Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times |
Rocklin and Roseville Today Local Events Calendar
    (Independent and Locally Owned)
 

Beware of Deceptive Home Improvement Offers


Share It.




home.jpg

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.

SERVICE AND REPAIR 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.

STANDARD HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT

  • 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, www.cslb.ca.gov 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.






more news Print This Article


Placer County News Headlines

New Nursing Village Ribbon Cutting in RocklinRocklin, CA- Sierra College welcomed their long-running Nursing Program back to the Rocklin campus with a recent Ribbon Cutting ceremony.

Placer County Woman Dies: West Nile Virus ConfirmedPlacer County health officials are able to confirm that an Ophir woman, who passed away earlier this month, did indeed have West Nile Virus (WNV).

3 Teens Arrested in Burglary and Vandalism of Country ClubA Placer County Sheriff's detective apprehended three juveniles Thursday in connection with recent burglaries and acts of vandalism at the Auburn Valley Country Club.

Roseville Author Releases New Book NationwideROSEVILLE, Calif. - The new book "Resonance," a stimulating new book by Roseville author Emily Elaine is now available nationwide.

Genderally Speaking LGBTQ Exhibition in RocklinRocklin, CA--The Ridley Gallery presents "Genderally Speaking", photography by Ron Williams in conjunction with Sierra College Pride Days (November 4-6).

Rocklin History Series Presents Julia Morgan's GoldThe Rocklin History Series continues on November 16, 2014 with a live presentation by Julia Morgan Historian Karen McNeill Ph.D. at 2 pm at the beautiful Old Saint Mary's Chapel

Free Identity Theft Prevention Class in AuburnThe Placer County Sheriff's Office is offering a free identity theft prevention class on Monday, October 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Auburn Justice Center.

Loomis Students to Learn About Pediatric Iron Lung for World Polio DayIn recognition of World Polio Day, Rotary Club of Sunset Loomis will bring a pediatric iron lung to Loomis Grammar School and Loomis Basin Charter School

Esteemed Roseville Historian DiesLeonard "Duke" Davis, considered by many the foremost authority on the history of Roseville, passed away on Friday, October 10.

Michaels Store in Auburn to Open November 16thMichaels, North America's largest arts and crafts specialty retailer, announces the grand opening of its new Auburn store, featuring an inspiring new design, located at 2785 Bell Rd

Janina VanVooren at Patrons Club November 3rd Rocklin, CA - The Patrons Club, a volunteer arm of the Sierra College Foundation, invites the public and those interested in becoming members of the organization to attend

Roseville Men's Tennis Team Edged Out in National ChampionshipsThe men's tennis team from Roseville, Calif., representing the USTA Northern California Section, finished second at the USTA League Adult 18 & Over 2.5 National Championships




more news

Featured Yellow Pages Categories

Auto

Business

Health and Fitness

Home Improvement and Services