Ask Questions Before Signing The Dotted Line

The next time you are thinking about doing a major home improvement  or having a major appliance repaired, BBB® recommends doing a little research first before any work starts. A Cincinnati area man says he was shocked to learn he was being charged hundreds of dollars for a switch for his furnace.

The consumer was having the furnace checked when the technician discovered the pressure switch needed to be replaced. After asking the consumer if he wanted it replaced, the consumer responded he did. However, after the part was installed, the consumer was presented with a bill of $443 for parts and labor. The consumer paid the bill but then contacted the company only to find out the cost of the original part was only $20.

What is important to note is before agreeing to any repair or replacement, you must be told the repair cost prior to the work being done. This can be done in writing and with your signature as the approval, or you can agree to an oral price disclosure. In any case, you must agree to the cost, parts and work prior to any repairs. Also, before having any contractor in your home, check BBB’s website for Accredited Businesses for the type of work you need.

When working with a contractor, here are a few tips:

  • When considering hiring a contractor to do any type of work, get at least three estimates. This will give you a better idea on the different types of services available, what’s included in the estimate and the different pricing structures.

  • Make sure the contractor you are considering has proof of licence and insurance as needed for the type of work you are hiring for.

  • Ask if a permit is required for the project. Qualified contractors are able to acquire any permits before starting the job.

  • Check out a contractor with BBB by looking at the company’s Business Review to see how long they have been in business, if they are accredited, and if there are any complaints against their business.

Always Start With Trust. bbb.org

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About Howard Ain

Howard Ain has been reporting consumer news on Cincinnati television for the past 38 years. He also writes a newspaper column alerting readers to consumer scams. He now joins BBB|Cincinnati as a correspondent.