Avoid Being Scammed by Soliciting Door-to-door Asphalt Pavers
April 05, 2013

Asphalt paving scams are nothing new, but warmer weather will soon bring this scam back in full swing.  Therefore, the Better Business Bureau serving Greater Iowa, Quad Cities and Siouxland Region is urging consumers to watch out for door-to-door salesmen offering low-cost bids on asphalt paving.  The asphalt paving scam typically involves an itinerant contractor catching you off guard by soliciting you at your front door and claiming they have “left over” asphalt from another job.  They offer a great on the spot cash only deal, but the result is either an improper and/or incomplete job with an inferior product.  By the time you notice something is wrong, the “company” is long gone and looking for their next victim.  Many complainants report to the BBB that their driveway is in worse condition than before and they must spend additional money to find a reputable contractor to repair the shoddy or incomplete job.

To avoid becoming a victim, look for the following red flags that may indicate a scam:

  • Selling door-to-door. Reputable asphalt contractors will rarely- if ever, sell their product door-to-door.
  • Claims of leftover asphalt from another job.Professional asphalt contractors know with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely will they have leftover material.
  • Pushing you to make a quick decision. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that should be valid for a specified amount of time. Never hire someone on the spot.
  • No written contract.  Insist on a written contract specifying in detail the work to be performed and the agreed total price, not just price per square foot.
  • Cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don’t require cash-only terms.
  • Deals that seem too good to be true. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of work will also be quite low.
  • Contractor is from out of state or in an unmarked truck. Itinerant scammers will often drive unmarked trucks or have out of state license plates. Even if they have a local phone number, scammers have more recently been purchasing local cell phone plans to appear as if they are a local area business. A little research will reveal that they have no permanent address or are traveling from out of state. 

Also, don’t forget to ask for local references and verify that the contractor is in compliance with all local licensing, bonding and insuring requirements.  For more tips, visit iowa.bbb.org,and for the latest news check out our Facebook page.

 

About the BBB.  The BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior.  Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior.  The BBB Serving Greater Iowa, Quad Cities and Siouxland Region was founded in 1940 and is one of 113 BBBs.  Locally, the BBB has over 3,500 Accredited Businesses and provides reports and on companies throughout the state.  Contact the BBB at 1-800-BBB-1600 or info@dm.bbb.org.