State Attorney Gen. warning WV paving schemes,what to look for.
Posted in the Princeton Forum
#1 Mar 6, 2012
Mar 6, 2012 | West Virginia's Legal Journal
News > State Attorney General
McGraw warns of paving scams
CHARLESTON -- West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw is warning consumers in the state to be on the lookout for unscrupulous pavers offering to sell them "leftover" asphalt at a discounted price.
McGraw's office said the "crooks" try to prey on homeowners every spring -- but this year there's a twist to their scheme.
According to the Attorney General's Office, someone using the name Danny Blankenship, operating as Danny Blankenship Asphalt, Paving, Sealing and Patchwork, has been going door-to-door telling homeowners that he has been sealing public streets in their neighborhood. Then, he claims that the government authorizes him to use the leftover asphalt to seal driveways in the neighborhood.
Eugene Elkins of Charleston was a recent victim of the scheme.
Elkins agreed to let Blankenship pave his driveway. After the work was done, Blankenship and his associates pressured Elkins into signing a contract and made him pay more than $4,000 for the shoddy work.
The Attorney General's Office said licensed contractors in West Virginia are required to provide a written contract for any home improvement project more than $250. However, contractors are not required to have insurance, to post a surety or performance bond, or to provide proof of financial responsibility.
McGraw warned consumers to "be careful and do your research before deciding to hire someone."
He provided the following tips to avoid being the victim of a contracting scam:
* Always check with the Contractor Licensing Board to make sure the contractor is licensed;
* Ask for references and be sure to check them;
* Check with the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division to see whether complaints have been filed against the contractor;
* Never pay money in advance for labor or materials;
* Avoid contractors who do not provide a written contract containing all of the terms of the work before the work is started;
* Avoid contractors who can only be reached by leaving a message on an answering machine;
* Avoid contractors who drive unmarked vans or have out-of-state license plates;
* Avoid contractors who pressure you for an immediate decision;
* Avoid contractors who offer a discount for finding them other customers;
* Avoid contractors who quote prices that are obviously too cheap;
* Ask for proof of insurance and find out whether the contractor is bonded. Make sure the contractor takes responsibility for worker injuries; and
* Pay by check or credit card and, if possible, avoid on-the-spot cash payments.
#2 Mar 6, 2012
who is mcgraw?
#3 Mar 6, 2012
What are we supposed to do if we need our drieway done?
#4 Mar 6, 2012
Mcgraw's the state attorney general, clearly stated at the beginning of the article. and if you need your driveway done, look someone up in the phone book under contractors. if they don't personally do them, they will give you the name of someone who does. then do your due diligence to ensure you don't get taken for a ride. anyone from this area knows what names NOT to use, so i see no need in pointing them out. there are a couple around here that have a reputable business and back up their work. and everything you need to do it with can be purchased by anyone at lowe's and its simple enough a child could do it. most important is use some common sense
#5 Mar 6, 2012
Also some of these contractors who post names in stores and even in trading journal are bad news. They give you a price then keep adding onto the price and bring other people for a job that only requires one person...then a skinny woman shows up smoking, and the work gets shoddier cause the one you hired lets the other fellow do part of the work and he is clueless. There was a time when you could save money by letting a handyman neighbor do a job for you, but no more... Just a bunch of crooks showing up wanting to seal your drive ,trim a tree, or cut a tree. all crooks! NEVER NEVER NEVER PAY IN ADVANCE.
#7 Mar 7, 2012
Thank you for adding. i do have a handyman that i use but he gets his work by word-of-mouth advertising cause he does high quality work at prices working folks can afford and i'll tell you he is never lacking in work to do. that's why i don't understand why some feel the need to scam and [email protected] things, if you do a good job and stand behind your work, work will keep coming in. it is not a hard process to get a license. you get the required insurance so that your covered if something unexpected happens. then you find an accountant to help keep track of the taxes you will need to pay. all of this is worth the small investment to keep work coming in. just a little common sense can go a long way....
Saint Paul, MN
#8 Mar 8, 2012
That's right and good advice. I didn't know who to trust when I moved here and I got the wrong ones to pave my long driveway. They claimed to have a license and even had it written on the side of the trucks but it was fake and they had a fake 800 number and fake website on the truck. It never occured to me to check them out first. They charged me double what it was worth and then it fell apart and cracked after less than a year. They used another person's name on the contract and tried all kinds of schemes to get my personal banking info.
When I went to the lawyer they told me to just "get in line" because so many have already been ripped off and are awaiting repayment through the courts.
Better safe than sorry. If you don't know who to trust, just ask around to your neighbors first. And don't trust the name on the contract; have somebody come meet them with you who knows who they are.
#9 Mar 8, 2012
Its not the paving scams no more it s. The tree trimmers. A litte skinny geek in a bright orange truck. Rip us off they stole from us. Beware beware
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