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RCMP have received reports of a fraudulent company in Burns Lake scamming businesses and residents with paving driveways and parking lots.
Police are warning the public about the scam and advise you to be cautious when approached by anyone offering a service of product where you pay money before the contract is fulfilled.
People have received poor quality work where it appears prep work has started but no paving has been done.
These people paid up front and are left with an unfinished product.
Corporal Madonna Saunderson is with the North District RCMP and she wants to remind everyone to be cautious.
Here are some tips to help consumers when dealing with door to door businesses:
•Know whom you are dealing with. Personnel from these businesses should have no problem providing identification & documentation.
•Confirm your seller’s name, address, and telephone number. Employees should know the company address and phone number.
•If an offer is too good to be true, it almost always is. Products and services priced way below market value should cause some red flags.
•Call the businesses’ customer service line. Check to see if the phone number works and if it does, ask them questions.
•Know your cancellation rights. BC’s consumer contracts regulation gives you 10 days to cancel your door-to-door sales contract for any reason. You also have up to a year to cancel if your contract doesn’t include certain information (such as the business’s name and total price and payment terms).
•Be cautious of down payments and keep a copy of your contract. BC’s consumer contracts regulation also states that if you’re asked to make a down payment, it can’t be more than 10 per cent of the total cost or $100 – the lesser of the two. You must also receive a copy of the contract at the time of signing or it’s not binding.
•Ask questions about prize incentives. Surveys or prize incentives are tactics that can be used by some door-to-door salespeople who want to gain access to your home and run you through sales presentations. Make an informed decision and be sure you want the service or product before accepting any free gifts.
•Do your research. Before signing any contract or committing to a purchase, it’s always a good idea to get more information first – ask our friends or neighbors about their experience or do some research about the company online. You can also contact your local Better Business Bureau, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and Consumer Protection BC, to enquire about the business.
•Don’t rush. Ask the sales person for some time to think about the purchase. A legitimate salesperson will not pressure you. And remember that it’s also okay to say no.