KAKE News On Your Side: Augusta grandmother ripped off

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AUGUSTA, Kan. (KAKE) -

An Augusta woman was left with a mess this month when a contractor didn't finish the job she paid him to do.

Beulah Jones could be anyone's grandmother.

The sweet 88-year-old Augusta woman just wanted to get some of her trees cut down, but she got a raw deal out of a contractor.

Beulah Jones takes pride in her home and its appearance.

"My flowers couldn't live without me," Jones muses.

When her trees became overgrown, Jones didn't want to burden her family with the chore, so she leafed through her phone book and found some options.

"I called three different ones," remembers Jones.

Only one was available: a company out of Wichita.

Using money set aside for her own cremation, Jones says she paid 900 dollars upfront to have two trees trimmed.

But when they finished, this is what the company left behind: limbs hanging down and tree branches scattered all over her yard.

"He's just refused to finish the job of hauling the limbs off. When I was cleaning my wisteria the other day, I found a whole stack of them on top of my Wisteria... I guess he thought because I couldn't see that I would not notice there was trees piled up," Jones says.

This is just a fraction of the mess. Jones and her grandchildren already hauled several loads away.

"It was in my driveway and out in the street, and I knew the city would be after me to get it picked up, because who wants trash in their yard? So I called him and told him it needed to be picked up, and he said he would be up to pick it up, but he never came," says Jones.

KAKE News On Your Side called the Consumer Protection Division.

Unfortunately for Jones, she paid with cash, and there was no contract, leaving her without options.

"If you're going to pay money, document what you're paying, how you're paying, when you're paying…and that way if something goes wrong…you have your chain of evidence," says Avery Elofsson, Senior Assistant DA in charge of Consumer Protection Division.

But Beulah Jones' story doesn't end here.

KAKE News called Bevan's Tree Service, an Augusta company.

"(It's) Definitely not up to par, not what I would have done," admits Dalton Bevan.

Bevan says this kind of job hurts everyone in the business.

"People are nervous about hiring tree services, because stuff like this happened," adds Bevan.

So Bevan's finished what the other company refused to do. Along with trimming down a few more limbs, the company removed all the remaining branches. And they did it for free.

"I think it's so wonderful. I didn't know there were people like that anymore, but I'm so thankful they came," says a relieved Jones.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

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