April 19, 2007
AIKEN, S.C.---All an Aiken couple wanted was a construction crew to pave a driveway, but instead they say the crew paved the way to steal the couple's money...$6000 of it in all.
This is another lesson in avoiding construction crews that go door to door.
If you don't, you could end up learning an expensive lesson.
"It's really a bad mess," Hilton Franks of Aiken told 12 On Your Side.
All Hilton wanted was a smooth drive up to his house.
"I feel sick. I'm just disappointed in people."
What he says he got was ripped off.
"It's not even finished," Hilton's wife Margaret said.
A couple of months ago, Hilton and Margaret hired a man who came to their door saying he could build them a driveway, something they've always wanted.
"He was real nice, easy to talk to."
The man, who called himself Brian Carroll, gave the franks this contract and got started on the work.
Pretty soon, the work was complete and the Franks paid him the $6000 they agreed on.
But then the retired couple started to notice things.
"When we started driving on it...it was bumpy," Hilton said.
"They left holes, puddle holes in our driveway," said Margaret.
Even more disturbing was the grass that was beginning to grow through the driveway...a sign that not nearly enough asphalt was laid.
"He said we should have three and a half inches, but it's only three quarters of an inch," Margaret said.
And this supposed contractor didn't even finish the job...the end of the driveway wasn't even touched.
As you might imagine, the Franks can't get the man to come back out and make things right.
And Hilton says for someone else to fix it would cost them somewhere in the neighborhood of $7000 to $8000...money they don't have.
"Right now, I'm kind of financially strapped," Hilton said.
Today, the Franks know they were taken.
"I feel like a fool," said Hilton.
But their embarrassment doesn't outweigh their desire to tell their story, so this doesn't happen to you.
"I just don't want anyone else to be caught up in their trap," said Margaret.
12 On Your Side tried to call Brian Carroll, but we never could reach him.
The Franks told us they're just going to try and save some money for a couple of years and get the driveway fixed later.