Controversial Company Using Illegal Contracts

Woman Says She Was Intimidated By Workers

A paving company at the center of multiple 6News investigations has been found to be using contracts that violate state law, officials said.

Viewer complaints prompted 6News' Rafael Sanchez to contact Collins Paving twice in the past two years.

In 2009, the company agreed to refund $3,500 on a job involving a couple who said they were misled on pricing, and the business refunded a Beech Grove couple in 2008.

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Jacqueline Lucas, 74, contacted 6News last week after she said she felt intimidated by Collins' employees.

Lucas said a representative knocked on her door and offered to do a patching job on her driveway for $240 a square foot.

She said she believed the work would cost $240 total and was shocked when the company demanded payment of $11,000.

"I didn't answer their calls because I really felt intimidated by them," Lucas said. "I was just sick. I didn't want to wake up on Wednesday morning because I was so scared."

Lucas said the company then dropped the price of the work from $11,000 to $9,000, to $5,724 and to $4,000.

Owner Ben Collins could not provide 6News with a copy of an estimate drawn up for the work at Lucas' home, and would not explain why the job cost what it did.

"I told you I am not speaking to you. Do not ask me another question," he told Sanchez. "It's none of your business."

Lucas paid the company $3,000 for the work, which an independent company told 6News was a reasonable price, unlike the original $11,000.

The company's own contract states that it requires customers to pay half of the amount of the job up front if it's more than $5,000.

6News took the Collins Paving contract to the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office.

Officials said the document violated state law because is stated that be signing, a person gave up their three-day cancellation right.

"Under Indiana law, there is no waiver of the three-day right to cancel," said Deputy Attorney General David Paetzmann.

The provision only applies to businesses making door-to-door solicitations. Valid contracts must also include an address where people can request a cancellation in writing and must explain a customer's three-day right to cancel on a separate sheet of paper.