Fake contractor accused of ripping off thousands from Phoenix homeowners
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Reverend Clyde Bowen and his wife live at the bottom of a Phoenix foothill and love the views. “We got mountain views. We just have this open space. We love the open space,” he said.
Clyde thought it was time for some new fencing that separates his property from the foothill so, two years ago they looked around and found a company called Humble Fence run by Ray Dean. “He leaned very heavily on the fact that I am an ordained reverend, and he said he would have to do a really good job because of that. He said that he was a person of faith,” Clyde said.
Rev. Bowen hired the man who demanded and received $3,500 to get the fence project started. This “contractor” has let the project drag on for 2 years, following excuse after excuse. “You know it was the usual. You know, I’m a little bit sick or I don’t work in the rain...I couldn’t get the proper equipment,” the reverend said. “I need a mental health week, etc.”
As you can see, some fencing was installed but Rev. Bowen says the workmanship is terrible. Eventually, Dean just stopped showing up altogether. After 2 years of excuses and text messages, Dean keeps promising the reverend that he intends on returning the $3,500 he took. “As soon as I have some money, I will put it in your mailbox and will continue to pay it back until it’s paid,” one of the text messages sent to the reverend read.
Rev. Bowen said he’s not seen a cent of the money so far. Others have since reached out to On Your Side saying they too have been ripped off by Humble Fence. Joe Corda said, “I believe he is irresponsible, with maybe a little bit of laziness.” Corda said he paid the man more than $1,800 to install an awning on his RV six months ago...and there’s no awning in sight. “If the wind is blowing too strong, he won’t come over. If it’s raining, he won’t come over,” he said. “And those are just some of the excuses.”
On Your Side got a hold of Dean on the phone. “I’ve fallen short and dropped the ball. I want to make things right,” Dean said. Both Corda and the reverend said that for them, the best way to make things right is to return their money. “It’s never too late to do the right thing,” the reverend said. “And this is the right thing. You [Ray Dean] need to step up to the plate.”
This fake contractor has a prior conviction for contracting without a license. On Your Side will let you know what happens in a follow-up report.
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