|CONTACT: Lisa Schiller, Media Relations PHONE: 414- 847- 6055 FAX: 414-302- 0355 E-MAIL: [email protected]|
Milwaukee, Wis. – BBB Serving Wisconsin (BBB) is warning consumers of a seasonal scam that tends to pop up in warmer months – asphalt paving schemes.
These suspect asphalt companies often place ads or go door-to-door claiming to have extra asphalt from a nearby project, allowing them to give you a discounted rate. Unfortunately, these jobs usually end in sub-par work that costs much more than originally quoted.
One BBB complainant says after he paid in full, the company did not return to complete the job and he cannot reach them by phone.
“I purchased a new asphalt driveway and a five-year warranty for $4,850. They were driving by my house and saw that my driveway needed work. Since I was outside, they stopped and said they were doing a driveway up the street and had leftover materials. I agreed to take the 5-year warranty (for $1,550) where they would come back and do all the seal coating for the next 5 years. Because I’m 76 years old and unable to do this myself, I thought this was a good investment.”
To avoid being tricked by asphalt schemes, always know whom you’re dealing with and research the company at bbb.org. You can always ask the salesperson if they have a solicitor’s license from the city in which they’re doing business, or you can call your city officials directly to ask if they’ve received any complaints about a certain business.
BBB suggests following these general rules to avoid an unethical asphalt company:
- Be wary of paving companies stating they are “in the neighborhood” and have extra asphalt at the ready to repair your driveway for a minimal cost. Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. They will rarely have leftover materials.
- Never hire someone on the spot. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that will be valid for many days. If you feel that you are being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics, BBB advises you to end the conversation and tell the company you’re not interested. Check on all companies before doing business.
- If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of work will be quite low.
- Get at least two estimates before hiring anyone.
- Don’t pay with cash. Credit cards are always best as there are options for disputing claims and recovering your lost funds.
Consumers are often safer dealing with a contractor who has local roots. Contact BBB for free Business Profiles on any company you are considering doing business with by visiting bbb.org, or by calling – toll-free in Wisconsin – 1-800-273-1002.
If you have been scammed, you can help other consumers avoid the same problems by filing a complaint or reporting your experience to BBB’s Scam Tracker.