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Suspicious Activity Involving Asphalt/Paving Contractors 08/04/11

 Winnebago County Sheriff's OfficeNews Media Release  News  Release Number                2011-023
 Information:  Suspicious Activity Involving Asphalt/Paving Contractors 
 Date: August 4, 2011  Time:  3:00 PM       Page 1   of  2

 Narrative:  The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office has received several calls from area residents with concerns about a possible “scam,” involving paving and/or asphalt services.  Business representatives from some unscrupulous companies have gone door-to-door stating they have extra asphalt from a job in the area and are willing to do asphalt work at a discounted price.  However, the workmanship is not what is expected and the final cost is usually higher than what was quoted. Homeowners are warned to do their homework before hiring a company to ensure they are reputable and legitimate.  Itinerant asphalt/paving dealers can always be active in an area, especially during the spring and summer months.

  • Be aware of paving companies that approach your home, stating that they are “in the area” and have extra asphalt or concrete to repair your driveway for a minimal cost—many times the company will quote a low price for their work and upon completion overcharge the customer;
  • Be aware of a company that does not provide a completed contract prior to the work being performed—many jobs are poorly done or incomplete where numerous customers have later found the thickness of the application to be less than quoted or what is needed to last;
  • Some companies or representatives have actually intimidated or threatened those clients who tell them they are filing a complaint or are not happy with their service.  If you feel you are being harassed or threatened in any way by such a questionable group, you are strongly urged to contact your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible to report it.

Homeowners are urged to research all options thoroughly and not be pressured into signing a contract or agreement before all terms and conditions are completely understood.  To find a reputable company, we suggest:

  • Contact the local Better Business Bureau for a reliability report on any company you are considering doing business with;
  • Ask for local references and verify that the contractor is in compliance, current and up-to-date with all local licensing, bonding and insuring requirements—if you do not take this step, you are at a 100% risk with the transaction;
  • Ask for identification and note the license plate number on the contractor’s vehicle;

 

 Winnebago County Sheriff's OfficeNews Media Release  News  Release Number                2011-023
 Date: August 4, 2011  Time:  3:00 PM       Page 2   of  2

  

  • Solicit two or three different bids for the work you are planning, but don’t automatically accept the lowest;
  • Make sure all bids are based on the same materials;
  • Be sure to read all agreements and guarantees before signing;
  • Do not be pressured into signing an agreement before you understand all terms and conditions;
  • Never sign a contract with sections left blank;
  • When you choose a contractor, do not pay for the work in advance—pay by check when the work is completed to your satisfaction.

 Most of these businesses where these complaints have originated from operate out of the states of Louisiana and Georgia, and there have been similar complaints in neighboring counties.  We have received information that these firms may be contacting most anyone, from rural homeowners, farmers, small businesses, and urban homeowners. Residents with questions can call the Sheriff’s Office Community Policing Unit at 815-319-6500. To report an incident or request a deputy to respond to something that is a non-emergency, you can call the Sheriff’s Office 24 hour non-emergency number:  815-282-2600. 

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