Our area seems to be seeing a higher than usual number of out-of-state paving crews going door to door. We always tend to see these crews as the weather begins to warm, but our local paving companies and consumers are reporting more traveling paving crews offering “too good to be true” deals on driveway repairs than in past years.
While driveway repair scams are fairly common, there is never a shortage of victims that get taken -- from the consumer who pays for an inferior job to the local paving company losing out on local business. The Better Business Bureau wants you to know how you can avoid paving scams.
Here are a few red flags that you can look for in a driveway repair scam:
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 large quantities of leftover material.
You are pushed to make a quick decision. Trustworthy contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for days or even weeks. It should specify in detail the work to be performed and the total price. They also don’t mind you checking them out before signing a contract.
Cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors will take checks or credit cards and don’t require payment up front. BBB recommends never paying more than one-third up front and only with a written contract.
The company 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 cellphones to provide a local number in the area they are soliciting. Also, don’t be afraid to ask to see their driver’s license. If the worker is from out of state, how likely are they to come back if a problem arises in the future?
If you suspect you are dealing with a paving scammer, report them to your local police department and the BBB. For more tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org.
Kelvin Collins is president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and the CSRA Inc. This tips column is provided through the local BBB and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Questions or complaints about a specific company or charity should be referred directly to the BBB at 478-742-7999, www.bbb.org or by emailing email@example.com.