Seven On Your Side
December 10, 2010 1:40:09 PM PST
Staten Islanders take their holiday displays very seriously. And the decorations are only up for about 6 weeks. So when the lights at one family's house went on the fritz last month we stepped in to see why the company hired to do the work was stringing them along. "It looks terrible, it really does." That's what Elaine West says when she looks at the half lit holiday light display.

Elaine and her husband Bill paid $800 to Creative Christmas Displays of Long Island to hang lights which wound up looking like the Grinch stole half.

"This side of the house is lit, this side of the house is not," pointed out Elaine.

Bill, the veteran of 2 wars was stringing his own Christmas lights well into his 80's, but age and reason wrestled the job away from him.

"Oh i can't go up there," says Bill. "No not at this age. When I was younger I wouldn't think twice about it. But no more."

Thanksgiving week workers strung lights on the roof, door and all the front bushes. But a few days later only half would turn on.

"It's heart wrenching when you come home at night," remarked Elaine.

Not just an eyesore but, dangerous too. Since the walkway pole and front door lights were connected to the timers, they no longer turn on either.

"We come back 5pm, 5:30pm, it's dark," says Elaine. "I have to stop in the middle of the driveway, put the bright lights on the car, in order for him to see to come up the stairs and open the door with the key." She complained and a tech returned.

"They worked for a few days and then we had the rain," said the disappointed homeowner. "Tthey went out again." Elaine complained again. A rep from Creative Christmas Displays promised to repair that Saturday. But the weekend came and went, and nobody showed.

"I feel totally ignored. I also feel llike I'm made a fool of," said Elaine.

So, nearly 2 weeks later she called 7 On Your Side. After we saw the suspended timers, indoor extension cords stretched outside, and plugs exposed to the elements, we called Creative Christmas Displays from the West's kitchen.

That night? The West's house went from "bah humbug" to beautiful.

"I think it's beautiful now," said the relieved homeowners. "I mean thank God it's all done and I do appreciate everything you've done."

Creative Christmas Displays' owner blamed the problem on the homeowners, who he said disabled the timers. But their own technician who went out last night contradicted that. The Wests say they were told the rain on those exposed timers actually caused the problem.

Story by: Nina Pineda

Produced by: Steve Livingstone CONNECT WITH NINA PINEDA AND 7 ON YOUR SIDE