GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – The gophers near Joel Arnold’s home in Guthrie have gotten out of hand.
For whatever reason, they’ve chosen his home as their own. He says he’s used every remedy he can find.
“I have no idea why they’re all here,” Joel explained. “Used another pest control company – People have told me to get a windmill, put it in your backyard, that didn’t work — Said use Juicy Fruit gum, I tried that, didn’t work.”
So when Joel spotted a sign for local gopher removal company, Gopher Green, Joel jumped at the opportunity.
“The owner is Brad Barney, called him, he said he’d be out,” said Joel. “He set four traps, then he said he’d be back out in 2-3 days.”
But two to three days soon turned into five to six, then a week.
Joel says Brad would plan to come out certain days, then not show.
After a bit, Brad sent Joel a message, claiming he was too busy with other jobs, and the wait time would be a week or two.
So Joel did some digging of his own, finding a recent small claims lawsuit against Gopher Green, and an F-rating with the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB’s website also includes a complaint, where Brad allegedly threw a dead gopher onto a customer’s roof.
“We started experiencing issues with them, when they received complaints they weren’t answering them,” said Kitt Letcher with the BBB. “They were completely unresponsive to the consumers and to us.”
Gopher Green’s accredidation was lost in rapid time, in only a matter of months.
The BBB tells News 4, the company told the bureau they had closed.
“For them to really fall off the wagon so quickly after coming accredited, it’s alarming,” said Kitt.
Gopher Green is very much open, but owner Brad Barney is less open to talk.
We came across Brad’s family while investigating our story, which ultimately led to a bizarre text exchange.
Brad initially sent pictures of dead gophers, before claiming he had simply not been given enough time.
He initially agreed to meet with In Your Corner, before backing out.
His final text read in part:
A BUNCH OF OLD PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WATCH [the story] BUT IT’S GOING TO BE TOO BAD CAUSE YOU WON’T HAVE THE IMPACT YOU EXPECT. I’M TOO STRONG ON SOCIAL MEDIA BRO
A few days later though, we got a surprise phone call.
“I have every intention to try to get back to [Joel] as quickly as possible,” explained Brad Barney.
Brad tells our team he originally gave a week to two week estimated return time.
He pointed toward his Google rating, sitting currently at 4 stars with more than 40 reviews.
“I’m not out to just take somebody’s money, I didn’t even get a second chance to go out to that gentleman’s house,” Brad said.
“You did get a second chance,” replied In Your Corner Reporter, Adam Snider, referencing the appointments that were abruptly cancelled.
As for the text that attempted to insult Channel 4 viewers, Brad said he didn’t recall the message.
But before his days in the gopher business, Brad was in hot water. He was accused of selling fake gold bars to pawn shops, in at least eight different states.
“The money’s been paid back, I’m not that guy anymore,” Brad added. “Like i said people make mistakes.”
Brad tells In Your Corner he will be refunding Joel in the next two weeks.
So now Joel must wait, and hope that Brad follows through.
“I told him I may take him to small claims court,” said Joel.
In Your Corner bottom line, when checking for such services, online reviews are a good place to start.
But go beyond reviews. Seek out business references, and check the BBB’s website.
Latest KFOR News Headlines:
- Spain orders nationwide curfew to stem worsening outbreak
- Fire set in Boston ballot drop box; FBI asked to investigate
- Dalton goes down in blowout loss
- Intense Winter storm on the way, significant ice accumulations likely
- “Everything was on fire,” witnesses describe moments after Foley plane crash