4/17/2017 12:39:00 PM BBB Offers Tips For Avoiding Home Improvement Scams
Page Castrodale, Director of Marketing BBB of Southern Piedmont
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As the weather gets warmer, Better Business Bureau sees an uptick in searches for home improvement-related businesses. Unfortunately, with home improvement season comes home improvement scams. The recent Scam Tracker Risk Report revealed scams of this kind are among the riskiest because, not only are you more likely to be exposed, but you’re also more likely to lose money – and lots of it.
So what should you look for? And how can you protect yourself? Better Business Bureau offers these tips to protect yourself and your home:
Make sure the contract is thorough. It should include a detailed explanation of what is to be done, the materials to be used and a completion date, as well as an agreed upon price and method of payment. Keep copies of contracts or guarantees.
Obtain verbal promises in writing.
Recognize that you may have a 3-day right of cancellation privilege. According to the NCDOJ, in some instances, you have the right to cancel certain transactions even after you have signed a contract or agreement. In these cases, the seller should put this in the contract.
Obtain several estimates before making a decision.
Look for payment “red flags.” Cash-only deals, high-pressure sales tactics, or high upfront payments should make you pause.
Get as much information as possible. Always obtain a driver’s license identification, license plate number or verifiable name, address and phone number when dealing with individuals with whom you are not familiar or on whom you have no prior information.
Ask for references.
Know the law. Work with businesses that have proper licenses and insurance, and make sure they will obtain the necessary permits to get the work done.
For more information on avoiding home improvement scams or to search for BBB accredited businesses, visit www.bbb.org.