FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCBD) — A Charleston county woman reached out to our Count on 2 Investigators after she says she paid for lawn service that was never finished.
Lisa Clark hired Bryan Kersey with BK Lawn Services at the beginning of September, “to do a great big initial yard cleaning…Palm tree trimming, weeding, debris removal, bush cutting,” Clark said.
Clark owns the property on Folly Beach, but rents it out. She’s almost finished with the home renovations, and wants the yard in shape before tenants move in.
However, $1,400 later, her yard does not look like what she thought she was paying for.
Kersey asked Clark to get him half of the payment up front when she first hired him.
“He immediately told me he needed the money up front … I don’t remember the circumstances, but I couldn’t run out immediately… he said no, he needed it immediately, and he would come out to my home,” Clark said. She gave Kersey a $700 check.
Clark says a little more than a week later, Kersey called her saying the yard work was finished. She says he asked for the second half of the payment. She put another $700 check in the mail.
“The next day, I came out to look, and the job had not been completed. I tried to call, but he wouldn’t take my calls. I then stopped payment on that check, sent him an email saying so, and that’s when he hit the roof,” said Clark.
Later, Kersey told her he had revisited the property and finished the job that he said he had originally trusted other employees to complete.
“He demanded that I pay him immediately via PayPal. So I did, sent him $700 again without looking at the job,” said Clark.
Clark returned to the job site to find the work was still not finished.
Clark showed the original estimate to Count on 2 Investigators. It listed clean-up of property, mow, edge, weed eat, trim trees back, trim bushes, and haul off debris. The total estimate was $1,400.
Clark says she’s had several email exchanges with Kersey since then, but she says he refuses to visit the property with her.
“I said either make an appointment with me to go look at the property, or I will be calling the I-Team,” Clark said.
When we visited the property last week, Clark said it had appeared the grass had been cut. However, the trees and bushes were still overgrown and brown, and weeds were still popping out.
“It doesn’t address the $1,400 job,” Clark responded.
A Count on 2 Investigator called, emailed, and texted Kersey, and even went to the address on his business card. We couldn’t get in touch with him.
“I guess I feel pretty, for lack of a better word, stupid. For having to just continue to pay especially the second time,” said Clark.
But as a single woman, Clark says, she wasn’t sure what to do.
Clark filed an incident report against Kersey with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office for fraud, but the incident report explains, “Lisa was advised the issue would be a civil matter, but she requested it be documented.”
An attorney says a case like this could be fought in civil court as breach of contract.
Attorneys also advise that those hiring lawn services understand why an up-front payment might be needed, and don’t make the final payment until you approve of the finished product.