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Markham Woman Furious After She Pays Home Depot Contractor To Build Fence, Gets Caught Up In Red Tape

MARKHAM, Ill. (CBS) -- A Markham woman paid in full and was left empty-handed, and now she is furious after a mega-home improvement company left her hanging.

CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory explains why her project is no longer on the fence.

Crystal Randle's dog, Kaine, is already king of the house.

"I'm new to this grandpuppy thing, but I've fallen in love with him," Randle said.

Now, the dog grandma wants to give him the royal treatment in her yard in the form of a white vinyl fence.

"I thought it would've been so pretty," Randle said.

The fence would also spruce up Randle's barbecues and fish fries.

"It's security," she said.

And it would also have provided privacy, and it just sounded fancy too.

"I thought it was gorgeous," Randle said. "I was so disappointed."

You see, Randle hired Home Depot to build the six-foot barrier in October. Home Depot passed the job along to its contractor, Peerless Fence Group.

"She came and measured everything, wrote everything down, and then gave me a price," Randle said.

The contractor then charged Randle's Home Depot credit card on the spot.

"A total of $10,399," she said.

Paying in full ahead of the job is something the Illinois Attorney General advises against. Nevertheless, Peerless tells us Home Depot requires them to collect 100 percent up front.

But what about another request – that the homeowner get Peerless a permit?

"I've had windows, roofs put on the home – they've all obtained their own permit. I've never had to do that," Randle said. "But fine! I wanted the fence."

Her trip to the Markham Village Hall did not go well.

"She tells me, no, no. They haven't registered with the City of Markham for over a year," Randle said. "Their bonding, licensure, and liability has also expired."

Peerless acknowledged the lapse, telling us it doesn't do much business in Markham. A company administrator shared an email chain showing their attempts to update the village paperwork took weeks.

"In the meantime, I'm still getting invoices from Home Depot to pay on this fence that I don't have," Randle said.

Randle wants the whole job canceled and a refund on her Home Depot card.

"Nobody called me from corporate," she said. "I sent certified letters letting them know my situation. No response."

It looks like the one getting the runaround wasn't Kaine the dog.

After CBS 2 got in touch with Peerless Fence, the company called Randle and offered her a full refund. They tell us their full paperwork is still waiting on approval to do work in the Village of Markham.

Home Depot confirms it requires customers to pay its contractors in full before any of its work is done, but did not explain why.

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