Eye on Scams: How to avoid asphalt paving scams

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Experts are warning about contractors who trick homeowners with supposedly good deals. If your driveway needs paving or repairs, don’t trust just anyone to do the job. 
“The Better Business Bureau gets a ton of calls and complaints about contractors that take advantage of customers, and it’s such an easy process to research these people,” Eli Valentin, with Cajun Paving & Construction in Scott, said. “It’s something that in this industry we’ve been fighting with since the beginning.”

Laurian Clause with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana said attempts to trick homeowners is an ongoing problem.

“What’ll happen is you’ll either receive a phone call or they will show up at your house and what the biggest red flag is they will say they have leftover concrete,” Clause said. “The minute you hear that that is a big red flag because that is not the practice that most asphalt contractors use.”

This is how asphalt paving scams work: A contractor shows up at your door. They claim they’ve been doing work in the area and noticed the condition of your driveway or sidewalk. They give you a discount and ask for an up-front fee. Once the transaction is complete, the scam contractor may disappear completely,
“Most people that come door-to-door are legitimate salesman, and some of them can come door-to-door without a permit so you want to not think everyone that’s coming to your door is not legitimate,” explained Clause.
“The other thing that’s unique about asphalt is it is a time and temperature-sensitive product,” said Valentin. “It has to be transported, delivered, paved, and compacted before it loses its temperature, and so there just simply is not time for that product to sit in a dump truck while a salesman goes door to door looking for somebody who is interested in that product.”

Here are some tips from the BBB on how to avoid contractor scams:

  • Be wary of unsolicited offers. 
  • Get everything in writing and ask for an estimate in writing before payment is even discussed.
  • Stagger your payments so you can inspect work at various stages of the project.
  • Use safe payment methods. Paying with a credit card is the best practice.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.

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