(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today warned consumers to be wary of home improvement contractors who come to their doors offering their services.
"As Ohioans clean up from springtime storms, home improvement contractors may come to their doors offering to repair their roof, trim their trees or pave their driveways," Attorney General DeWine said. "Although the offers may seem convenient and worthwhile, be very cautious. Many consumers report problems involving door-to-door home improvement sales."
Since April 2010, the Ohio Attorney General's Office has received more than 2,400 complaints on household goods or property improvement. Of those complaints, nearly 400 involve home solicitations.
In some cases, door-to-door contractors are con artists. After severe weather hits a community, some scammers specifically target homeowners who have experienced damage. They offer a quick fix, take a consumer's money and then do little or no actual work.
Attorney General DeWine warned Ohioans to be wary of contractors who:
- Fail to provide proper identification
- Demand a large down payment (more than one third of the total cost)
- Use high-pressure sales tactics
- Have a poor reputation or no reputation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Refuse to provide written information.
When selecting a home improvement contractor, consumers should research the company with the BBB and the Ohio Attorney General's Office. They also should contact past customers to ask about their experiences with the company. If possible, consumers should get written estimates from multiple contractors before making a final selection.
Under Ohio's Home Solicitation Sales Act, consumers generally have three business days to cancel contracts for $25 or more when they sign the contract in their home or at a location other than the company's regular place of business.
The seller must provide written notice of the consumer's right to cancel, and the seller may not begin services until after the cancellation period has ended. Cancellations must be in writing. In emergency situations, consumers may waive their cancellation rights.
For more information or to report consumer fraud, contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 1-800-282-0515.
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