Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
contact add event advertise 

Beware of Deceptive Home Improvement Offers


The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is urging consumers to be aware of home improvement offers by individuals who use unethical business practices to gain entry into their homes, and then use illegal, high-pressure sales or scare tactics to up-sell unneeded services or equipment.

"Service advertisements are common from the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning industry, especially during hot or cold weather," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "We're noticing a significant number of consumer complaints related to this sector, but we also believe it's important to protect and uphold the reputation of more than 11,000 licensed and honest contractors in the HVAC industry and other trades."

Many of the complaints CSLB is receiving are from older adults who are falling victim to unscrupulous operators who make promises of low-cost equipment service over the phone, only to have onsite technicians make false statements that persuade them to increase their purchase. (Only the licensed contractor or salespeople for a contracting company who are registered with CSLB are authorized to sell additional services or work.)

In one case, an elderly woman was persuaded to sign over her home to the company. In a different case, an older property owner was convinced that all of her home's ductwork needed replacing but, when a second opinion was obtained, it was determined that repair work was unnecessary.

CSLB asks California property owners to stay vigilant about low-cost home improvement offers for cooling, electrical, plumbing or any other similar "tune-up" offers that may not be what they seem.

  • Be wary of telemarketers offering special deals for air duct cleaning or seasonal HVAC tune-ups. Many are calling from "boiler room" operations or call centers that pretend to be different types of service and repair companies, and make multiple calls until a homeowner takes the bait for a service call.
  • Always ask for the state contractor license number before considering any offer.
  • Make informed decisions about hiring a contractor or company by first checking CSLB's website and review the contractor's detail page to assure the license is in good standing. 
  • If you're not sure about a company's offer, get a second opinion from a different, licensed contractor or company. 
  • Talk to your utility company to verify the accuracy of costs and potential savings the telemarketer offers for HVAC systems.
  • Make sure the contract contains the notice about the three-day right to cancel.
    It is equally important for consumers to pay attention to the work contract. If your home's operating systems happen to fail and you call a company for immediate service, remember that your three-day right to cancel the contract is different depending on if it is a service and repair contract or a standard home improvement contract.


  • The work requested is for an emergency replacement or fix; contact is initiated by the customer on short notice.
  • The total price for labor and materials is $750 or less.
  • The contract document should be printed with the title "Service and Repair Contract."
  • The contract document includes room for a signature, the date and a statement that reads: "YOUR RIGHTS TO CANCEL BEFORE WORK BEGINS."
  • The three-day right to cancel ends as soon as the contract is signed and work begins, unless the contractor fails to comply with any of the specified requirements.
  • The contractor must not sell goods or services beyond what is reasonable and necessary to take care of the problem being repaired.
  • No payment is due or should be accepted by the contractor until the work is completed. The service and repair contractor may charge only one service fee.
  • Any work beyond the initial replacement or repair may not be done without negotiation of a standard home improvement contract.
  • Any parts that were replaced by the contractor must be offered to the customer.
  • A customer may request that the contractor sign a release from lien claim for work that is done.


  • The contract is not for urgent "service and repair," and negotiations to enter into a contract can be initiated by the contractor or the customer.
  • The total price for labor and materials is $500 or more. (The work is not for an emergency replacement or repair of $750 or less.) 
  • A home improvement contract is an agreement between a contractor and a property owner or tenant that includes descriptions of all labor, services, and materials to be furnished and performed. 
  • The customer has until midnight of the third business day after signing the agreement or purchase to cancel the contract.
  • The down payment may only be 10 percent of the total contract price or $1,000, whichever is less. Only pay for portions of the home improvement project as they are completed.
  • For repairs in a state or federally declared disaster zone, the customer has seven days to cancel the contract with no obligation for payment.

More information and publications about hiring contractors are available on the CSLB website, or by calling 800-321-CSLB (2752). You also can sign up for CSLB Email Alerts.

The California Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the Department of Consumer Affairs. CSLB licenses and regulates California's 300,000 contractors and is regarded as one of the leading consumer protection agencies in the United States. In fiscal year 2013-14, CSLB helped recover approximately $51 million in ordered restitution for consumers.

Placer County News Headlines

Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less

Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services

Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?

Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.

Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.

Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.

Placer County Water Agency Adopts 2016 BudgetAUBURN, Calif. - At its November 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2016 budget

Rocklin Crime Report Update: DUI Arrests JumpRocklin, CA - Rocklin police weekly crime report digest update summary for the period of November 9- 15, 2015.

Roseville and Rocklin Among Beneficiaries of Clean Energy ProjectsRoseville, CA - The Placer County Board of Supervisors received a program update on mPOWER which has funded more than $35 million in clean energy projects

Cali Bowl in Roseville November 27-29Roseville, CA- The 8th Annual California Bowl comes to Roseville on Nov. 27-29 at the Woodcreek High School football stadium

Roseville to Hold Green Gardening at Home SeriesRoseville, CA - Starting this January, the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. at Mahany Park

Loretta Claiborne Ran to SuccessRoseville, CA - You may have seen the Disney made-for-TV movie The Loretta Claiborne Story, in which a partially blind, African-American woman with an intellectual disability

NEWS: In Case You Missed It