If you have a gravel driveway or one in need of repair, don’t be surprised if a salesman comes knocking at your door offering to give you a deal of a lifetime on asphalt. His sales spiel will include the fact that he’s finishing up a job in the neighborhood and has some leftover.
Meet the asphalt scam artists. They come out in droves during spring and summer and travel the nation looking for victims.
How can you recognize an asphalt scam? Red flags include:
- Sells door-to-door. Reputable asphalt contractors rarely, if ever, sell their product door-to-door.
- Claims they have leftover asphalt from another job. Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely do they have leftover material.
- Pushes you to make a quick decision. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that will be valid for days or weeks. Never hire someone on the spot. Ask for references and check them.
- No contract is offered. Insist on a written contract specifying in detail the work to be performed and the agreed total price, not just price per square foot.
- Cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don’t require cash-only terms.
- Deals that seem too good to be true. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of work will also be quite low.
- Unmarked truck. Trucks are unmarked or have an out-of-town address and phone number. A little research will reveal that they have no permanent address and the phone number is often an answering machine.
Consumers are safer dealing with local contractors who stand behind their work. You can find a list of BBB accredited asphalt contractors at wynco.bbb.org.
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