Jul 28, 2014
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Yardley Resident Falls Victim to Contractor Scam

The Bucks County Office of Consumer Protection offers advice on avoiding a scam like this one that snared a Yardley resident.

Q.      I had a contractor come out to my house to install windows.  He was almost done and he had me sign a “post installation” checklist. 

There were things on the list that were not done yet so he told me just to leave them blank and he would come out and do them the following day.  When he didn’t show up to finish the work I called and complained. 

He came out to my house and showed me the checklist that I signed and all the spaces were filled, including the one that says the job has been completed to my satisfaction.  Can you help me?  D.S., Yardley 

A.      Whenever you sign your name to anything, whether it is a checklist, loan or any kind of contract, fill in all blank spaces

If an answer is not required, write “N/A (Not Applicable) in the blank.  If something still needs to be done at time of signing, make a note of it in the blank space.  Someone could fill in the blank later and make you responsible for something without your knowledge or agreement. 

Also, in July 2009, a new law passed called the Home Improvement Contractors Act.  It is designed to ensure that consumers get a fair deal from a contractor.  This law requires all home improvement contractors, with limited exceptions, to register with the Office of the Attorney General and to display their registration on all advertising and contracts.

You sent pictures and had another contractor do a written estimate of what it would cost to complete the work.  When the first contractor was contacted by Bucks County consumer protection, he agreed to complete the project.

To learn more about the Act, click on the PDF file attached to this column.

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