News and a warning about asphalt

BEWARE OF PAVING CONTRACTOR SCAMS IN THE NIAGARA REGION

3/19/2009

(This information was taken from The Better Business Bureau)

 

 

HAMILTON, ON - The Better Business Bureau today warned Niagara region homeowners and businesses to beware of cons claiming to repair your driveway. Scammers have been reported in communities across the Niagara region, most recently in Niagara Falls.

The Better Business Bureau has received new complaints on certain paving companies that move from city to city scamming innocent homeowners and businesses by performing subpar work. "Cons typically approach a homeowner or business and offer to repave a driveway or parking lot. They offer a great low price and claim they have just enough asphalt left over from another job nearby. The representatives are usually polite and persuasive and drive nice work vehicles", says Marlene Sear from the Better Business Bureau.

"Use caution and common sense to avoid doing business with fly-by-night operators," Sear said. "They may offer great deals, a lifetime guarantee ĘC whatever it takes to get your money ĘC but often the quality of the material used and its application are inferior. By the time you realize you have a problem, the driveway paving crew will be long gone. Even worse, cons may do the work and demand a much higher price at the end of the job."

In at least once case recently reported to the BBB from a consumer in Niagara Falls, the company made her driveway worse and when she made attempts to reach the company, the phone number was out of order. This company currently has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau for failure to respond, pattern of complaints and number of complaints filed against the business. The company has moved from Hamilton to Brantford and now the Niagara region soliciting business from homeowners and businesses. "The public is strongly urged to check with the BBB to obtain a reliability report on a company prior to signing any contracts or agreements, states Marlene Sear of the Better Business Bureau."

The Better Business Bureau advises homeowners and businesses to be wary of contractors who:

  • Solicit door to door.
  • Arrive in an unmarked truck or van.
  • Claim they've just completed a job nearby and happen to have leftover materials, so they can do the work for a discount.
  • Pressure you for an immediate decision.
  • Accept only cash, require large deposits or require the entire cost up front. A deposit of 10-15 percent of the bid price is normally sufficient.
  • Refuse to provide a written estimate, a contractor-registration number or local references.
  • Provide credentials or references that can't be verified.
  • Older adults are often prime targets for dishonest firms. Share this information with your older friends, relatives or neighbours.

For more information, contact the Better Business Bureau at (905)685-5270 or visit the BBB's website at niagara.bbb.org.

Report unregistered contractors to the Better Business Bureau so that the Bureau can add those businesses to South Central Ontario's database. The Better Business Bureau was founded in 1912 and the South Central Ontario BBBB services the Hamilton, Halton, Brantford and Niagara region.