87 year old Veteran claims he was taken advantage of - Contractor disagrees

Veteran says he's been ripped off with unfinished driveway job

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - An 87 year old veteran claims he was taken advantage of.

John Phillips claims he needed his concrete driveway re-done and smoothed out. He says Nathaniel Murphy from Nate’s Home Repair came to his front door and offered to do the job. He says Murphy charged him $2,000 to do it. Phillips agreed and says soon after giving the contractor $2,000, he came back asking for another $2,000 and Phillips gave it to him.

“He didn’t have this,” Homeowner John Phillips said. “And he didn’t have that. He had to have people to work - he had to have money to get the materials.”

Phillips claims unfortunately there was no contract and argues that contractor was supposed to redo his driveway, but claims that work did not take place.

“He was supposed to fill these cracks here,” Phillips said. “And put a top over this.”

The veteran also says the contractor was supposed to even out the driveway and fill it so it could reach the step that leads to the house. The homeowner claims since that didn’t happen - he tripped over that step and hurt himself.

“I came in here and fell,” Phillips said. “And busted my glasses.”

Phillips’ daughter found out about her father’s dilemma and stepped in. She says she talked to the contractor over the phone and tried to get some closure.

“I asked him what was going to happen - what was he going to do about it,” John Phillips’ daughter Gwendolyn Woodley said. “And he said he was going to come back and fix it, but he never did.”

Woodley says when the contractor didn’t come back she became upset and couldn’t understand why somebody would take advantage of an 87 year old veteran..

“A real concrete person,” the daughter said. “They wouldn’t leave a mess like this for elderly people who can’t walk good and sturdy.”

WBTV contacted Nathaniel Murphy to get his side of the story. He says he completed the work and there was nothing more to do.

“I did what I was supposed to do,” Nathaniel Murphy said. “Now it was a piece back by the back door. They wanted more concrete in - I said well I’m not putting out my pocket to pour no more concrete.”

Murphy says it would take about another $650 to complete the job. He claims Phillips ran out of money to pour concrete to his fence.

“They can’t get that for free, man,” Murphy said. “Come on, man.”

Nate’s Home Repair gets a B- from the Better Business Bureau. It has received one complaint that has not be resolved. Murphy claims there is a contract that shows what was agreed on. He says he will produce the contract.

“I would tell him,” Phillips said. “I want my driveway fixed and give me my money back - that is what I would tell him.”

Phillips’ family wants action. The Better Business Bureau suggests if there is no contract - a victim can file a police report claiming accepting money under false pretense, contact the Attorney General’s Office, or file in small claims court.

Here is some more on your side information for you to ask a contractor if you need to use one:

Ask if they are licensed, bonded and insured, ask for evidence, ask for references from their last project, ask if they have ever operated under different business names, and find out how many projects like they one they are doing for you have they done in the last year?

The answers should help you avoid people who may take advantage of you.

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