BBB Warns Homeowners to Beware Too Good to Be True Door-to-Door Asphalt Paving Deals
Victoria, BC – BBB continues to warn homeowners across Vancouver Island to be wary of contractors soliciting door-to-door that are offering cheap asphalt paving services.
BBB has recently received an influx of calls from consumers who have been targeted bysuspicious contractors, using “limited opportunity” sales tactics and offering too good to be true deals on asphalt repair. In most reported cases, consumers claim they were offered a great, spur of the moment, verbal opportunity to get their driveways resurfaced. Once the work was completed and paid for, many consumers report being outraged at the extremely poor quality of new pavement. The contractors are often next to impossible to track down after payment has been made.
“Every couple of years we seem to receive a wave of complaints from dissatisfied consumers about door-to-door asphalt paving deals. These situations are tricky because in reality the consumer is actually getting what they paid for; a poor quality job, often performed by a unqualified worker,” said Rosalind Scott, President & CEO of BBB serving Vancouver Island. “In fact, almost every season we hear about a wave of door-to-door home repair deals that have a similar pattern. They include everything from offers of roof repair, painting, landscaping, paving, or general handyman projects. But the results are always the same: consumers are lured in by a great, on-the-spot deal to have some work done on their home. They usually pay up front, often in cash, and find themselves in a situation where they are dissatisfied with the quality of the work that was done, and the fly by night company is no where to be found.”
BBB is reminding consumers to look for these warning signs before hiring a door-to-door asphalt-paving contractor:
BBB is reminding consumers tolook for these warning signs before hiring a door-to-door asphalt-pavingcontractor:
Door-to-door solicitations. 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 cheques 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 town or arrives in an unmarked truck. Fly by night contractors often use unmarked trucks or have out of province license plates. Even if they have a local phone number, they may be simply using a local cell phone plan to appear as if they are a local area business. A little research into the company often reveals that they have no permanent address or are from out of town.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure you have a good experience hiring any contractor is to do a little legwork before you agree to have any work done:
Do your research. Get the company’s name, phone number, address, and names of the contractors.
Ask for estimates and referrals. Get the company to give you a detailed written estimate, on proper company letterhead. Ask them for a list of referrals, or other satisfied clients. Preferably some in your neighbourhood.
Ask lots of questions. Find out if the contractor is qualified, bonded and insured. Ask about the process they use to do the work. And be sure to check upon their responses.
Comparison shop. Make sure you know the true market value of the product and service that you are receiving.
Contact your BBB. Check a company’s BBB Business Review (bbb.org) before you hire. BBB has an extensive database of information on companies operating across North America. If we do not have a company in our database, you might want to consider why we do not. The lack of a BBB record for a legitimate business usually means that they are a new business or that they have had no consumer complaints or inquiries about them in the past three years.