The Better Business Bureau(BBB) is warning homeowners to be wary of driving paving scams as we enter the warmer Spring months.
The BBB suggests you ask for references and verify that the contractor is in compliance with all local licensing, bonding and insuring requirements. Also, get all promises in writing and pay by credit card when the job is done.
Paying with a card provides added protection in the event there is a problem with the work performed. In addition, if the paving service was sold to you at your home, the FTC's Three Day Cooling Off Rule gives you three business days to cancel with a full refund.
The BBB offers these red flags that you can look for in a driveway repair scam:
The contractor says there are leftover materials from another job – Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete each project. Rarely will they have leftover material. Scammers use this as a ploy to explain how they can provide you with a huge discount over the normal price. The catch is that they will ask you to pay everything up front. The materials tend to be inferior and the work ends up shoddy.
Beware if you are pushed to make a quick decision – Trustworthy contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for days or weeks. It should specify in detail the work to be performed and the total price.
Be suspicious if you are asked to pay on in cash – Most reputable contractors will take checks or credit cards.
Watch out for a company that is from out of state – Look at the truck the representative travels in. If it is unmarked or has an out-of-state license plate, be cautious. Even if the representative claims to have a local phone number, scammers can easily purchase disposable cell phones to provide a local number in the area they are soliciting.
If you suspect that you are dealing with a paving scammer, you are advised to file a complaint with the BBB at www.bbb.org and contact your local police department
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