UPDATE: The day after this story published, Chad Bartling kept his promise and finished Rober Melick’s holiday lighting.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A homeowner in Overland Park claims a company he paid to decorate his house for the holidays failed to complete the job.
Rober Melick admits he wasn’t entirely smart about how he handled a deal last month with Chad Bartling, the owner of Professional Holiday Lighting.
“He sounded like a very smart individual,” Melick said. “He said all the right things.”
Melick hired Bartling to hang lights and an outdoor wreath on the front of his house and to wrap lights on six trees in his yard. The total cost of the job was $3,682.
“This one time I let my guard down, and it bit me. It really did,” he said.
Melick paid Bartling after he finished most of the job. It was his understanding Bartling would complete wrapping the trees in his backyard by Nov. 1.
“I shouldn’t have paid him the full amount,” he said.
He also failed to sign a contract.
“I had specifically asked him if I needed to sign a contract and he said, ‘No we don’t really do contracts,’ and he said he’s a man of his word,” Melick said.
The married father of two showed FOX4 Problem Solvers a series of texts he sent to Bartling asking when he planned to finish the job. He said his attorney sent a demand letter, asking for a partial refund, after Bartling stopped communicating with him.
“No on ever responded to it,” Melick said. “It’s unfortunate, too, because the work Chad did do was actually good quality.”
Melick reached to the FOX4 Problem Solvers after he searched Bartling’s name online and found he was featured in a FOX4 story earlier this year for refusing to pay back a family who paid a deposit to have him cater their daughter’s wedding. They also didn’t sign a contract.
“I watched [that story] three times, and I was like, ‘Boy, this is us. This is exactly what happened to us,'” Melick said.
When FOX4 called Bartling on Monday, he said it was all a misunderstanding.
“I actually told him the job would be done before Thanksgiving on those back trees,” Bartling said. “I mean, so we’ve got a couple of days to complete those trees.”
Bartling said he would finish installing the decorations at Melick’s house on Tuesday. FOX4 will check back to see if he follows up on his promise.
Melick said the most important lesson he learned is to get things in writing.
“When you’re dealing with any amount of money like what I just did, absolutely get a contract. Get it in writing. Spell out exactly what’s going to get done,” he said.