Southland contractor defends $7,000 botched job
Friday 21 Mar 2014 5:25 p.m.
Southland woman Annette Tuffery learned the hard way that the cowboys are still out there: tradesmen and contractors who don't know what they're doing.
She handed over $7,000 to a fencer in Invercargill who built what other contractors described as the worst fence they've ever seen.
Those contractors have just finished a replacement fence this afternoon so she no longer has the worst fence in New Zealand, but still frets that she may not get her money back.
She thought it looked rough and wonky, so got the Fencing Contractors Association in to look at it.
Ms Tuffery saw an advert in the Southland Times for an agricultural contracting outfit called Us Buggers, which is owned by Dusty McLeod.
Mr McLeod told her that the job would cost between $6,000 and $7,000. She ended up paying the full $7,000 and supplied him with $11,000 worth of materials.
She was surprised when he turned up without any tools.
Ms Tuffery started to notice things weren't right within a few days.
But this week, a united front of fencing contractors from around the country arrived at Ms Tuffery's home to rip out the dodgy fence and build a new one.
So where is Mr McLeod, who has $7,000 of Ms Tuffery's money in exchange for this mess?
On the day Campbell Live were in town to talk to Mr McLeod, he didn't want to be on camera, but spoke over the phone, and he would not admit that he had done a bad job.
"It was work done under the circumstances where we were driving a post and it would disappear into the swamp," says Mr McLeod. "We did the best we could under the circumstances."
He believes that any experienced contractor would've had the same problem that he encountered.
Ms Tuffery was advised not to let Mr McLeod correct the fence, as it was clearly beyond his skills. He is not an accredited member of the Fencing Contractors Association.
He claims Ms Tuffery owes him money for the hireage of tractors, but the hire company told Campbell Live it's Mr McLeod who owes them money, not Ms Tuffery.
Mr McLeod is still defending his reputation.