As spring turns into summer, traveling work crews come out of the woodwork to peddle quick fixes on torn-up asphalt driveways all across the country. BBB receives numerous complaints from people throughout the E. Washington, N. Idaho and Montana region each year regarding unlicensed asphalt companies with shady sales practices.
This week, BBB received its second complaint in as many weeks regarding Evergreen Paving & Sealcoating (EP&S), this time from a Spokane-area resident. The Spokane complainant reflected concerns similar to that of the initial complaint in Wenatchee, as described below, but added that EP&S trespassed in a private residential community and refused to leave when requested.
A resident in Wenatchee, Wash. was approached last week by EP&S and immediately filed a complaint with BBB. The company was investigated by your BBB office and was found to be unlicensed with the Washington Department of Labor & Industries.
BBB’s investigator contacted the company to verify licensing and was notified by “Sonny,” the owner of the company, that “if someone wants to verify whether I’m licensed, I do not want to do business with them.” EP&S currently has an F rating with BBB due to lack of required licensing for this industry.
BBB offers these tips to help you steer clear of asphalt scams:
Tip #1: Beware of door-to-door sales. Reputable asphalt contractors seldom offer their services door-to-door, and they’ll do so only if they are doing a legitimate job in the immediate area. If you’re approached, always ask for references and proof of proper licensing. The Washington Department of Labor & Industries is linked above. For the same state agency in Montana, click here. For Idaho, click here.
Tip #2: Leftovers? Probably not. One of the main hooks traveling companies use is offering “leftover asphalt” from their last job. Professional asphalt contractors will know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely will they have leftover material. Among the only reasons a contractor might have left over material are inclement weather, equipment problems or cancellations.
Tip #3: Take your time deciding. Reputable contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid beyond the day the estimate is given. If the great deal they are offering you today is not available tomorrow or next week, it may be a scam.
Tip #4: Get it in writing. Insist upon a written contract that specifies in detail the work to be performed and the agreed-upon price.
Tip #5: Look out for cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don’t require cash-only terms. Verify the contractor is licensed before you pay any money up front. If the contractor only takes cash, make sure to only pay in full once the work is complete.
Tip #6: Find the permanent location. Be aware of asphalt crews that operate out of unmarked trucks and have out-of-state license plates or contact information.
To report a suspicious asphalt paving company to BBB, call 509-455-4200 or email email@example.com.
UPDATED: Monday, June 2, 2014, 1:52 p.m.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving E. Washington, N. Idaho & Montana, founded in 1912, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.