Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. (www.SureSealPavement.com), the Greater Toronto Area’s leading pavement maintenance and repair company, is weighing in on a series of recent driveway repair scams targeting Canadian homeowners.
Homeowners in Saskatchewan are being cautioned after reports of door-to-door driveway repairs being offered by unlicensed contractors. The province’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) has reminded homeowners that salespeople need to be licensed and cannot otherwise sell their services legally. (Piller, T., “Driveway repair offer probably too good to be true: Sask. FCAA,” Global News, May 09, 2016; http://globalnews.ca/news/2689514/driveway-repair-offer-probably-to-good-to-be-true-sask-fcaa/.)
“Consumers need to be aware of these types of scams,” says Lance Bradshaw, president and CEO of Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. “Many homeowners don’t have experience with driveway repair, so it’s easy for scam artists to take advantage of this field. In fact, it can actually be very easy to fall for these tricks and be out a lot of money.”
Since all salespeople need to be licensed, the FCAA advises homeowners to ask for a license number before accepting door-to-door services; these license numbers can be checked online.
“Most reputable companies won’t offer door-to-door services in the first place, and some of these unlicensed contractors will give out fake numbers, so it’s important to verify,” Bradshaw notes. “Even with a verified license number, homeowners should be at least a little cautious about any door-to-door sales in this industry.”
The FCAA also offered other safety tips, such as creating formal contracts that clearly state the contractor’s deliverables and completion dates, and recommended getting “everything in writing.”
“While a contract is a form of protection, it’s better to just not deal with an untrustworthy contractor,” Bradshaw observes. “Any driveway repair contractor should be researched beforehand, including their track record, reviews, and how many years they’ve been in business. If they have no track record, that’s a warning sign.”
Homeowners should also be aware of industry best practices, as there are many other red flags which reputable driveway repair companies will not exhibit. For instance, if a contractor wants pay in advance for checking out the property, that’s a red flag. That’s because most driveway repair companies will come check out a property and give an assessment for free. Additionally, any company that requires huge down payments should be viewed with caution.
“Homeowners should also be wary of ‘limited-time offers’ and other high-pressure sales tactics, and anyone who gets the sense that they’re being pressured should look somewhere else,” Bradshaw adds. “Instead, look for companies that provide warranties. Warranties show that the company stands behind the quality of their services.”
“If homeowners follow these steps, they can avoid being taken advantage or losing money,” Bradshaw concludes. “Nobody should settle for a company with red flags, and instead hire one that can be trusted with the property.”
As the leading pavement maintenance contractor in the GTA, Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. specializes in catch basin repairs, rebuilding, and repaving. The company offers an industry-leading seven-year structural warranty.