"7 on Your Side": Watching out for shady contractors

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Spring is in the air, but it's also the time for shady contractors.

"Roofers, painters, tree trimming, all of that," said Linda Bailey, with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB warns independent workers who go door to door make a killing - all off of your good will and trust.

"They can get in your house and steal from you, steal your identity," said Bailey.

Suzann Kendrick says she gets offers about once a week, but those all go in the trash now after one bad experience.

"They used up all my money...that I had borrowed, and so consequently, I had to come up with additional money and finish the job myself," said Kendrick.

"They usually charge you more and do a horrible job," said Bailey.

Kendrick says these bad apples make it tough for the few who are trying to make an honest living.

"We had someone recently give us an estimate, and my husband said, 'well, at least he's out looking for work rather than just collecting unemployment and you have to admire that,'" said Bailey.

Most of the time you can rely on your intuition.

"I've talked to a lot of people who say well I felt a little uncomfortable, I was a little afraid of them," said Bailey. "Close the door, go in the house, call the police, do whatever you need to do but your safety is number one."

Bottom line? Make sure you trust who you're hiring. The BBB says ask for references and check up on them. You can also call the BBB and have them look. Another thing they say is to never pay anything until the job is done and satisfactory.

The BBB says many times, they'll get complaints after the workers have ripped people off, and then it's too late. Once you agree to hiring them, there's not much legally police can do.