The Village of Mamaroneck on Monday issued the following warning about Home Improvement Contractors:
Residents and businesses of the Village of Mamaroneck are warned that the Village has been informed of a few complaints over the past couple of weeks regarding a home improvement contractor approaching homeowners and a local business with a statement to the effect that they have extra material on their truck, they are in the area doing work, and normally while they would charge a certain price for the work they do, they would offer a price that is half their normal rate to do it on this no-notice situation. We are informed that alleged problems occurred including the fact that approximately half the work was done, a bill for the full amount of the work was submitted and paid, and the company has not returned to finish the job.
We are circulating this warning to give advance notification to our residents and businesses to help prevent further incidents like this from occurring.
If anything like this has happened to you, we recommend you contact the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection, which can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (914) 995-2155. You may also visit the department’s Web section at www.westchestergov.com/consumer.
Here are some tips from the county’s Consumer Department:
• If you haven’t done so, call your insurance company as soon as you can. Many insurance companies have existing relationships with home repair contractors.
• Watch out for contractors who are suddenly in the area. Fly-by-night contractors will take advantage of homeowners in need. Don’t get rushed into signing a contract or agreeing to repairs.
• Avoid contractors who demand payment in cash or want more than one-third of the total payment before work has begun.
• Do not agree to an oral contract. Get everything you can in writing. Insist on a written contract that sets forth all the important details of the job. That includes a detailed scope of work, a start date, a completion date, cancellation clause, warranty information and a schedule of payments.
• Get at least three estimates. In reviewing the estimates, don’t always go with the lowest bidder. A higher bid may be worth it if the contractor is the most experienced, uses better materials and keeps to a timeline.
• Consumers who need to purchase essential goods and services need to take notice of what they are paying for these items and should contact the department if prices seem to be much higher than normal.
The Department of Consumer Protection can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at (914) 995-2155. You may also visit the department’s Web section at www.westchestergov.com/consumer.