It’s been so warm lately that even the paving scammers are out.
“Spring and summer are prime seasons for bogus door-to-door offers, so consumers need to be wary,” state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William R. Rubenstein said Monday. “We’ve learned that traveling pavers have already started their rounds in the state, and more fly-by-night operators offering chimney repair and magazine sales can’t be far behind. It’s important that consumers be extra careful and vigilant. Don’t let anyone in your home for any reason unless you’re sure you know who they are — scammers have been known to commit burglaries if given the opportunity.”
The DCP warns that traveling pavers push “underpriced, inferior driveway paving and sealing services.”
Watch out for unmarked utility trucks and door-to-door salespeople who tell consumers about leftover asphalt available at bargain rates. They’ll ask for cash payments or checks made out to cash.
“If something or someone seems suspicious in your neighborhood, please report it to your local police department,” Rubenstein said.
More tips from Rubenstein:
>> Find a local paving contractor if your driveway needs repair. Don’t fall for pitches delivered door to door.
>> Verify that the contractor you hire is registered in Connecticut as a home improvement contractor by contacting the Department of Consumer Protection.
>> Get the contractor’s certificates of insurance liability and workman’s compensation coverage from the contractor’s insurance provider.
>> Check with your town for any required permits, and have them in place before work begins.
>> Have your contractor provide all warranties in writing.
>> Always get a signed and dated contract for paving work, since it will protect you from potential damages or misunderstandings. According to state law, the following must be included in writing.
— the date the contract was signed
— a start date and end date for the job
— the price, (you can request that labor and materials be broken out separately)
— the contractor’s name, address and home improvement contractor number
— a 3-day Notice of Cancellation that allows you 72 hours to change your mind, along with clear instructions on how to contact the company to cancel that contract.
To verify a contractor’s registration, please call the Department of Consumer Protection at 860-713-6110, toll-free at 1-800-842-2649, or visit the agency website at www.ct.gov/dcp.