The television series Fargo finished shooting its third season in Calgary earlier this year but a local couple says they are still dealing with a problem that was created during filming.
Erik Freiburger and his wife Bonnie are both in wheelchairs and use their Ford Econoline van to get around town.
The Freiburgers leased their accessible van to Fargo’s car coordinator for a scene that was filmed in late February and when it was returned in March, they were told that the rear window had been broken but replaced.
During the drop-off, Erik also noticed that the wheelchair lift and the arm that folds in into the van were malfunctioning and Fargo’s coordinator agreed on the spot to pick up the cost for repairs.
“It’s got a serious slant, the switch wasn’t working and when it folded up, cause the way our lift works, it was not folding properly,” he said.
Erik took the van in to the only shop in town authorized to fix it and it was repaired with salvaged parts while the shop waits for new parts to come in.
So far, Fargo has failed to pay for the $800 temporary repair bill and has not authorized payment for the $1200 needed for the permanent repair.
Erik says the show’s coordinator is giving him the run around so he reached out to CTV Calgary’s Consumer Specialist Lea Williams-Doherty for help.
“I am a little surprised that we're being treated this way, particularly with the vulnerability of us being in wheelchairs and our dependence on our vehicle for transportation. I didn't think it'd be this difficult to just fix our van,” said Erik.
Lea asked the car coordinator why there has been a delay and in a statement Fargo’s Ralph McCoy said…
“I am investigating the damages for his lift. I did have another accessible wheelchair company look at the lift before returning it, I was advised there were no broken parts…Fargo has and always will pay their outstanding bills. There is more to this, it is not all that simple when some try to take advantage of film.”
Lea asked McCoy why he had a mechanic inspect the lift before Erik discovered a problem and he said it was ‘acting up’ during filming. He promised to contact Erik about the issue next week.
(With files from Lea Williams-Doherty)