Problem Solvers: An $11,260 driveway scam

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HAMILTON, Mo. -- There's a warning to seniors about a traveling driveway repair crew accused of charging an elderly man of more than $11,000 to repair his driveway.  Not only was the charge exhorbitant, but the driveway is already full of weeds.

Every year, FOX 4 News gets reports of the elderly being seriously overcharged by would-be repairmen who go door-to-door selling their services.  The stories are always sad.  But this one is appalling.

"They are scammers," said Javain Mitten.

Eighty-seven-year-old Mitten said he was taking a nap when his wife told him to talk to a man who wanted to chip and seal  the driveway on their farm in Hamilton, Mo. which is located about an hour from Kansas City.

The man with Crossroads Chip and Seal said this was Mitten's lucky day, because he had some extra materials from another job nearby and could give him a good price.

"What's this going to cost?," Mitten asked the man.

"It aint going to hurt very bad," the man replied.

But that wasn't true.  As Mittne discovered three hours later, when he pulled out his checkbook.

Because Mitten's hands aren't as steady as they used to be, the foreman offered to write the check out for him, charging Mitten $11,260 with the payment going directly to forman Kasey Hudson.

Hudson has a string of drug and alcohol convictions and has had his drivers license revoked, even though he was the one driving the day Mitten met him

Mitten said he knew he was being overcharged, but he was too intimidated to complain.

"There were four guys watching me making sure I done everything right," he said.

Experts told FOX 4 Problem Solvers that Mitten was charged about triple of what the job should have cost.  Plus, the job was so poorly done that within a week there were weeds growing.

"I feel like a dummy to let them come in and do what they done to me," Mitten explained.

Mitten said he's gotten over his anger, because he's too busy caring for his wife of 64 years who's dying of cancer.

But Mitten's daughter is still upset.

"Very angry. My mom and dad have worked so hard. Mom's ill and Dad works hard to keep us going and it's not right," she said.

Plus, when she analyzed the bill, she realized that Hudson had not done the math correctly.  At $18 a square yard, the chip and seal should have cost about $9,500, not $11,260.

Then she learned a neighbor with a driveway twice as long as her father's had his driveway done by the same company for half the price.

When she called to complain, her father received $1,500 back with the promise of more to come.  But he hasn't received any more.

"They are scammers," she said.

FOX 4 Problem Solvers tries to reach Hudson, but his telephone number didn't accept calls.  Neither did the  telephone number to Crossroads Chip and Seal.

So FOX 4 reported Hudson to the Caldwell County Prosecutor's Office.  The prosecutor has asked the sheriff's department to investigate.  FOX 4 will let you know what happens.

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