The Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is warning consumers after receiving complaints about an alleged driveway paving scam. In one complaint, neighbors were approached by a man offering a deal on leftover material. They agreed to pay $1,500 to have a section of their driveway repaired. However, the work crew did not finish, claiming they ran out of asphalt and demanding a much higher price to finish the job.

The operator named in the complaints is Robert Stevens with the company Blacktop Pros. The same operator was named in a complaint filed in January by the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office for deceptive trade practice violations. The operators may have also used the following business names in the past: Robert Stevens Construction, R S Asphalt, and Pro-Pave Asphalt.

Asphalt scammers like these offer great deals for cash on the spot claiming to have leftover material from a nearby project. However, the quality of work is often shoddy and the final cost generally much more than the quoted price. In many cases, the pavers claim they will come back the following day to finish the job, only to never return.

To avoid becoming a victim, look for the following red flags that may indicate a scam:

Selling door-to-door. Reputable asphalt contractors don’t sell left over product door-to-door.

Claims of leftover asphalt from another job. Professional asphalt contractors know with great accuracy how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely will they have leftover material.

Pushing you to make a quick decision. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that should be valid for a specified amount of time. Be wary of hiring someone on the spot.

No written contract. Insist on a written contract specifying in detail the work to be performed and the agreed total price, not just price per square foot.

Cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don’t require cash-only terms.

Deals that seem too good to be true. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of work will also be quite low.

The contractor is from out of state or in an unmarked truck. Itinerant scammers will often drive unmarked trucks or have out of state license plates.

The Division of Consumer Affairs encourages consumers to utilize resources such as the Better Business Bureau’s website to thoroughly research a business before investing in their services.

For more consumer tips or to file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Affairs, visit www.tn .gov/consumer or call 615-741-4737.

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