How To Avoid Bogus Driveway Paving Companies

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Better Business Bureau says paving scams are a continuous problem in mid-Missouri, especially during the summer months.

Jefferson Asphalt General Manager Chris Yarnell says scamming companies drive unidentified vehicles and try to use local companies names to get a consumer to agree to a paving job.

"They'll say we're with Jefferson Asphalt and we're doing this, or we're with APAC out of Columbia or we're with Christensen out of Fulton and we're doing this, but they're not and they're buying mix and they hurt all of us," Yarnell said.

One may think that scammers only hurt consumers, but scammers also affect the paving companies that consumers trust.

"It does affect our business. We work off of our reputation, our reputation means a lot to us. We want to do a very quality product. We want to provide a very quality product and we won't be the cheapest in town," Yarnell said.

Better Business Bureau Branch Manager Mike Odneal and Chief Counsel of Consumer Protection Joseph Bindbeutel pointed out many things a consumer can do to avoid getting ripped off by a paving company.

"If someone comes to your door a truck in the driveway and says they have a little bit of left over paving material and that can give you a great deal if you give them cash today and finish it today, huge red flag. Because, legitimate paving companies will give you a written bid that will last for several days and won't go out of date right away and you can have time to consider it," Odneal said.

Bindbeutel said to take your time when considering a paving company. He said you never have to rush to make a decision, and if a company is pushing you to make a quick choice, you may be getting scammed.

The two noted a few important points to make sure you are hiring a company you can trust:

1. Do not pay cash or pay full before the work is done. Pay 50% or pay once the work is done with a credit card.

2. Be sure to get a written bid or contract before the work starts.

3. Hire a local company. Do not hire a company from out of town that has a suspicious name.

4. Research the history of companies and ask the company for a few references you can speak to.

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