Consumer Alert – Government Investigating Consumer Complaints Against B.C. Paving Company

For immediate release, Edmonton, June 28, 2000

Alberta Government Services is investigating numerous complaints from northern Alberta seniors alleging misrepresentation by a paving company operating as Power Paving (BC) Ltd.

The department began its investigation after a Grande Prairie-area man complained his parents had been deceived into having their driveway paved by a crew representing Power Paving. He claimed the crew offered a discount rate on asphalt left over from a previous job, but failed to provide a total cost estimate when asked, and then misrepresented the price per unit.

Government Services is aware of at least 20 other people in and around Grande Prairie, most of them seniors, with similar complaints against the same company.

Allegations against the company in these cases include misleading and deceiving consumers by failing to disclose the unit of measurement used in determining costs; misrepresenting materials as being left over from previous jobs; failing to provide a written or verbal estimate of the total cost as requested by the consumer prior to starting the work; and substantial overpricing. There are also complaints regarding the poor quality of the work performed including preparation, packing and quality of the asphalt.

At least one of the people affiliated with Power Paving has been the subject of similar complaints to Government Services as recently as last summer.

Consumers are warned not to agree to have any work performed unless the full costs are disclosed in writing before the work is started. As well, if the contractor demands payment up front, consumers are entitled to demand proof of an active Pre-paid Contractors license as required under the Fair Trading Act.

The Fair Trading Act allows for a maximum fine of $100,000 or up to three times the amount obtained by the offence, or up to two years in prison, or both. It also allows for the courts to order restitution to victims.

Individuals in the Grande Prairie area who have recently had this type of work done are requested to contact the Alberta Government Services Consumer Information Centre toll free at 1-877-427-4088. Additional information on the Fair Trading Act is available on the Government Services Website at www.gov.ab.ca/gs.

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Visit our website at www.gov.ab.ca/gs

Contact:

Bart Johnson - Director of Communications, Alberta Government Services - 780-415-6051