Columbus, OH - Spring brings home improvement projects - both inside and out. For many parents or retired consumers who are home during the day, using a company that shows up at your door might be tempting. BBB is warning Central Ohio consumers against itinerant pavers sweeping the area.
Door-to-door pavers can easily sway homeowners with a few claims, including promising to finish the work in one day, doing the work for a low price, and offering a warranty to come back if problems arise. In reality, the pavers who show up at your door may not be a reliable company, could end up costing you more money and might disappear once they leave your neighborhood.
BBB has received a report of an itinerant paving company, Davis & Sons. A Ross County consumer stated that three men in a silver Dodge truck came to her home one morning, claiming to have started a new paving business. He asked if she would like her two driveways sealed for $800 total and a five-year warranty. After she agreed, they went to work, and later told her she wouldn’t be happy with the current product but could pay more for a “better” product. She agreed to pay more, but the company said they had run out of the product and were done for the day.
Davis & Sons told her to pay $3,600.00, which she paid in cash, but noticed afterward that her receipt only said $2,000.00. She believes the signature on the receipt reads “Maison Lowell”, but has no address or phone number for the company. They said they would return in three days, took back their business card, and have yet to come back or contact her, over two weeks later.
If you’re at home during the day, look out for these red flags to help avoid itinerant paving scams:
• The pavers are going door-to-door. Reputable asphalt contractors will rarely, if ever, sell their product door-to-door.
• They claim they have leftover asphalt from another job. Professional asphalt contractors know with great accuracy how much paving material is needed to complete a project and rarely will they have leftover material.
• They push you to make a quick decision. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that should be valid for a specified amount of time. Do not feel pressure to hire someone on the spot.
• There is 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.
• They insist on cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don’t require cash-only terms.
• The deal seems too good to be true. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of work will be low as well.
• The 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. Scammers have even recently been purchasing local cell phone plans to appear as if they are a local area business. A little research will reveal they have no permanent address or are traveling from out of state.
BBB advises consumers to research all options thoroughly and not be persuaded or feel obligated to sign a contract or agreement before all terms and conditions are clearly understood. Companies can be researched at bbb.org.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.