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Beware of Scammers in the Asphalt Industry: Understanding the “Tail Light Guarantee”

In the asphalt industry, a robust array of skilled, qualified, and ethical professionals are engaged in delivering high-quality services and products. However, the existence of scammers seeking to exploit both contractors and customers is an unfortunate reality. One such deceptive practice is the so-called “Tail Light Guarantee,” a fraudulent scheme wherein unscrupulous individuals provide substandard services and then disappear, leaving the customer with poor quality, unreliable work that often necessitates costly repairs.

Recognizing the Tail Light Guarantee

The term “Tail Light Guarantee” refers to the dubious assurance provided by scammers that their work is reliable and guaranteed only until their vehicle’s tail lights are out of sight. Victims are left with inferior asphalt work that quickly deteriorates, and the responsible scammers are long gone, evading accountability and leaving customers to deal with the fallout.

Common Red Flags:

1. Unsolicited Offers:

Scammers often approach property owners with unsolicited offers, claiming they have leftover asphalt from a nearby project and offering to provide services at a significantly discounted rate.

2. High-Pressure Sales Tactics:

Unscrupulous operators employ aggressive sales tactics, pressuring customers to make immediate decisions without providing ample time to consider the offer or conduct due diligence.

3. Lack of Documentation:

Legitimate contractors provide detailed written contracts outlining the scope of work, cost, and warranty terms. Scammers, in contrast, may avoid written agreements or offer vague, incomplete documentation.

4. Cash-only Transactions:

Reputable companies typically accept multiple forms of payment, including checks and credit cards, while scammers might insist on cash-only transactions to avoid a paper trail.

5. No Physical Address:

A legitimate asphalt company should have a permanent physical address and contact information. Be wary of contractors who only provide a phone number.

Avoiding Asphalt Scams:

1. Conduct Thorough Research:

Before hiring an asphalt contractor, research their reputation, verify references, and check online reviews. Ensure the company has a physical address and valid contact information.

2. Seek Multiple Quotes:

Obtain quotes from multiple contractors to ensure pricing is competitive and reasonable. This also helps in understanding the scope of work and allows for a comparison of warranty offers.

3. Insist on a Written Contract:

A detailed written contract should clearly outline the scope of work, materials used, payment terms, and warranty information. Never proceed with a contractor unwilling to provide such documentation.

4. Verify Licensing and Insurance:

Ask for proof of licensing and insurance. This protects you from liability in the event of an accident and ensures the contractor meets state and local regulations.

5. Report Suspicious Activity:

If you encounter potential scammers, report them to your local authorities and the Better Business Bureau. This helps in protecting other consumers from falling victim to such fraudulent schemes.

The Role of the Asphalt Industry:

The asphalt industry must play a proactive role in educating consumers about these deceptive practices and promoting ethical business conduct. By raising awareness about the “Tail Light Guarantee” and other scams, the industry can protect its reputation and integrity while safeguarding customers from exploitation.


The “Tail Light Guarantee” is a deceptive practice that threatens the credibility of the asphalt industry and exploits unsuspecting consumers. It is crucial for consumers to be vigilant, conduct thorough research, insist on detailed written contracts, and verify the legitimacy of contractors. The asphalt industry should continue to advocate for ethical practices and consumer education to combat scams and uphold industry standards.

By staying informed and exercising caution, both contractors and customers can contribute to a safer, more trustworthy asphalt industry, fostering a professional environment that values quality, integrity, and accountability.

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