For years you’ve heard our “check the license” mantra repeated over and over. Why? Because it’s one way consumers can protect themselves from unscrupulous operators.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about people who have had bad contractor experiences, whether it’s sloppy workmanship, major cost overruns or even worse, a contractor who takes your money upfront and doesn’t return to do any work.
Now, during National Consumer Protection Week (#NCPW2016), we are once again reminding consumers to “check the license.” It’s easier than ever! Just look for the new “License Search” button on the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) home page (www.dca.ca.gov) and also on the websites of our more than 40 boards and bureaus.
DCA provides current license status information on the more than 2.8 million professionals licensed or certified through our boards and bureaus. Licensing ensures that practitioners perform their duties to an acceptable standard and provides consumers with a remedy if a service is not delivered. For example, if you’re planning on enlisting the services of a contractor for some home remodeling, a quick license search will tell you if that contractor’s license is in good standing and if he or she is insured and bonded. Some bonds are designed to protect you against substandard work that does not meet local building codes. General liability insurance offers protection in case of accidental damage and workers’ compensation insurance covers employees in case of injury.
What else can you do to protect yourself from phony contractors and getting ripped off? Check the company’s status with your local Better Business Bureau, and ask friends and family for reputable referrals.
For more information, visit www.dca.ca.gov.