Valley association checks contractors and helps in disputes

Most homeowners need a contractor now and then. But who can you trust?

Now there's an association in the West Valley that's making their list of approved businesses available to everyone-at a low cost.

The Property Owners and Residents Association of Sun City West is better known as PORA.

They do a lot of things, and consumer protection is one of them.

Consumer Services Coordinator Janie Fallon was telling me about a new scam going on in her area.

It involves someone going up to homeowner's doors and taking business cards left by landscapers.

"They will write a name and cell phone number and present as their own," Janie says.

In some cases, the person gets hired, is paid something upfront and doesn't do the job.

Janie says when the homeowner calls the business number on the card, but the legitimate business has no idea what they're talking about and the scammer gets away.

PORA volunteers help victims, and warn others how to avoid being taken.

And maybe the best part for consumers, PORA offers a list of more than 800 approved contractors.

Many of those contractors operate throughout the Valley.

Janie says the list includes everything from dog sitters and handymen, to remodelers and landscapers.

She says they only make the list, when they pass the PORA test.

"We check with the Better Business Bureau, the state's Registrar of Contractors, and we get 5 of their references," she tells me.

And all of the references are questioned.

If you hire someone on their list, and there's a problem, PORA will also go to bat for you.

"The vendor wants to do the best to get it resolved because they do not want to be out of our data base. They get really good leads here," Janie says.

Anyone in the Valley can get access to PORA's approved list of contractors and the other services they provide.

And again, many do business throughout the area.

But you have to be a member. The cost is $10 for a single membership, and $20 for a household.

You can call PORA at 623-584-4288 or go to their website  to join.

Need my help? Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. 
They answer calls live Wednesdays and Fridays 11-1. You can leave a message anytime.

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