Paving Scams To Look Out For: The Driveway Paving Scam
Follow our advice to avoid this common driveway paving scam.
Like many, you’ve probably received at least one cold call about some kind of construction scam. Cold calls for driveway paving, roofing, and more are common, and we can tell you how to avoid them. These scams work in a particular way: they offer to do a service, then claim they can not complete the service unless they get more materials, for which they need more money. Of course, they have already agreed on a set timeline or price. The consumer gets scammed when they have to fork over more money to complete a project whose price was already agreed upon.
The specifics of the driveway paving scam
This scam typically begins when a contractor shows up at your door or calls your phone. They claim that they have been doing work in your area and noticed that your driveway is in need of some TLC. Usually, the scammer agrees to give you a discount, because they are already doing work in the area and can use leftover materials to work on your driveway.
Here’s an example of what the pitch you might hear from a door-to-door scammer or cold caller will sound like.
Scammers take an initial payment and disappear
If you agree to their work, they will ask for a percentage of their fee up front. This can often be the end of the story, with the scammer disappearing afterwards, and you getting burned by the prepayment. Clients will notice that contact number or email address doesn’t work, and that the contractor will be cagey with details such as where their main office is located.
Low-quality work is the result
In other instances, the work does actually get done, but is sloppy and unprofessional. However, this usually isn’t noticed until the full payment is made and the work is regarded as “complete.”
More money than agreed upon is required to finish the job
In another variation, the scam needs more money to be completed. With the work partially finished, the contractor argues that they need more materials to complete you driveway project. Of course, in order to get more materials, they need more money, and that has to come from you. If the project does get completed, you wind up paying more out of pocket, and not receiving a discount at all. Companies that use this tactic are of course highly unprofessional and their work will reflect as much.
How to avoid these common paving scams
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid these scams. We have some methods you can follow in order to do so. Remember to always be vigilant, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Get quotes from multiple sources
If you notice that some of your paving is in dire need of repair, contact a few paving contractors in your area. Find out who some legitimate companies in your area are, send them pictures or have a contractor visit your location. They should be able to give you a quote (often for free), about how much your asphalt paving repairs should cost. This quote should include the whole price, from the start of the contract to its completion. They should also be able to tell you what each step of the repair process will be. By comparing the prices of different contractors, you should get an idea of how much your repairs will actually cost. This will help you figure out if that cold call about your driveway is a scam. If all the pavers you contact in your area tell you the costs for repairs should be 2-3 thousand dollars, then the one offering to do so for 1 thousand or less is probably not a legitimate offer.
Due diligence is a must
When you are going to hire a company for anything, find out what you can about the company.
You will want the following:
- Contact phone numbers — and make sure they work.
- An email address that works and responds promptly when you reach out.
- A website. Look for a website with contact info, including phone numbers and a physical address of the company. Also, it’s best if the website is over 2 years old, as anyone can create a website instantaneously.
- A physical office location. This way, you know where to take legal action to, if it comes to that.
- The names of the owners/contractors who will be working on your project.
Get everything in writing
A verbal agreement means little, especially legally. Make sure that everything you have agreed to with the company is in writing. Essentially, you are trying to create a paper trail in the case that legal action is a necessity.
Pay through legitimate means
Any company only taking cash payments is a big red flag. Paying with a credit card is often the best, as the credit card company will be able to refund the money if the company does not hold up its end of the bargain.
Never pay full-price up front
If a company argues that you need to pay for everything up front, it’s another red flag. A company should be able to provide its own materials and supplies, it’s not your job to buy them. It is your job to pay once work is done. Many companies will require a percentage to be paid before work starts, but not the whole price.
Hire a professional
If you need paving work done in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, then go with a company whose track record is reliable. Reliable Paving has been serving the area for decades, and can help you get your work done on time, and at a reasonable cost. Our services range from repairs to asphalt replacement, so we should definitely be able to find a solution that works for your asphalt paving. Contact us today, so we can get your projects started – and finished – sooner.