‘They didn’t do anything, they took our money and never came.‘
(Update: added video, comments from owner of La Pine, co-owner of Elite Landscaping)
LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – An incomplete project, ignored calls and lack of reimbursement from a landscaping company frustrate a La Pine homeowner.
Dava Malcolm said on Friday that she paid Elite Landscaping $ 1,750 in August to build a fence on her lawn.
She said the company gave her an 8-10 week deadline for the project.
But she said after countless unreturned calls and emails she found online that the business had shut down.
“I would probably just get my money back and go somewhere else,” Malcolm said.
Malcolm said the reason they wanted the fence in the first place was to fence their front yard for their three dogs.
Their dog Lily, a 9 month old white pit, is deaf. Aiden, a 16-year-old dark-haired man, is blind and half-deaf.
For the moment, no progress has been made, after a first estimate.
“They didn’t do anything – they took our money and never showed up,” Malcolm said. “They didn’t do anything here.”
Jordan Smith is the former co-owner of Elite Landscaping. had a message for customers, speaking to NewsChannel 21.
“Your projects are going to be taken care of,” Smith said. “Maybe I’m not the one taking care of them, but you’re going to be taken care of.”
Smith said that with issues of Covid, weather and employee / manpower shortages, it was difficult to give precise project schedules.
“When you’re dealing with unknown variables, it’s very hard to say, ‘Well, I’ll be there in two months, or two and a half months,’ Smith said.
He said they were in the process of transferring clients to a new contractor and had not had time to communicate with everyone.
“This entrepreneur absolutely accepted and took responsibility for these projects,” Smith said.
Malcolm said she can understand the union struggle, but thinks communication needs to be better.
“I called the new owner three or four times and left messages and heard nothing at all,” said Malcolm. “If someone else takes the contracts, you should contact the people. We should not all be left in the dark about this.
Michael Hintz, an investigator for Oregon Council of landscaping contractors, said he has several cases open on Elite Landscaping and the company has yet to provide documentation on the transition.
But Smith said, “We don’t leave town with a lot of people’s money. (These are) the words on Facebook, “we’re pocketing all this money and going,” ”Smith said. “I wish I had all that money, brother – so we’d be in a much better scenario right now.” I would love to pay those people back all that money, but what we need to do is take care of the project.
NewsChannel 21 asked if Smith can guarantee that anyone who deposits a down payment on a project with Elite Landscaping will see the project completed.
“Yes, as long as they allow us to enter their property to allow us to get started and complete the project, they will be taken care of. And that’s a guarantee that I’ll do, because it’s something I will do it myself, if I have to, ”Smith said.
Smith also admitted to selling his house in La Pine and moving to Texas.
He said he wasn’t sure if he would; continue landscaping or find another job during your stay.
However, to Malcolm, it looks like wasted money.
“$ 1,750 is a lot of money. It may not be for some people, but it is for us. We saved for a long time to put that aside, and just to have nothing, ”said Malcolm. “No fence, no money.”
A Sunriver resident contacted NewsChannel 21 and said he paid more than $ 4,000 in deposit for a fence project last May.
It also waits for the project to be completed.
NewsChannel 21 has contacted the new entrepreneur but has yet to receive any return calls.