Gypsies making shoddy driveways in Nacogdoches Co., sheriff says

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A rock-bottom deal on driveway paving, that many times leaves homeowners paying for the job, over and over. A warning about a deal too good to pass up, a new driveway at a fraction of the cost. The problem is homeowners say the work only holds up long enough for the contractors to leave town.

"I think I got a real good deal," said Nacogdoches County homeowner Bonnie Kerr.

Kerr is happy with her new driveway. Purchasing asphalt wasn't on her immediate "to do" list, but she says it makes the yard a little more manageable.

"That guy came by my house and wanted to do it. And, I talked to my son and my daughter, and they thought I should get it done. And, I thought so too," said Kerr.

The cost to get the whole driveway covered in asphalt was $4,400. An investment, Kerr says, that was well worth it.

What she didn't know, it's a scam authorities are tracking through Nacogdoches County. They say the story is the same, every time.

"Well, I think they had some asphalt and stuff left over from another job," said Kerr.

We're told the laborers usually claim they have leftover materials from another job. It's presented as a deal, so they're not wasting supplies before leaving town.

"It just doesn't add up. It's a trick, and they're just counting on the fact that you will impulsively buy their service while they're there," said Nacogdoches County Sheriff, Thomas Kerss.

Problem is, Kerss says they're not delivering what was promised. The finished product is only cosmetic, a thin layer that deteriorates in a matter of weeks. There's not much law enforcement can do if homeowners agree to the job.

"It's a personal choice. And so, if you feel confident that you're going to get satisfactory service, there's no harm in going ahead," said Kerss.

Best advice is to research a business before hiring. Kerss says there's no crime, unless the contractor does no work at all. In the end, most homeowners are left paying even more to have the job fixed. He also says that some scammers are pushing a signed, written contract with customers. This actually works in favor of homeowners. A contract gives you a better chance of at a civil lawsuit if the job is done incorrectly.

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