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Beware of bitumen bandits

13 January 2021

South Australians are again being warned against accepting unsolicited offers for bitumen work.

South Australians are again being warned against accepting unsolicited offers for bitumen work following a recent report being investigated by Consumer and Business Services.

“Itinerant tradies often go door to door, claiming to have some leftover bitumen from roadworks. They offer to work on a consumer’s driveway for a reduced price,” Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said.

“These people aren’t licensed, and they take advantage of people, often failing to provide written quotes and then charging more than originally agreed and aggressively seeking payment.

“Their price may be tempting, but the work is sub-standard and often needs fixing, leaving consumers significantly out of pocket. 

“It is all part of a scam that can be costly and distressing to those who are unfortunate enough to be targeted and fall victim to it.” 

Mr Soulio said the recent report involved a Pooraka business, which agreed to pay $3000 only to be told after the concreting work was done that the cost was $12,000.  

He said consumers should be careful when dealing with any unsolicited offers for bitumen work, and never get work done without checking that someone is licensed to do the job.

“These so-called ‘bitumen bandits’ have previously targeted homes, small business and commercial sites.

“You should never accept an unsolicited offer to do bitumen work without shopping around.

If you have concerns about an approach from a tradesperson, contact CBS on 131-882. 

To check whether a tradesman is licensed, you can also check the public register on the CBS website at https://www.cbs.sa.gov.au/find-a-licence-holder