(Phoenix, Ariz. – July 20, 2007) With the monsoons upon us, Attorney General Terry Goddard reminds Arizona residents to be wary of fraudulent home repair contractors offering their services to consumers whose homes have been damaged by storms.
In addition to bringing wind, rain and dust, summer monsoons also attract unlicensed contractors, including roofers, pool companies and landscapers, that offer home repairs and improvements to residents who have been storm victims. Many of these contractors stop by unexpectedly and say they have extra supplies they want to use up or claim they have been working in the neighborhood and have time to make storm repairs.
Consumers are given a verbal quote but rarely a written estimate for the job. Once completed, the homeowner typically receives a final bill that is hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars more than the original quote.
These contractors demand immediate payment and in some cases refuse to leave, seeking to pressure the consumer into paying the full amount billed.
Here are some tips for Arizona consumers to follow when choosing a storm-damage repair contractor:
- Be alert to any contractors or repair workers, including roofers, pool companies and landscapers, who unexpectedly show up at your home after a storm.
- Be wary of contractors who take a “quick look” around your property, then say you need a major repair.
- Be cautious of contractors who claim they are working in the neighborhood and have time to fix your house or have leftover supplies from another job.
- Hire a contractor licensed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
- Get written estimates from several contractors.
- Make sure the scope of the project, the price and any other material terms are in a written contract.
- Request a list of references and check them before agreeing to hire a contractor.
- Never allow yourself to be hurried into making a decision. Reputable contractors will not try to pressure you into hiring them.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763; in Tucson at 520.628.6504; or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1.800.352.8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has 35 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours are posted on the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov.
Please visit the Attorney General’s Web site to sign up for scam alerts and weekly messages from Attorney General Goddard.