Tips for Consumers :Driveway Scams
Tips for Consumers
by Nicholas Greaves
Once again this year we at the Better Business bureau are receiving reports of consumers throughout the Hagerstown area who are being ripped off by dishonest door-to-door pavers or driveway sealers. Although most local paving companies do quality work, the traveling scam artists who return every summer hurt the reputations of everyone in the paving business. Here are some BBB tips on getting paving done the right way:
* First, beware of the strangers who come to your door because they "just happen to be in the neighborhood."
* How much will they charge? Paving scammers usually don't use a written contract, so you have no protection against higher charges. One old trick is to "lowball"; quote you an exceptionally low price in order to get your agreement, then demand much more money when they finish by claiming you misunderstood.
* What is the brand of the paving product they will use on your property? Is it guaranteed? They may claim that they use high quality materials, but did you see them actually open the famous-brand cans? Often door-to-door workers will take sludge or salvage oils and put them into fancy containers.
* Do it right. Ask your friends or neighbors for recommendations of local, well established paving companies in the area who do quality work. Get several of these firms to give you a written estimate on the job. Be sure it includes a detailed breakdown of their work, what products they will use and what their guarantee provides.
Always contact the BBB to check out legitimate businesses. Visit our web site, www.baltimore.bbb.org or give us a call 24 hours a day at 410-347-3992.