State officials are issuing a warning after receiving several complaints about the owner of EB Paving and Sealcoating, who operates mainly in the eastern and central parts of the state, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection.
The company has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau and officials from the state said they have received 19 complaints about Edward Branciforte since 2008 and they are asking anyone who has done business with him or interacted with him to come forward. His license has been suspended and state officials said Branciforte might also be operating under the name of a friend, Junie Lynn Leprie, to make his business appear legitimate.
According to the Department of Consumer Protection, Branciforte typically shows up unannounced at a prospective customers’ door and offers paving services and they are urging residents to be wary of any home improvement contractor who goes door-to-door to solicit business.
In many cases, Branciforte doesn’t include a price in his initial negotiation or contract, and then presents a large invoice after the work, which is often substandard, is completed, according to Consumer Protection.
Among the complaints were that the company charged a client nearly $2,000 for a paving job in 2015, including $1,300 for the original work, then $509 for repairs of sinkhole after the contractor paved over an old wel..
“One of our goals at DCP is to not overburden businesses that play by the rules, but to make sure that bad actors are held accountable. We’re working hard to keep our investigations efficient, and that means making sure consumers know when they can help. That’s why we’re asking for whatever information the public may have as we continue to gather facts concerning his paving activities,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris said in a statement. “It’s also a priority for us to educate consumers about how to identify bad actors so that consumers can protect themselves and avoid waiting to get their hard-earned money back through a legal process or our complaint process.”
Consumers should not do business with contractors who:
- Show up at your door unexpected offering a great deal.
- Are unable to verify they are registered appropriately with DCP.
- Don’t present contracts compliant with state law. Requirements can be found on DCP’s website here). Contracts should always include a definite price, begin and end dates, and a three-day grace period during which the consumer can cancel the contract.
- Refuse to answer questions about their work plan or your contract.
- Can’t provide references.
- Pressure you to commit to their services right away to make sure you get the cheapest deal possible.
- Attempt to get you to pay all or a large portion of the contract price up front or any amounts by cash, money order or other untraceable method of payment.
Consumers can file complaints or provide information about Branciforte by emailing email@example.com or calling us at (860) 713-6100 and Toll Free in CT at (800) 842-2649.