Consumer Alert: Beware of door-to-door contractors - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Consumer Alert: Beware of door-to-door contractors

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection urges Wisconsin residents to be aware of door-to-door contractors trying to help during flood clean up.

In the hardest hit areas, DATCP says some contractors will go door-to-door and promise to help fix any flooding problems at a great price. DATCP says these are "fly-by-night" contractors that will do work for high prices and they simply run off with a victim's money.

"Storm chasers travel to hard-hit communities and offer seemingly irresistible deals for construction or repair help," said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. 

"They pressure homeowners for up front payments or increase their prices arbitrarily as they work.  These teams come and go from an area without a trace, leaving consumers empty-handed and with no recourse for any work they have not completed or any damage they've done to a homeowner's property," said Chalmers.

Consumer Protection has a few tips they recommend for homeowners:

1.) Be wary of any contractor who knocks at your door.  Call the police or sheriff's department to check them out.

2.) Try to get a local contractor.  Ask contractors if they are subcontracting your job.  Be careful if local contractors are using outside subcontractors.

3.) Have someone watch the work being done.  Check with your local building inspector to see if the work requires a permit and make sure an inspector visits the job site before you provide final payment.

4.) Request a copy of the contractor's certificate of liability insurance.

For more information from the DATCP, click here.

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