Advisory: Premature Spring Door-to-Door Contractors

  
     
February 16, 2017

Roanoke, VA  – As our region continues to experience unseasonably warm weather, some contractors are getting the jump on spring and have begun soliciting door-to-door. BBB Serving Western VA is advising consumers to do their research when hiring contractors who operate in this manner.

According to one Bedford County woman, an asphalt company was recently canvassing her neighborhood and stopped to tell her she needed a new driveway. The company also claimed they were BBB Accredited. Thankfully, she called BBB before doing business and learned first-hand they were not Accredited.

Unfortunately not all consumers do their research first, and may find themselves being charged more money than originally agreed upon or paying for substandard work. Another risk is hiring itinerant workers who are in the area one day and gone the next. By the time you notice something is wrong, the “company” is long gone.

BBB offers the following advice on hiring a door-to-door contractor:

Ask for identification and license/permit. A company should provide you with information, including name, address and company association on a business card and proof of solicitation permit, if required for your area. If a door-to-door solicitor is claiming to be affiliated with your utility company or someone you actually do business with, it's always best to follow up directly using verifiable contact information before providing additional information to the solicitor.

Don't feel pressured into making an immediate decision. A trustworthy company will let you take time to think about it and compare prices before committing. Some unscrupulous door-to-door contractors will put pressure on you to close the deal at that moment or lose out on a "special offer." If you find yourself in this position, end the conversation quickly.

Verify the legitimacy of the company. Research the company on bbb.org to view the company's BBB Business Profile, BBB rating, any complaints that have been filed against the company in the past 3 years, customer reviews and more.

Deals that seem "too good to be true." If the quoted price seems suspiciously low, chances are the quality of the work will be low as well.

Vehicles with out-of-state license plates. These solicitations are often made by persons traveling through our local area from other states. The big equipment (pickups or trailers) will be licensed in other states.

Contact your local city or county government to see if the company is licensed to do business in your area. Many municipalities require a peddlers or solicitors license to sell door-to-door.

The BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, and free BBB Business Profiles on more than 4 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution service, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/BBBWesternVA and on Facebook at facebook.com/BBBWesternVA.

For more advice or information please visit www.bbb.org or contact the BBB Serving Western VA at (540) 342-3455 or (800) 533-5501.