posted at 11:05 am Wed Oct 1st, 2014 by (WherezIt_Staff)
The Attorney General's Office has received multiple complaints from Vermont agohomeowners who have answered a knock at their doors and then been conned into paying a transient paving contractor who says "we have some extra asphalt and can save you money if we can do the job now."
These offers are almost always scams and consumers who pay will be ripped off.
Consumers have reported to the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program that the jobs are not completed, the work performed is shoddy, and the contractor demands significantly more money than the original bargain. The checks are then immediately cashed and the money is gone.
These traveling contractors have been operating in the Barre/Berlin area and there is reason to believe that they may be operating in the Rutland County area in the near future.
Be advised that you should never give immediate payment to a contractor or vendor who shows up at your door. "Home improvement fraud strikes at your biggest investment - your home," says Attorney General Bill Sorrell. Most contractors, including pavers, are not required to be licensed in Vermont, so consumers must be diligent about checking the facts before making any payment.
Protect yourself from home improvement fraud:
1. Get recommendations and check references. Ask questions about the contractor's work quality and timeliness. Find out if there were any billing or cost issues, and how those were resolved.
2. Get a bid or contract document that describes the specific scope of work for the price to be paid. Make sure that the contract contains the required written notice of a 3-day right to cancel and receive a full refund.
3. Get complete contact information from your contractor. Require the full name, address and telephone numbers for the business and the individual contractor.
4. Ask for the name, contact information and policy number for the contractor's liability insurance company, and confirm with the insurance company that the policy is active.
5. Check complaint history. Before you hire a contractor, contact the Consumer Assistance Program to get the complaint history for the contractor, check the State Home Improvement Fraud Registry, and check the Better Business Bureau website.
Visit the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance website at https://www.uvm.edu/consumer/ for more information. Contact CAP with questions at (800) 649-2424 (toll free in VT) or (802) 656-3183. If you believe you have been the victim of home improvement fraud, you may file a complaint with CAP and also file a report of home improvement fraud with your local police department or Vermont State Police.
Montpelier, VT 05602 (Set as Local)
Barre, VT 05641 (Set as Local)
Berlin, VT 05602 (Set as Local)
Rutland, VT 05701 (Set as Local)