PIERRE, S.D.- Attorney General Marty Jackley is warning South Dakota consumers and business owners about transient paving and roofing scams that are currently targeting South Dakota citizens. The Consumer Protection Division has received numerous complaints about out-of-state transients going door-to-door promising low estimates because of left over materials from a completed project down the road or needing to keep crews busy between jobs. Consumers and business owners are reporting poor quality jobs at exaggerated prices, often double or triple what was originally quoted.
“Every single year my Consumer Protection Division receives numerous complaints against transient contractors,” said Jackley. “Their main goal is to trick consumers into making hasty decisions in purchasing an inferior product, generally at an inflated price. Catching the consumer or business off guard is their most effective tactic.”
Jackley states that it is important for individuals and businesses to be cautious when dealing with these transient pavers. Oftentimes they place flyers or brochures on your car window or at your door with a South Dakota phone number or address as a contact number. Even though they claim to have an address in South Dakota, oftentimes this is just a mail drop.
Here are a few precautions that may help prevent becoming a victim:
· Do not be pressured into a quick agreement.
· Request a written contact specifying in detail the work to be done and the agreed upon price.
· Be cautious if cash-only terms are required.
· Do not make full payment before the job is satisfactorily completed.
· Ask for local references and call these references to make sure they were satisfied.
· Get bids from local companies to compare prices.
· Consumers have a three day right-to-cancel, which should be stated on the receipt of contract.
· Sellers must provide the consumer with a copy of the contract or receipt at the time of the sale. This receipt must show the date of the sale, the name and address of the merchant, and a statement to the buyer of his or her right to cancel the contact within three days. After proper cancellation, the seller has 10 days to refund your money.
· Remember that a legitimate offer does not require you to have the work done immediately. Do not get pressured into sale.
· Ask to see their current South Dakota tax license. State law requires all persons selling products or services to have a current South Dakota sales or contractors’ excise tax license. But remember that even though they may have this license it does not mean that you will be able to locate them once the work is complete.
Contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org
with questions or concerns regarding transient contractors.