Gephardt: Beware Of Door-To-Door Asphalt Contractors 

May 28, 2021, 5:15 PM | Updated: 9:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Repave your driveway for half the price? It sounds like a good deal, but Utahns who take the bait often find themselves with severe buyer’s remorse, according to complaints lodged with the KSL Investigators and state officials.  

“Every year in the spring, we have this over and over and over again,” said Mark Steinagel, director of Utah’s division of occupational and professional licensing. “We like to call them ‘travelers.’”  

“Travelers” because it’s hard to call someone a scammer when, at the end of the day, a product and service that was paid for was received. Still, consumers reported feeling scammed after their dealings with some door-to-door asphalt contractors. 

Here’s how it tends to work: 

  • You get a knock on your door from someone saying they have leftover asphalt from a nearby job.
  • The contractor claims they don’t want the supplies to go to waste, so they’ll repave your driveway for a fraction of the price they normally charge.
  • Then, the contractor either doesn’t finish the job, or it’s so lousy that the homeowner has to pay more to have it all removed and get the job done right. 

State regulators said these “travelers never have a business license or even a home base, which makes it very difficult to bust them. 

Steinagel said consumers were their own best line of defense against entering into one of these deals. It can be tricky, he said, since the pitch is usually high-pressure.  

“This happens even more in a hot market like we have right now,” Steinagel said. “People may have a harder time finding a contractor — that’s a real issue — but because of that, they kind of let their guard down and are willing to enter into these deals.”  

Steinagel said the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) in Utah gets “dozens” of complaints a year worth “many hundreds of thousands of dollars,” but he suspects the number of victims is much higher.  

“Those are just the ones that call DOPL, which are probably a fraction of those that are dealing with these problems,” he said.  

If someone knocks on your door with a great deal on asphalt, it’s certainly worth at least taking a beat to do a little due diligence. 

Make sure you get everything in writing and read it, Steinagel recommended. Often these travelers don’t offer a contract. Some others will present contracts that spell in fine print that the contractor doesn’t have to do a good job. 

“Include that you’re not going to pay until you’re satisfied, or put the specifics of what you expect to be done in writing,” Steinagel added. 

Also, hop on your computer to make sure the company is actually licensed at www.dopl.utah.gov or call DOPL. Doing so helps ensure that if something does go wrong, you will be able to track them down. 

Steinagel also suggested checking references and online reviews, or with the Better Business Bureau. 

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

Judge in robes sits in courtroom...

Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL TV

Judge rules public gets to see Utah attorney general’s work calendar

A judge sided with KSL, finding the Utah Attorney General’s work calendar is a record the public has a right to see.

5 hours ago

FILE: Credit and deposit cards on a computer keyboard. Electronic commerce, business. Online shoppi...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Utah family says their bank refuses to reimburse fraudulent charges

A Taylorsville family says a hacker drained thousands of dollars out of their bank accounts and left them overdrawn by tens of thousands more. They thought federal banking rules protected them, but they say their bank has refused to reimburse them for those losses.

23 hours ago

Judge Patrick Corum hears arguments about Attorney General Sean Reyes’ work calendar on Monday, F...

Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL TV

Judge rules public can see Utah attorney general’s work calendar

KSL and the Utah Attorney General’s Office squared off in court over whether the A.G.’s calendar should be publicly available.

1 day ago

(KSL TV)...

Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera

5 things to know about KSL’s legal fight for transparency

How much should Utahns get to know about how elected officials spend their time on the clock? The question is at the center of a legal fight taking KSL to court Monday.

2 days ago

Homeowner Mark Shea tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt he paid someone to build a deck who abandoned the j...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Homeowners ask why authorities can’t shut down an unlicensed contractor

Two Salt Lake County homeowners hired and paid someone to build decks for their homes but say he left the jobs unfinished. Turns out, he’s been cited by the state for not having a contractor’s license before.

5 days ago

Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, and Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, react to a reporter’s qu...

Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox, KSL TV

‘More secrecy’: Utah lawmakers advance bills targeting government transparency

Several bills would chip away at government transparency in Utah, including one proposal that’s a direct response to KSL’s fight for public records. A First Amendment attorney says he’s alarmed.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Gephardt: Beware Of Door-To-Door Asphalt Contractors