Our Augusta, Georgia partners at WRDW’s I-Team in reported on so many complaints about shady pool contractors that their reports ended up in court filings related to the company’s bankruptcy.  Numerous consumers in their market had complained about jobs they’d paid for going unfinished.  The court filings show that the owners even secured a $150,000 Small Business Association loan just 11 days before the company closed.  The bank that provided the loan further notes that the company is unable to account for assets it had shortly before the bankruptcy filing.  The I-Team and the consumers they’re helping are asking “what happened to the cash?”  Hopefully, thanks to the I-Team’s efforts to connect all of these unhappy customers, financial relief can be obtained.

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This serves as a good reminder for hiring any contractor — Make sure you vet them online using sources you trust.  If you can’t find a solid track record of successful jobs and happy customers, you may want to look elsewhere.  Here are some more tips for hiring contractors:

  • Work with only licensed and insured contractors.
  • Get more than one estimate. Don’t be forced into signing a contract right away.
  • Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, time schedule, guarantees, payment schedule and other expectations should be detailed.
  • Require references, and check them out.
  • Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license; write down the license number. Also, take down his or her license plate number.
  • Never sign a contract with blank spaces. Crooked contractors may enter unacceptable terms later.
  • Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is completed.