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PROBLEM SOLVERS: First-time homeowner out thousands, claims contractor never showed

PROBLEM SOLVERS: First time home buyer out thousands after driveway project
Posted at 8:13 PM, Mar 29, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A first-time homeowner in Grand Rapids lost thousands of dollars after the man she hired to replace her driveway never showed up for the job.

Last September, Sarah Ziomkowski, who bought a house on the city’s west side, hired Tarmen Services, which is owned by Dallas Meyers, to fix her driveway.

PROBLEM SOLVERS: First-time homeowner out thousands, claims contractor never showed

“There’s a lot of dents and cracks and bumps,” said Ziomkowsi as she described it in an interview with FOX 17. “I feel like you're getting a car alignment every time you go into the driveway or into the garage.”

Cracked driveway
cracked driveway 2

According to a copy of the contract, Meyers was supposed to tear out and replace the driveway and a portion of her sidewalk for $7,000.

Ziomkowski paid Meyers $3,500, a 50 percent down payment.

“He was very upfront with it's a big job, which I knew it was going to be,” said Ziomkowski. “We walked and measured together I kind of told them what my idea was what I would like to see what his opinion was and he gave it to me pretty much straight of this is what we should do.”

Meyers agreed to start the work on October 10, but as it approached things began to change.

Text messages show he delayed the project at least three times.

Text Messages by WXMI on Scribd

At first, Meyers blamed a parts problem with his tractor then said the weather needed to clear up. Nearly a month later, there supposedly was a concrete shortage, which is why work couldn’t begin.

“Every two weeks there was something different, that something came up, they’re still behind, and it’s like, ‘Okay, when are you going to get to my driveway?’” said Ziomkowski.

Frustrated by the delays, Ziomkowski canceled the job on November 9 and asked for her deposit back.

However, Meyers never replied. Ziomkowski said he did not contact her by phone or come to her house either and she has yet to hear from him four months later.

“I don't want this guy to ruin anybody else's, or take anybody else's money,” said Ziomkowski.

Online reviews of Tarmen Services show similar experiences too.

A Google review says in March 2022, someone’s father gave Meyers $4,000 for work that never happened.

Tarmen Services Google Review

On the business’s Google page, another reviewer alleges they put half down for a project in 2021 but had nothing to show for it later that year.

Tarmen Services Google Review

In some cases, Meyers completed the job, but customers complained about the craftsmanship.

Tarmen Services Facebook Review

People who work in masonry, or concrete, in Michigan must be licensed through the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Agency.

According to a licensee search, he is not.

FOX 17 spoke to Meyers by phone four times over the past two months in an attempt to hear his side.

He declined a formal interview but said he was injured in a motorcycle crash last June, which prevented him from working.

FOX 17 verified the accident through a public records request. Meyers also provided a doctor’s note that detailed shoulder problems around September; however, he failed to explain to our team why he told Ziomkowski otherwise or did not reach out to her about the situation at the time.

Meyers did promise to pay her back by St. Patrick’s Day, but that has not yet happened.

“That $3,500 could be spent in lots of ways - taxes, garage doors, new motors, ripping out or starting a new bedroom,” said Ziomkowski.

Without the money, Ziomkowski now needs to save it back up before she can fix her driveway or complete other projects.

A hard lesson to learn in her first home, she hopes others like her learn from the experience.

“Research, research, research,” said Ziomkowski. “Definitely break it down, know what you want in the project, ask every contractor, ‘What do you suggest?’ Tell them how you kind of want the payment plan to go, negotiate… ask for other people's or other customers' numbers.”