September 19, 2014

Ask Contractor and Salesman for Copy of License

The State of North Dakota requires contractors and door to door salesmen to be licensed and bonded to operate in the state. The purpose of the requirement is to provide protection to the consumer. The Attorney General’s Office in Bismarck has licensing authority over most businesses. Questions on licensing may be directed to Licensing 701 328-2329 or on their web page at http://www.ag.nd.gov/

If you feel you have been a victim of unfair practices relating to contractors or salesmen contact Consumer Protection and Antitrust, 4205 State Street, PO Box 1054, Bismarck ND 58502-1054, 701 328-3404 or 800 472-2600. Trained personnel will take your complaint. If the case is an actual criminal offense you will be directed to contact your local law enforcement agency. Non-criminal offenses can be negotiated between the Attorney General’s Office and the provider. Don’t waste time though as complaints must be made as soon as possible and in most cases not more than 72 hours after the transaction.

When negotiating on a price request to see the person’s North Dakota license certificate. The license is required to be carried at all times and be accompanied by picture identification. The only exception to this rule is the sales of unprocessed agricultural products.

Builders, roofers, plumbers, electricians and pavers are all required to be licensed and bonded. Ask to see a copy of their license and bond before paying for any work.

Ask contractors for references of past customer contacts. Contact the past customer and determine their level of satisfaction in the product delivered.

Never pay the full amount for the services up front. Negotiate the smallest amount possible and establish stages of completion when additional payments are due.

Establish who is responsible for obtaining required building and digging permits. Failure to obtain the necessary permits may expose you to civil or criminal liability.

Keep good records and insist upon a written contract. Make sure you have the correct contact name number and address to follow up with in case there is a problem develops later. Make sure the contract covers any warranty information. Take photos before during and after work begins.

Do not fall for a high pressure sales approach. Your no should mean just that and should end any further sales talk. If you feel uncomfortable tell the person to leave your property. If they will not leave your home call the police.

Take time to decide and compare prices available elsewhere. Inspect the product and calculate the actual cost. Meat products injected heavily with water and other fillers can be very expensive when compared to grocery store prices. Few things require an immediate agreement of purchase. .

Watch for catch word gimmicks: This is the last one of its kind; this is a special offer for only you; help me get rid of this; help me work my way through school. All are great ways to hook the customer looking for that great deal.

Do not leave salesmen alone anywhere in your home. Make sure you are able to see them at all times. Do not leave valuables, credit cards, cash or checks out where they may be easily taken. It only takes seconds for you to become a victim.

Be aware, be educated and be safe.