Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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On Your Side: Landscaper not returning calls

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BATON ROUGE - A homeowner who lives off Millerville Road in Baton Rouge hired a landscaper to put some sod down in her yard. Now she's out the money and the sod.

The homeowner's daughter contacted 2 On Your Side to warn others about not making the same mistake.

"You know, I doubt seriously we'll get any funds back for this," said Allison Michel.

After her parents flooded in August, they went looking for a landscaper to repair some lingering issues in their yard. The backyard is full of grass, but there are some holes that need to be filled in with dirt or sand. The front yard has a couple dirt patches after debris and contractors parked there for weeks. Michel says the damage is nothing major.

In April, Michel says her parents approached a landscaper working at their neighbor's house. They hired Ed Leray with Master Irrigation & Landscape Services on April 27, 2017, which is also the last time they saw him.

Michel's parents were sold eight pallets of centipede sod for $1,120 and a $100 delivery fee.

"Apparently, the remaining balance was going to be $720 when they returned to do the work," said Michel.

A check for $1,220 was written and cashed the same day. Expecting the work soon, Michel was not concerned right away. Her mother had successfully spoken to the landscaper on the phone twice. One conversation was about the weather prolonging work and the other about how Ed Leray had been ill.

The eight pallets of centipede never showed. Sod that Michel says her parents never needed.

"They didn't need sod, they certainly didn't need $1,200 worth of sod," she said.

Michel hasn't had much luck getting in touch with the landscaping company and neither has 2 On Your Side. The call rings to voicemail, but the mailbox is full. Calls and texts have not been returned.

Michel now fears the worst.

"I feel, unfortunately they were taken advantage of," she said.

She's warning others, including the neighbors who may soon be shopping for a landscaper.

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