Avoiding scams and bad businesses is easier than you think. Here are a few do's and don'ts that will save you time, money and aggravation.
-Don't pay too much up front
Get in the habit of paying on progress-- maybe 10 percent to start. A third of the way through, make another payment. Don't make the final payment until completion. It lessens the chances of you paying for work that never gets done.
-Don't use cash
The green stuff is just too easy for crooks to take. Avoid using checks and debit cards, too-- leaves you vulnerable with your bank. You get way more protection by using your credit card. If the work is not done or is done poorly, you can dispute the charge which could be a big help. Then, go ahead and use that cash to pay it off before the interest kicks in.
-Do check out who you are doing business with
A quick internet search can tell you a lot about a company's reputation. Does the business need a license? Go to the licensing agency and find out whether or not they are in good standing and whether they have had complaints.
-Do not pick up the phone
Seriously. With all the scams circulating, unless it's your parents or your kids calling, let the call go to voicemail. If it's important-- they'll leave a message. If it's the IRS, treasury department or a Window technician, it's a scam.
Need my help?
Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an email or a video explaining the problem.And you can reach me on Twitter or "like" the Let Joe Know Facebook and tell me about it there.