MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – If a paving company comes knocking on your door offering to pave your driveway with a leftover load of hot asphalt at rock bottom prices, you may want to think twice.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a statewide warning about driveway paving scams that tend to spike during the spring.
The BBB said it’s a baiting scam, and said folks need to be careful or they could fall hook, line, and sinker.
“This is the biggest bait to a scam that we see in home improvement scams,” said Kathleen Calligan, CEO BBB of Middle Tennessee.
A Rutherford County man, who didn’t want us to reveal his name, said he was mowing his yard when a paving company stopped by one late afternoon in March and offered to pave his driveway on the spot.
“[He] said they had some hot asphalt they needed to get rid of it and it had to go that night,” the man told News 2.
On the surface, he said everything appeared to be on the up-and-up.
“He gave me a price of $30 a square yard, and then he went down to $27 a square yard,” he said. “He made it sound like a great deal, saying the going rate was $42.”
So the man agreed to have half his driveway paved for what he thought would be roughly $1,200 to $1,500.
He said the company paved the entire driveway without his permission and wanted to charge $3,741. They settled for $3,400.
Once he realized he could have been scammed, he had already been taken to the bank.
“Before I could cancel that check, I tried to the next morning he had already cashed it at my credit union,” the man said. “A scam operation. I hate that I was a victim of it.”
A woman who owns several rental properties in the same neighborhood also filed a report with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and said the company offered to pave three driveways for roughly $1,300 each, totaling $3,900.
She said by the time the two-hour job was done, the bill rose to $11,000. The company tried to settle with the woman for $8,000, according to the incident report.
The woman felt she was being scammed so she decided not to pay.
The same company approached neighbor Daniel Wade.
“[He] quoted me like $78 a square foot and said it would be about $7,000 for my driveway,” Wade said. He didn’t fall for it.
“They were real adamant, so I just told them no because they were too pushy about it,” Wade said. “Definitely driveway robbery. They were trying to rob me of about $4,000. I’m a businessman so I knew what they were trying to do.”
“It’s definitely driveway robbery,” Calligan with BBB added, saying warmer weather brings out driveway paving scammers.
“Just like the spring flowers pop up, these driveway pavers will swoop down over Middle Tennessee and they’ll be going door to door,” Calligan said.
BBB officials said the product these type companies use is not very good quality.
“Once that rain hits this driveway, you’re going to see that that asphalt wasn’t good at all. It’s going to be running down your driveway, and it’s going to be sticky when you walk on it,” Calligan said.
News 2 reached out to the owner of the company, who we’ve decided not to name, to get his side of the story.
The owner said he would have his attorney get in touch with us, but so far we haven’t heard from anyone.
The reason these customers feel they were scammed is because they were quoted one price, but once the work was completed, the unnamed company demanded a higher price.
The BBB says that’s a deceptive sales practice, and if homeowners want to have their driveway paved, they have a list of reputable companies listed on their website with their ratings.