Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
Get the company’s name and location. Get the name and address of the company and do your research. Check the business out at www.bbb.org. Be aware that many out-of-state contractors target a community during the summer and may be difficult to reach later if there’s a problem with their work. Often times, they’ll give a “local” address that is really the address of the local motel where they’re staying, or a rented box at a mail drop store.
Don’t pay in full. You should never pay more than ½ of the cost of a job before the work is complete. Only pay the balance of the bill after you’ve inspected and are satisfied with the contractor’s work.
Get it in writing. Ensure all details and verbal promises are included in a contract. Review it and make sure that you understand everything in the document. Never sign a contract with sections left blank.
Check for qualifications. Verify the individual is licensed, bonded and insured.
Make checks payable to the company. Do not pay in cash and do not make checks payable to an individual, only the company.
Avoid "Bait and switch" tactics. Some disreputable companies will offer low prices initially, but then charge more claiming that they used more material than expected, or the job was more complicated than originally thought. Have everything in writing and know the terms in advance.
Remember to cool off if there’s pressure. Do not be pressured by any person if you are unsure. Take the time to do your due diligence. If you did sign a contract and change your mind, Wisconsin law states that if it was a door-to-door sales contract then you have 3 days to cancel (as long as the work hasn’t started).