asked what customers could expect, Andrew Robinson said, "We’re working with everyone individually. If they haven’t been contacted, they’re on our list and it’s just a lot to do, and there’s just not much of the company left.“

In the weeks since, it appears Robinson is keeping his word.

So far, 28 people have received refunds that total $149,982.

Katy Claggett told us she was "absolutely floored" to receive her $15,483 back.

"I feel so much better," she said.

Abdallh Khadra received a $15,400 refund.

Harris Berman received the $9,186 that he paid up front.

And Jerry Cotten received a refund for his $6,750 down payment.

Cotten told us he "was kinda surprised" but also "very pleased."

Especially since Andrew Robinson finalized plans with Cotten, four days after Robco Fence and Deck emailed other customers saying the company was closing.

5 On Your Side again reached out to CEO Jay Robinson.

He texted this response: "As of recently, my one and only concern has been refunding our customers. I certainly wish communication was handled better and I wish it could have been faster but the only thing that has mattered to me has been making this right to our customers. I know given the circumstances it is impossible to make everyone happy, in the end our goal was to try and finish all open jobs and refund any deposits."

Robinson said they "refunded everyone except a few people," including Robert Ike, who reached out to us about his $11,254 deposit.  R

Robinson told 5 On Your Side, Ike "will be paid in full."

Like the others, Ike said he looks forward to getting his money back.

The two other customers are still working with Robco.

"There's power in numbers, and I think that's why it worked," said Claggett. "I appreciate your help."

When dealing with down payments, 5 On Your Side advises that customers never pay more than 10 percent down. Then, as work is done, pay more.

If a company says no and you can't afford to lose the money you're putting down, find a different company!

When you can, consumers should consider using a credit card instead of paying cash because it offers increased protection.

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