Driveway deal: Elderly couple claim 'taken advantage of'

Author
Hawkes Bay Today,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Thursday, 10 January 2019, 10:37a.m.
Dick Spiekerman wants people to think twice before accepting tar seal offers which seem to good to be true. Photo / Paul Taylor
Dick Spiekerman wants people to think twice before accepting tar seal offers which seem to good to be true. Photo / Paul Taylor

An elderly Hawke's Bay couple are warning people to do their research when a driveway deal comes knocking at their door, after they felt they were taken advantage of.

Dick Spiekerman always wanted his driveway tar sealed, so when a man walked up his Longlands Rd drive and offered him the chance to do it, he took it.

"He said that he was a company that had a lot of leftovers from a job, and he wanted to do me a deal," Spiekerman said.

The man told him that tar seal costs $29 a square metre, but he could do the driveway for $26.

He then dropped the price to $20 a square metre at which point Spiekerman and his wife Elly , who are both in their 70s, agreed.

After the job was done, the two workers told them the work would cost $4700, and they had to pay cash.

The two men eventually left, and the couple have been receiving calls, to the point where Dick Spiekerman turned his phone off.

Their son, Mark Spiekerman, saw the job, which the family have been able to peel pieces off with their hands, and feared his parents were being exploited.


Hawke's Bay Today called the number provided by the tar sealing company and spoke to Bobie McMillian , who said he was the owner of Melit Asphalt Solutions.

He said the Spiekermans had been given a price for tar seal, agreed to it, and were now refusing to pay.

He felt the money they were asking for was fair, and the reason the drive didn't have a quality finish was because it needed a second layer.

McMillian said they were happy to put down a second layer, but the Spiekermans were refusing to pay.

According to Hawke's Bay Today's research, there is no company called Melit Asphalt Solutions, or a Bobie McMillian, on the New Zealand Companies Register.

The company also has no online profile. It is not associated with Asphalt Solutions Ltd, which also operates in Hastings and Hawke's Bay.

Managing director of another Hawke's Bay asphalting company Proseal Surfacing Specialist, Jamie McIntyre, who on Tuesday had a look at the drive, said he would not pay for it in its current condition.

"I'm not trying to slander anyone, but that's not a sealing job at all.

"It's not going to last, I would be surprised if it looks like this next year."

He said had the job been done correctly, he would charge about $10 per square metre for the seal, excluding prep work, half of what the Spiekermans were charged.

Dick and Elly Spiekerman said they felt embarrassed and said they wanted to make sure no one else in Hawke's Bay had a similar experience.

Mark Spiekerman said people should always take a few days to think about sudden offers, and get at least two more quotes so as to have a better understanding of the industry before accepting.

The police said they had received a complaint relating to a driveway sealing company operating in Hastings.

Police did not confirm whether Melit Asphalt Solutions was the subject of that complaint.

A spokesperson said if a deal appeared too good to be true, exercise caution.

Larry Williams Drive

Larry Williams Drive

4p.m. - 7p.m.