Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge warns residents to be ware of scammers who will be out to take advantage of Arkansans following storms the weekend of March 10.
Storms brought bouts of large hail that has likely damaged cars and homes throughout Saline, Grant and Jefferson counties, according to a news release.
“After enduring damage caused by severe storms, Arkansans must remain vigilant and look out for scammers offering to repair the dings and dents caused by hail,” Rutledge said. “Repairs can already be costly and time consuming without con artists intentionally charging exorbitant prices for minimal or incomplete work. These practices prey on Arkansans during difficult times and will not be tolerated.”
The Attorney General offers the following tips to car and home owners seeking repair services for their homes and vehicles:
• Beware of door-to-door solicitors selling home-repair work. To find someone reputable, ask friends or family who have recently used a home-repair contractor or professional. Consider contacting the Arkansas Contractor’s Licensing Board to verify that the contractor is licensed and has not had any complaints filed against them.
• Avoid any home-repair solicitor who asks for complete, upfront payment or who will not provide you with a signed contract.
• Get at least three written estimates. A reputable contractor or professional will never try to pressure you to obtain your business.
• Obtain and check at least three references from your contractor or professional.
• Check with the Attorney General’s office or the Better Business Bureau to find out if the company has a complaint history.
• Obtain a written and detailed contract that includes the grade, quality, name brand and quantity of any materials to be used. The name and address of the contractor must be on the contract.
• Avoid paying for the entire job up front. One-third paid in advance, one-third paid halfway through the job and one-third paid upon completion is a better plan, helping assure that your project will be completed. Never make the final payment until you have had an opportunity to inspect the work.
• Remember that all contracts resulting from a home-solicitation sale generally must include a buyer’s right to cancel within three business days after the contract is signed.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.