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Local fencing company leaves Muskegon Heights woman without security or a refund

Posted at 10:41 PM, Jul 09, 2015

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich.—A Muskegon Heights woman says she’s out several hundred dollars and her security is threatened after a fencing company took her payment but, more than two months later, she still has fence.

“I must be very frustrated that I called you guys, because I felt I was left with no other option or alternative,” said Ms. Harris, who asked FOX 17 News not to use her first name because she is a domestic abuse survivor. "I feel like Superior Fence Company has truly done me wrong."

“I just don’t feel secure at night,” she said. "I just feel like anybody could walk up at any time and climb into my windows, because there is no fence here to keep people away," just bare poles sitting outside her home. “It was more secure with the old fence than what he has done now, because now my property is wide open for trespassing.”

Harris says she made a call to Superior Fence after seeing a great ad on Craigslist, but the deal proved too good to be true.

Harris needed to replace her fence around her home after a car crashed into it and took most of it down. She thought she found a deal from Superior with a price three times lower than usual price. She even met the owners in person, but two months and countless texts and calls later, she has no fence and no refund.

Harris bought her home in January, and a secure fence has been first on her to-do list.

“I got on Craigslist and I saw this ad from Superior Fence Company, and they were offering these blow out specials.” The ad said the company, who Harris says is owned by Jim and Jennifer Ostrander, would provide free tear-outs and 10 percent off an estimate of $500. Harris was all in, so she met to give them a deposit.

“He was very nice and very professional, and he came over the same day I contacted him.”

Harris didn't see a Craiglist post from another customer of the Ostranders that we talked to named Andrew Cutler. Cutler says he fell victim to the fencing company as well. In his post, he warns people to stay away from the Ostranders. He says he was taken for $350, and they never showed up to do the work.

“I paid them May 1, so June 1 I started contacting them and was like ‘What’s going on?’' said Harris. "I spoke to his wife Jennifer, who only spoke to me via text."

The first texts were promising. They said fence would be done by June 12, but when it wasn’t, and Ostrander continually didn’t show. The excuses began piling up. On June 16, Harris got a text that “My truck is stuck in 4-wheel drive" and Harris “$50 dollars back at the end of the week.” On July 4, they promised to show, but they never did, texting yet another excuse: “He forgot it was a holiday weekend.”

Jim Ostrander only showed one time, only after Harris told him she was calling the FOX 17 Problem Solvers. He brought his kids along, but they were the ones doing all the work.

A few poles were installed, but most of them are unstable, one barely even standing up.

“I saw two little children approximately ages 10 to 12 possibly putting in my poles. I was uncomfortable, because I was like, are these children professional? Do they know what they are doing?”

Harris asked him to leave the property that day, and she demanded a refund, but Ostrander refused. Thursday, she put up a No Trespassing sign, and she called him in our presence informing him she would not be using his company and to cease and desist from her property.

FOX17 News went to go talk to Mr. Ostrander and asked for comment on his promise to do work that was not finished and not providing a refund. He told us the job was halfway done and told us he didn’t recall anyone named Andrew Cutler who asked for a refund. He would not comment whether he planned to give them their money back or when.

Harris is now has job quotes for triple the price for what the Ostranders quoted her, but she says it’s worth it for a job well done.

“I just want other people to be aware of this company and not to be taken like I did.”

(Contact FOX 17 Problem Solvers via email.)