Paving scam: "It makes me sick"

Paving scam: "It makes me sick"

NACHES, Wash. -- It's buyer beware this time of year when you do any kind of home repair. There are plenty of reliable landscapers, roofers and pavers out there. There's also no shortage of those offering deals that are too good to be true.

Shirley Huber was on the wrong end of one of them.
    

"This is the worst spot right in front of our house," Shirley Huber said. "The weeds are coming through and it's also starting to crumble. "It actually put holes in the pavement just from the rain. It makes me sick!"

Shirley and her husband wanted to invest in their used appliance business. When a man came to their door offering a bargain to pave the property, it seemed like a good idea.

"We talked religion and all of the above and I thought this guy's great," Huber said.

Consumer advocates say it's a common tactic.

"They sound very genuine and they sound very trustworthy and they're good at it," said Chelsea Dannen with the Better Business Bureau. "But, the issue is you just can't trust people at their face value."

Shirley's finished pavement proves that. It's crumbling after less than a month of being installed. The lot isn't level and the white sealant that's scattered never made it to the driveway. Shirley has a receipt on a handwritten piece of paper full of misspellings signed by Oliver Stevens promising a one-year warranty. 

Her price tag: $6,300 cash.

"At that point, I figured we had probably been had and that the warranty was probably not worth the paper it was written on," Huber said.

Shirley wants the guy caught and prosecuted, but it's not clear that substandard work amounts to a crime.

"There is a fine line between legal and ethical," Dannen said.

However, that line might have been crossed here. Shirley also has pictures of some of the work. It includes a photo of a 5-year-old boy riding the roller equipment.

The Department of Labor of Industries is now trying to track down Oliver Stevens while Shirley Huber watches the money she spent crumble before her eyes.

Huber filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau, Attorney General as well as Labor and Industries. Contractors caught working without a license can be fined a thousand dollars by the state for a first offense.

Before agreeing to any work like this, check with Labor and Industries to make sure the contractor is licensed and doesn't have a history of complaints.