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‘It was a complete waste of money:’ Neenah woman loses money in door-to-door contractor scam

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NEENAH -- It's prime season for door-to-door contracting scams, but don't let yourself get suckered in by a great price or convenient offer.

One Neenah woman has a warning.

Every time Sandi turns into her driveway she gets buyer's remorse.

"The original problem is still there, and if anything, in some ways it looks worse," Sandi said.

Sandi of Neenah shows Contact 6's Jenna Sachs issues with driveway work done by a door-to-door contractor.

Last spring, Sandi's husband was approached by a contractor outside their home. The man was replacing a neighbor's driveway and noticed the base of theirs could use repairs. The offer was too convenient to pass up.

"I saw them out there working. I looked out the window. They looked like they were doing what they were supposed to be doing," Sandi recalled.

When the work on Sandi's driveway finished, the contractor told her the price has gone up from $250 to $350.

"I kind of felt that I was in a bit of an awkward situation. It wasn't the price that was agreed, but there was him, there was a bunch of other guys waiting. It looked like he had done the work," Sandi said.

Sandi didn't check the blacktop until later because at the time it was raining. But, when she did she says the work wasn't complete.

"The original issue was still very much there. The rain was still pooling. There were still cracks," Sandi said.

Sandi attempted to reach out to the contractor with the limited information she was provided, which was a business card with the name "Nick" and a phone number. There was no last name or address.

Sandi called the number, but got a recorded message saying, "the subscriber you've dialed is not in service."

Jim of Temmer of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau advises caution anytime an unsolicited contractor shows up on your doorstep.

"This is a scam we see every single year like clockwork," Temmer said. "They're gonna make you feel like a sucker if you don't go for this, but you want to slow down, you want to look for information." 

The BBB recommends the following before hiring a door-to-door contractor:

  • Check for a company name on their vehicle
  • Get a business card
  • Research the company online
  • Check references
  • Get a written contract

Another red flag can be found on the contractor's license plate. Check to see if the vehicle is from out of state. Oftentimes, these people travel all over the country.

"If it's not something you're looking for, don't feel afraid or that you're being rude or anything, end these conversations,"  Temmer advised.

Sandi says it was a lesson learned.

"It was a complete waste of money and I wanted to stop other people in the same situation," she said.

In this case, it was asphalt, but you may have also heard of people called, "storm chasers." These are scammers who show up at your door after a storm saying they can fix your roof or some hail damage.

The BBB says these scams begin every spring and will continue through October.

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