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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > September 2014 > Steer Clear of Asphalt Pavement Scams

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Steer Clear of Asphalt Pavement Scams

While the temperature remains moderate, Ohioans are likely seeing no shortage of home improvement contractors in their neighborhoods. Recently, a number of consumers have reported concerns about asphalt pavers and sealers going door-to-door offering services but performing shoddy work or not completing the work as promised.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office advises residential consumers to be skeptical of contractors who show up to their door unexpectedly. In addition, the office routinely takes legal action against door-to-door contractors who make great promises, take consumers’ money, and then do no work or shoddy work.
A Richland County consumer alleged she paid $2,200 for resurfacing her driveway but it was done in a shoddy manner. Among the problems were rough spots, indentations, and cracks. She also claims the driveway was not level.
A Franklin County resident recently paid $1,000 to seal his driveway. The company cashed the check, performed only one-third of the job, and stopped communicating with the consumer.
Some tips to avoid falling victim to a driveway paving scam:
  • Check contractors’ reputations with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau. A search for complaints filed against the business will help to determine whether it is trustworthy. Even if you don’t find complaints, don’t assume the contractor is reliable. Unscrupulous contractors and scam artists often change their business names regularly to trick unsuspecting consumers into handing over their hard-earned money.
  • If a contractor tells you he just completed a job nearby and has excess asphalt so can give you a good deal, get the previous homeowner’s name and address and contact them personally.
  • Ask family and friends for recommendations of reliable contractors. Word-of-mouth recommendations are among the best ways to find reputable businesses. If possible, check out the work contractors have done for previous customers.
  • Sometimes scammers will give you a verbal estimate prior to doing the work, but then charge two to three times more afterwards. Get everything in writing. A written contract should include the contracted amount along with the contractor’s name, street address, and phone number. Consumers should be cautious of contractors who only provide a post office box or who claim to work for a company but want a check written to an individual.
  • Don’t make a large down payment or payment in full until the job is complete and you have been given an opportunity to inspect the work. Avoid paying in cash, if possible, because cash will leave you with little paper trail if something goes wrong.
Consumers should keep in mind that under Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act, consumers have three days to cancel most contracts signed at their home. Door-to-door salespeople must notify you of your right to cancel and provide a cancellation form. Consumers should refuse to do business with contractors who do not provide the cancellation form.
Consumers who suspect unfair business practices should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or