The Better Business Bureau
(BBB) is urging consumers to beware of a scam involving door-to-door salesmen offering low-cost quotes on asphalt paving. Over the past several days, the BBB has received calls from local consumers who were approached by salesmen offering to pave driveways for very low costs, claiming to use asphalt "left over" from a larger paving job. Calls from residents have been in the Saint Albans, WV and surrounding areas.
A local Saint Albans resident contacted the BBB late last week stating she had been approached at her home by two separate gentleman offering to repave her driveway with left over asphalt from a previous job for a discounted rate. Rowdy Williams with Ripley Paving and Sealing and Henry Williams with Road Star Paving were soliciting door-to-door. Neither company offered the woman a written agreement for the $6,000 quote to repave her driveway.
A BBB investigation unveiled Henry Williams is also connected with several other asphalt paving companies including: Williams Asphalt Paving, R. Williams Paving, Ripley Paving, Road Star Paving, Moore Asphalt and Browns Mills Paving and numerous other names. In 2010, the New Jersey Attorney General
ordered Henry R. Williams to pay $17 million in civil penalties. Consumers were given restitution and reimbursement for attorney fees and investigative costs after a New Jersey court found they had defrauded consumers. In 2012, a separate lawsuit was filed by the Arkansas Attorney General's
office against Moore Asphalt aka Williams Asphalt, for deceptive door-to-door sales tactics used to convince consumers to sign contracts for paving or repaving driveways.
"It appears these individuals have been moving around changing their business name for years attempting to scam consumers," states Frank Cilona, BBB CEO. "We want to alert consumers who are approached door-to-door for any type of home improvement work and encourage them to check out companies before agreeing to anything."
Such door-to-door scams typically result in less-than satisfied consumers who end up paying for inferior work that often must be replaced. These scams usually perpetrated by scam artists who are in the area one day and gone the next.
The Better Business Bureau is urging consumers to check out the companies making these offers, to make sure the company is reputable and who will perform quality work for a fair price.
To avoid becoming a victim, the BBB offers the following advice:
- Be leery if the company claims that it's "leftover" asphalt. Leftover hot-mix asphalt would be too cold to place properly, while cold mix is used exclusively for small patches, not general paving. Asphalt is a perishable product and if it cools too much it is useless as a hot mix paving product.
- Deals that seem "Too good to be true". If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of the work will be low as well.
- "One time offer" price quotes. Reputable contractors will provide a quote before doing any work so that the homeowner has a chance to shop around.
- Door-to-door sales. Reputable asphalt contractors do not sell their product door-to-door. Consumers should be very suspicious of anyone appearing at their front doors offering low cost asphalt.
- Vehicles with out of state license plates. This type of scam many times will be run by persons traveling through our local area from other states. The big equipment (pickups or trailers) will be licensed in other states.
To find reputable local asphalt pavers, consumers can contact the Better Business Bureau at 1-800-362-0494 or www.bbb.org.