Couple: We Were Scammed Out of Thousands

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By Sam Jones
By Andy Shofstall

PERRY COUNTY— A couple looking to get their driveway paved says they were swindled out of nearly $10,000. They're sharing their story in hopes of protecting of others.

A truck showed up outside the couple's rural Tamaroa home a month ago. The crew offered to pave the driveway for a good price. The job was done in a matter of hours, but it cost 10 times what they expected.

“We're wiped out. Now I have nothing to fall back on,” admitted Lu Ann Morris.

She lives on a fixed income of $639 a month with her husband Charles. On April 8, they got a knock on the door from All Rite Paving

“I thought it was a city worker. Next thing I know they talked him into doing this without an estimate or anything they just said $2.00 a square foot. Did not give us any measurements, nothing,” she explained

Turns out the job cost much more than they bargained for.

“’I don't know how I didn't pass out when they said $9,700,” added Lu Ann.

Her husband is in the beginning stages of dementia and thought the job cost $970. She maxed out her credit card to pay the bill, and then started looking for help.

“I was hyperventilating. I was having anxiety attacks. I didn't know where to turn. Everybody was turning us down; I didn't know what to do,” she said.

Just a month later, weeds are already growing up through the gravel.  Lu Ann says the company has yet to fix it. She's filed a police report, reached out to the state's attorney, and complained to consumer protection agencies.

“It’s heartbreaking; yes all the time you know these people especially if they live on a fixed income and they're taken advantage of,” said Ella York.

She’s with the Attorney General's office in Carbondale. It's her mission to prevent situations like this.

“As soon as the spring weather comes around we see a lot of the home repair scams pick up,” York admitted.

This fits what her office sees with home improvement scams: a company without a local phone number, going door to door.

“Get everything in writing. Make sure all the terms in the contract are in writing ahead of time; have the contractor sign it, you sign it so you know what you're getting yourself into,” she advised.

York also suggests getting estimates and researching the company ahead of time.

News 3 spoke to the owner of All Rite Paving Friday. He says they offered to do whatever it takes to fix the driveway, and that the Morris's knew the price before it was done. However, he hung up without saying why they were going door to door without a permit to solicit business.

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