Homeowners frustrated with contractor who took large deposits for jobs not started

ST. CLOUD, Fla. — Action 9 is investigating a contractor that at least 15 consumers claim failed to install a fence after taking thousands of dollars in upfront deposits.

A Kissimmee couple paid their deposit six months ago but say the contractor stopped responding to their calls.

Frank and Sandee Goldenberg wanted a fence so their dog could run free in the backyard.

READ: Orange County sheriff releases incident report into Bob Saget’s death

Survey posts mark where the fence is supposed to be. Six months after signing a $6,000 contract with Osceola Fence Supply, the couple is growing frustrated.

“Where is the fence?” Todd Ulrich asked.

“I have no idea what they’re doing,” Frank Goldenberg said.

The Goldenbergs paid a $2,900 cash deposit last August for a four-foot tall white vinyl fence. They expected installation within weeks.

READ: IRS officials: Expect ‘challenges’ that may lead to delayed refunds

Osceola Fence did obtain HOA approval and a county building permit, but by October the Goldenbergs claimed they could not get any straight answers from the company.

“They said well you’re not even scheduled to be on the schedule,” Frank Goldenberg said.

“Not scheduled to be scheduled?” Ulrich asked.

“Right,” Frank Goldenberg asserted.

Six months later the couple told the company they wanted their money back since they had not been given an installation date.

“There’s been no communication from them,” Sandee Goldenberg said.

The Goldenbergs contacted Action 9. Ulrich found the company is rated F at the Better Business Bureau and has had at least 16 complaints in the past year. Most customers claim they lost thousands of dollars for fences not installed.

In just the past five months, 11 customers told the BBB they fear losing a total of $24,000 in deposits.

According to state corporate records, Osceola Fence Supply’s main office is in St. Cloud.   Action 9 found the business had left that location, but the company’s president, Anthony Paradiso, was there picking up mail.

“You’ve taken their money. How can you keep it?” Ulrich asked.

“We’re building every contract we’re doing brother. We’re installing as we speak,” Paradiso replied.

“Frank Goldenberg, when are you building his fence?” Ulrich asked.

“I don’t know who you’re talking about right now,” Paradiso replied.

Later that day, Paradiso said his company has a new office near St. Cloud. He said it had been a very rough year, fencing materials have been delayed by months, and COVID-19 left him with far fewer employees. Paradiso said all the fences will be installed, including the Goldenberg’s, by March.

“If they would have just communicated with us,” Sandee Goldenberg said.

Consumers can avoid many deposit disputes if they use a credit card. That can help them get their money back. Avoid contractors who insist on cash only.

Paradiso contacted Action 9 and told Ulrich the Goldenberg’s will be getting their fence installed this week and that it was all a misunderstanding.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.