LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Robert Stevens, owner of Pro-Pave Asphalt, Robert Stevens Construction and RS Asphalt in Texarkana, for multiple violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA).
According to a news release, eight consumers have reported losses of nearly $60,000 resulting from Stevens’ aggressive and deceptive sales tactics.
“Arkansans, including our most vulnerable citizens, must be protected from aggressive business practices that attempt to skirt the law and demand exorbitant payments before work is performed or services rendered,” said Attorney General Rutledge.
“I will continue to hold bad actors accountable for their deceptive business practices.”
Rutledge says eight consumer complaints received by the Attorney General’s Office between April 2016 and August 2019 reveal a common scheme. Stevens or his workers typically pull up to consumers’ houses in an asphalt truck, claim to have some leftover asphalt to sell at a “deeply discounted price,” and provide only vague, misleading, and incomplete estimates of the total cost.
Stevens then immediately begins laying asphalt while failing to ever inform the consumer of their three-day right to cancel as required by the HSSA. After the work is completed or nearing completion, Stevens demands an exorbitant and unexpected payment amount and regularly threatens or intimidates consumers until they pay.
Six of the eight unresolved complaints are from senior citizens over the age of 60 and span the State from Manila to Gravette and Texarkana. Stevens can face a $10,000 fine for each violation of the ADTPA and HSSA and is subject to an additional $10,000 penalty per violation for targeting elderly consumers.
General Rutledge encourages all Arkansans to demand written estimates of the total project price before any construction work begins.
For more tips to help avoid falling victim to bad actors, or to file a consumer-related claim with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, call (800) 482-8982, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov.