MADISON (WKOW) -- Extra is usually a good thing, as in extra time or extra cookies in the break room at work. But when a contractor shows up at your house with extra materials left over from a nearby job and says he can make you a great deal, you should decline right away.
Maryanna Phillips was out in her yard when two workers from an asphalt company pulled up. They said they could sealcoat her cracked driveway for $300 with materials left over from a job down the street. Phillips says, “They made me feel bad. The lady had been in a wreck. She had stitches all over her head and I’m like ‘Go, just do it.’”
The job was sloppy. Maryanna’s decorative stone and yard ornaments were sprayed with sealant. Even worse, the excess asphalt was dumped on the street and splashed onto her car causing more than $1,200 in damage. She immediately tried to stop payment on her check, but it was too late. “I know better than this. I used to take calls all day, every day with people who got scammed just like this. Like I said, I know better. She played on my heart.”
Angie Hicks, owner of Angie's List says, “It’s sad, but there are unscrupulous contractors out there, so you as a consumer need to beware. Be cautious of anyone that comes to your home and tries to encourage you to take a deal on the spot. A deal today should be a deal tomorrow.”
Joseph Sullivan is an asphalt professional. He says, “I get calls all the time… ‘I had this guy over here, there’s sealant all over the house,’ and unfortunately I have to tell people there’s no way to get it off. You have to start replacing things.”
Maryanna has her guard back up, but says if she can get scammed, anyone can. “Unfortunately, we live in a world where you just can’t really trust a lot of people, so you need to check people out before you hire ‘em out to do a job.”
Angie's List says quality contractors don’t approach homeowners with left-over materials and a special, low price, and if an uninvited worker won’t leave when asked, call local authorities and stay inside.