Avoid Service & Contractor Scams

March 17, 2014 

Avoid Service and Contractor Scams

Take measures before writing a check for home maintenance and repairs.

Be cautious of people who solicit door-to-door, arrive in unmarked vehicles, have a post office box or temporary address, claim they are from another county or state to help disaster victims or are in the area doing work and noticed your home needs repairs.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

• If your home is in need of repair, you should get at least three itemized estimates and check each contractor's address, license, and complaint history. This can be done by calling the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at (850) 487-1395 or by visiting their website at www.myfloridalicense.com.

• Never agree to a cash-only deal. Ask for a written estimate and inspect the terms carefully before signing and agreeing to any offer.

• Honest contractors earn the majority of their business through referrals from satisfied customers. They don't have to travel door-to-door to find business.

• Ask contractors to justify their bids by listing the work/materials that are included. This allows you to make valid comparisons between any estimates.

Source: Florida Division of Consumer Affairs

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