BBB Warns of Traveling Paving Schemes
Anchorage, Alaska – August 14, 2013 – Dozens of complaints are rolling into Better Business Bureau from consumers who are upset about poor-quality paving work. Property owners say that crews show up and offer incredible deals but leave driveways and walkways in worse conditions.
“Every year we hear about fraudulent contractors doing shoddy work,” warns Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “Unfortunately, this is a common seasonal problem that costs homeowners thousands of dollars and gives the paving industry, as a whole, a bad reputation.”
How the Scam Works:
An out–of-state contractor wanders neighborhoods trying to get rid of “leftover asphalt” from a recent job. After negotiating a seemingly great price, the customer makes a large upfront payment and the crew goes to work. With no contract, the customer is left with little recourse when the workers don’t pave the entire driveway, spread the asphalt too thin and destroy expensive landscaping on the way out. These types of fraudsters are known for preying on seniors and will often immediately leave town after completing jobs.
BBB advises consumer to take a concrete stance against fraud.
Door-to-Door: Reputable asphalt contractors will rarely, if ever, randomly knock on doors offering deals; refer to BBB’s Accredited Business Directory to find reliable licensed contractors.
High-Pressure: Turn down high-pressure sales tactics by shutting the door or walking away. Professional contractors will provide written estimates instead of demanding up-front cash.
Out-of-State: Be wary of crews with unmarked vehicles and out-of-state license plates; companies which have local telephone numbers may still be based elsewhere.
Bids and Contracts: Compare prices with similar companies in the area. Insist on written contracts specifying details of the job; ask for references from local clients.
Clever Pitches: Steer clear of too-good-to-be-true offers.
BBB reminds consumers to never entirely pre-pay for services.