Poor asphalt paver Burt Clapper. Talking to him you'd think he had the meanest customers around.
"She just comes out running her mouth at me," he said. "I'm like, you know what, I don't have to deal with this. "
Here's the mean customer he's talking about:
"He quit because we were customers who called too much," customer Joanne said.
Here's Burt talking about another one of his nasty customers: "I was there six times at that lady's job and every time I would unload my equipment she'd say 'Alright now load it up and leave because you're not doing my job.'"
And here's that scary customer now -
Rob Wolchek: "So he tore your whole driveway up?"
"Yep," she said.
Wolchek: "Disappeared and didn't come back?'
"Didn't come back," she said.
How can a nice guy like Burt Clapper complete these jobs working under such stress?
"The road commission was supposed to come on the 6th of September for final inspection and he never even showed for that part," she said. "I said 'How would you like it if somebody did this to your parents.'"
Well the truth is, Burt Clapper didn't complete the job, he left them looking in disrepair.
Wolchek: "Why didn't you finish it? Because you didn't like her attitude?"
"No because of their pestering, driving me crazy," Clapper said.
Wolchek: “Oh boo hoo, you’re breaking my heart dude.”
This is Joanne's Clinton Township home. You might notice, where there's supposed to be a driveway there's nothing but dirt.
"He'll take your money and run," Joanne said.
Joanne hired Burt in September and paid him 50 percent of the $5,000 paving job up front. She wanted a new asphalt driveway and a pad to park
"He was late," she said. "He was never on time."
When he did show, he'd spend a few hours tearing up the area where that was supposed to be paved. He never laid down any gravel or
foundation -- just tore up her yard.
And then wouldn’t show up claiming the weather was too bad, she said.
"It was excuse after excuse," Joanne said.
And when Joanne and her husband called to complain, Burt said 'I quit.'
"We gave him $5,750 dollars and that was the last we heard of him," Eileen said.
Eileen and her husband had the same experience a couple of years ago.
After paying him half of their almost $12,000 paving job up front and waiting weeks, they finally called Clapper and asked when he'd be starting. He said the next day.
"He never showed up," Eileen said.
Eileen says Burt claimed the weather was too bad.
Finally, after two months of excuses Clapper finally showed up at 5:30 one November afternoon.
"He was over there throwing 2x4s next to our driveway and said 'Well I'm here now.' And I said yes but it's going to be dark in a half an hour. What are
you going to do in a half an hour? You have nobody to work with."
Clapper left her yard looking much like Joanne's and they had to live a whole winter with no driveway.
Eileen sued Burt clapper and his C and C Parking Lot Maintenance business and won. But he never paid her a dime.
And she's not the only one. Burt Clapper's got a long history of lawsuits he's lost. And even a criminal record. He plead guilty to taking money under false pretenses.
But that hasn't stopped Clapper from promoting his business. Ladies and gentlemen put your hands together for Mr. Burt Clapper.
Wolchek: "Hey I need to ask you a few questions about your asphalt business. C and C Parking Lot?'
Wolchek: "What can you tell me about it?"
Clapper: "Been in business for 22 years."
Wolchek: "You pretty good asphalt guy?"
Clapper: "Yeah. I mean you can't please everybody but."
Wolchek: "Right. I've heard from a few people who aren't too pleased."
Wolchek asks Burt about Joanne - remember how he left her yard?
Wolchek: "Did you take the job and take a 50 percent deposit?"
Clapper: "And I started the job and it rained for oh, offhand I'd say 14 days."
Wolchek: "When did it rain for 14 days?"
Clapper: "Not 14 days in a row but it rained, next day it was sunny. Next day it rained. For 14 days it did that."
Actually Wolchek looked up the weather forecast for September. It was sunny the whole week he was supposed to be working on Joanne's job.
Now Burt admits he just didn't like Joanne pestering him.
"Her and her husband called me 25 times asking me 'Where you at now.' Finally I got fed up with it and I said 'I'm on my way.' She just comes out running her mouth at me. I'm like, you know what, I don't have to deal with this."
Wolchek: "Why don't you have to deal with it, that's your job isn't it?"
Clapper: "No it ain't."
Wolchek: "You took money from her."
Clapper: "I started the job."
Wolchek: "You started the job but you left it half done. It looked like hell, didn't it? You think you did a good job there? You tore up her yard."
Wolchek: "What about this Eileen Hall lady. You did the same thing to her right?"
Clapper: "No I came to her job a whole bunch of times and I'd get there and unload the equipment and she told me to leave."
Wolchek: "Yeah, you told her there was rain and all that."
Clapper: "Yeah. There was."
Wolchek: "She got a judgment of $5,618. Did you ever pay her?"
Boy, if Burt doesn't like Eileen and Joanne, he's not going to like me at all. I bring up all his other lawsuits.
Wolchek: "Who are all these people that have sued you? Civil judgment, Melvin, $7,000."
Clapper: "I have no idea."
I bring up his criminal record.
Wolchek: "You didn't do work under false pretenses?"
Clapper: "No I didn't."
Wolchek: "Then why'd you plead guilty?"
Clapper: "Because my attorney told me to."
Wolchek: "Oh that makes sense."
Wolchek: "Why don't you give the money back when people are unhappy?"
Clapper: "Because I had to buy material with that money."
Wolchek: "You got receipts for that material?"
Clapper: "Yeah I do. Do I have them with me? No I don't. So before you come at me and start making accusations make sure your facts are straight."
I guess Burt Clapper thinks he handled himself pretty well during our time together, because as he heads off, he throws in a plug for his company. The true measure of a great businessman.
Clapper: "C and C Parking Lot Maintenance 810-xxx-xxxx."
Wolchek: "yeah, I’m sure you'll have people calling you like crazy."
Let's all cheer for Burt Clapper, a guy who deserves a standing ovation in the Hhhhhall of Shame!"