Nov 22, 2012

BBB gives warning on traveling paving company

DAYTON – Your Better Business Bureau warns people to keep an eye out for a traveling paving company reported to be soliciting business locally. A Safeway Paving representative approached a Dayton business offering to pave the business’ parking lot with leftover material for a low cost. Fortunately, the local company checked out the company before agreeing to hire it for the job.

Safeway Paving, which was also reported as canvassing northeast Ohio, has an F rating with your BBB. Your BBB assigns letter grades to local businesses ranging from A+ to F. The letter grade system represents your BBB’s degree of confidence businesses are operating in trustworthy manners and will make good faith efforts to resolve customer concerns. Safeway Paving has an F rating because:

* Your BBB doesn’t have sufficient information to determine how long this business has been operating

* Government action(s) against business

* Your BBB doesn’t have sufficient background information on this business

One of the company owners, Cornelius Stanley, is also reported to be the owner of CVS Paving in Nashua, NH, which also has an F rating with your BBB.

The company provided the potential customer a phone number, which is reported to be a phone number with a Cleveland area code. The company is not registered with the Ohio Secretary of State. It also provided a paving license for doing business in New Hampshire. However, a license isn’t required to do paving in New Hampshire or Ohio. The vehicle the salesman was driving also didn’t appear to be local. It had a New Hampshire license plate.

According to your BBB’s business review on the company, Cornelius Stanley pleaded guilty on August 19, 2010, in New Hampshire to a charge of theft by deception. He was given a one-year suspended prison sentence, ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and required to pay $200 restitution to an auto dealer he swindled. He’s also barred from doing paving and seal coating in New Hampshire for five years.

Cornelius is part of the Stanley family that has a history of conducting paving scams. In June 2010, Cornelius’ son, Joseph Stanley, pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts. According to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, Joseph Stanley would approach homeowners and businesses claiming his paving crew was working in the area and had leftover asphalt. He would quote prices of $200-$300 then would demand several thousand dollars more once the work was completed. Victims would often pay out of fear, confusion, intimidation or a desire to get the pavers to leave. Joseph was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay over $30,000 in restitution to victims. Another son, Thomas Stanley, also pleaded guilty to theft by deception, a felony, and was given a one-year suspended prison sentence, as part of the same paving scam.

John North, BBB president and CEO, says, “This is why it’s important to check out every company you’re considering doing business with. Reputable companies will be happy to allow you to check them out. And, the short time it may take you to do so can save you time, money and headaches.”

Your Better Business Bureau offers tips on what to look for when dealing with a business going door-to-door:

* Don’t be pressured into anything. They’ll try and wear you down until you finally say “yes”.

* Just say “no”. Ask them nicely to leave. If they don’t, they’re breaking the law. Call the police.

* Never let strangers inside your home. Talk to them through the door.

* Look for identification: such as a business logo, business card or a marked vehicle with the company’s information on it.

* Get everything in writing, including price, warranty and any other conditions if you do decide to do business with a door-to-door salesperson.

* Do your research. Tell them you will get back with them.

* Be wary if they ask for cash up front.

* Beware of fast talkers. They will start filling out orders before you’ve even made up your mind.

* Ask for references, so you can check to see if customers have been happy with the product or service.

* Check on companies with your Better Business Bureau. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

If you or someone you know has encountered a questionable business, a complaint can be filed with your Better Business Bureau, local law enforcement and Attorney General’s office.

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