Consumer Complaints

Home Improvements Top the List of Consumer Complaints

Year after year, home improvements top the list of consumer complaints. The reason for this can be contributed to two general areas, lack of knowledge and greed.


An informed consumer is a happy consumer. Frequently a consumer has very little knowledge about the improvement contemplated. Most folks know enough to get several prices. This is great, as far as it goes, but many things are much more important than price.

How long has the company been in business- the average home improvement firm fails within three years? How much business experience does management have- a good craftsman is not necessarily schooled in business. A typical craftsman working for some one else decides to go into business, he knows that there is a difference between what his current employer is paying him and what his employer is charging. He assumes that this difference is pure profit. He knows nothing of insurance costs, down time, weather delays, the cost of money, warranty repair, marketing costs or a myriad of other expenses. He sells for less, but is soon out of business; leaving his customers with no place to turn if a problem arises. Frequently this guy changes his phone number and company name and is back in business, victimizing other unwary consumers.



Greed is a compelling emotion. A consumer finds a craftsman working for someone else and tries to make a “side deal” with him. Again the factors mentioned above come into play. On the other hand some “con” men make a living out of cheating people. They grossly under price the job, knowing that they will not complete it. The consumer is overcome with the thought of getting such a “good deal”. The “con” artist convinces the consumer to pay in advance, and he never comes back.


Check out all companies with the BBB in your city. Talk to customers, old and new. Don’t pay any money until the job is complete. Verify insurance coverage. In some states the contractor is required to provide a list of suppliers so that you can verify that they pay promptly. Get a release of lien. In most states, a consumer can pay the contractor in full, yet still be liable for labor and material costs incurred on his project. If a contractor fails to pay his help or suppliers, they may file a lien on the property upon which the work was done, forcing the consumer to pay for the job twice.

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