5 On Your Side

Promises, Delays Plague Woman Wanting Sprinkler System

Constantly moving a sprinkler head around can be a bit of a pain. When a Wake County woman hired someone to install a sprinkler system and he didn't follow through on repeated promises, she called 5 On Your Side.

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HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. — 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.