COLUMBIA, Ca., – Nov. 26, 2012 – A Columbia, Calif., woman says she now knows the importance of checking licensing information after a company failed to complete a $9,500 driveway resurfacing job.
The woman told Better Business Bureau that Gundlach Asphalt Maintenance
approached her home earlier this year offering to resurface her driveway. After the company presented a business card citing a license number, she assumed they were a licensed contractor and paid for the entire job upfront.
“I didn’t even think to verify the license number on the business card was really for that company,” said the woman. “I had no reason to think they wouldn’t be truthful.”
The company allegedly completed a portion of the job, but failed to return to seal the blacktop. The woman then filed a complaint with Better Business Bureau. BBB found that the license number on the business card is not a Contractors State License Board license number for the company or individuals who visited the woman, but is an inactive license number for a roofing company located out of Fresno. The license has been inactive since 2011, before the company contacted the consumer.
The consumer hired another company to seal her driveway in preparation for the rainy season, but said wishes she had checked the license number beforehand.
“The company responded to me finally by telling me they no longer had the equipment to finish the job and that they didn’t have the money to repay me,” said the consumer. “The woman offered to work off her debt by doing odd jobs, but the man basically told me I was out of luck. I don’t know if I’ll ever get my money back.”
“Before making a purchase decision you should obtain several bids, verify licensing and insurance, and check references,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB serving Northeast California. “Finding a reliable and trustworthy contractor will be worth the effort. Be sure to check with a trusted source, like the BBB at necal.bbb.org.”
Gundlach Asphalt Maintenance
currently has an “F” rating with Better Business Bureau for failing to have a license through the Contractors State License Board. BBB wrote the company Nov. 7, 2012 requesting licensing information. As of Nov. 26, 2012, the company has not responded.
BBB offers the following tips before hiring a contractor:
- A down payment should typically be no more than 10 percent of the total price or $1,000, whichever is less. In some cases, a contractor may have obtained a Blanket Performance and Payment Bond which allows them to charge more than the aforementioned. If a company has obtained this, it can be found on their license.
- If the company is licensed, read the information listed with the license. Look for enforcement actions or other alerts. If the contractor has employees, make sure the company has worker’s compensation insurance.
- Ensure the contract includes an estimated start and finish date, a schedule of payments to be made and a detailed description of work to be done.
About Better Business Bureau
As a business-supported nonprofit organization, Better Business Bureau's mission is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior, helps consumer identify reliable businesses through BBB Business Reviews, sets standards for truthful advertising, evaluates and provides reviews of charities, educates consumers, and offers dispute resolution services. More than 87 million consumers rely on BBB for Business Reviews, consumer tips and scam alerts. To learn more, please visit www.necal.bbb.org.