TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Better Call Behnken has an urgent warning about traveling paving companies.
It happens every year, right around this time of year—and some of these companies are in our area right now.
Numerous homeowners from Plant City and Dover called Investigator Shannon Behnken to say they think they were ripped off.
Donald Hutchinson, of Plant City, says it happened to him. A paving company knocked on his door and a worker said they just finished a nearby job. Hutchinson says he was told they could sell him their left-over asphalt for a deal. He says he was quoted around $700 for one truck load of asphalt, but was charged much more.
“When they finished the job, the guy brought an invoice in and said $12,360,” Hutchinson said. “I felt intimidated. The guy was bigger. The people on his crew were bigger.”
He wrote the check, which he says was immediately cashed.
Now, weeks later, there’s already grass sprouting through the shoddy work.
Hutchinson was given a generic receipt with no company information. When he calls the number now, he says, no one answers.
If this sounds familiar, it should. Better Call Behnken has been highlighting the shoddy work of traveling paving companies for years. Some workers have ended up in jail. Even so, the same scheme is reported year after year.
Here’s what we’ve learned: if grass isn’t dug out and proper base isn’t poured and if the asphalt is not thick enough, it will crumble.
Hutchinson hopes his story helps others protect themselves.
“I just hope nobody else lets these people come in and scam them like they did me,” he said.
Hutchinson isn’t alone.
Neighbors in one Dover community called Better Call Behnken with similar stories. They say they were quoted a low price for “left over” asphalt and ended up getting charged between $4,000 and $12,000. They too already have grass growing through their pavement.
A spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says they can only enforce existing laws— and companies no longer need a license to pave driveways.
So my next step is to find out why, and what authorities are doing to combat this problem.