Do your homework before hiring a contractor

Hiring a contractor can be tough. How do you know who to trust? It's all about doing your homework and holding your money tight!
 
Mark Fogey learned that lesson and it's one we all need to learn.
 
Fogey needed some sprinkler work done and found a man on Craigslist.
 
Actually, he had worked with the contractor Jeff Handley before so he trusted him.
 
This time, Fogey says Handley would do the job for $200.
 
But he wanted the money upfront, so Fogey paid him.
 
"He took the check and never came back," Fogey says.
 
We aired a story about Fogey's situation.
 
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors was also involved.
 
And Fogey wasn't giving up. He says he called Handley repeatedly.
 
Finally, he says Handley called and had his money.
 
But even then, he says it was a struggle to get it.
 
"He started  making  excuses. I said, 'I don't want to hear it. Just give me the money.'"
 
Finally, Fogey says he got his two hundred dollars back.
 
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC) also says they issued Handley a $1,500 civil citation.
 
So, before you hire a contractor, go to the ROC website . Make sure they are licensed and there are no serious issues.
 
Also, pay as little upfront as possible.
 
Make sure you stick with a plan to pay on progress and save a big chunk of money until the project is done to your satisfaction.
 
E-mail me with any consumer issue you have or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.
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