Spring is here, and with it comes a warning to homeowners about a fraudulent paving company working across Lower Mainland British Columbia.
Consumer reports from places across B.C. indicate that men have shown up suddenly in communities offering to resurface asphalt driveways. The representatives provided a brochure or flyer for the company and a quote with a five-year guarantee.
One consumer recently paid $5,300 by money order to the company to have the work completed. It turned out to be substandard and fell apart within a few days. After trying to track down the company, the homeowner found out the office listed on the invoice was a fake.
These unreliable contractors typically target a community for only a few days and then move to another location. Consumers need to be vigilant and not be taken in by low prices and guarantees.
Before you give any money to anyone or allow him or her into your home, BBB suggests:
Get the name and location. Research the name and address of the company the vendor claims to represent. Check the business out at mbc.bbb.org
Get it in writing. Ensure all details and verbal promises are included in a contract. Review it and make sure you completely understand the document. Never sign a contract with sections left blank.
Check for qualifications. Verify the individual is licensed, bonded, insured and has registered with WorkSafeBC (Workers’ Compensation Board).
Make cheques payable to the company. Do not pay in cash and do not make cheques payable to an individual, only the company.
Avoid "bait and switch" tactics. Some disreputable companies will offer low prices for installing items like windows and home siding, but then come back later to the client saying the item is currently out of stock and can only be replaced with a high-priced substitute. Have everything in writing and know the terms in advance.
Do not be pressured by any person if you are unsure. Take the time to do your due diligence. If you did sign and would like to change your mind, B.C. law states that if it was a door-to-door sales contract, you have 10 days to advise the company. For more information, contact Consumer Protection BC at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca
For more Consumer Tips, go to http://www.vi.bbb.org (Island) http://www.mbc.bbb.org (Mainland)
APRIL 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER ISLAND
APRIL 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER AND LOWER MAINLAND
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