PIERRE, S.D (KELO AM) - Attorney General Marty Jackley is warning South Dakota consumers and business owners about transient vendors who continue to target the state. Recent hail storms in both Rapid City and Sioux Falls areas have left many damaged neighborhoods in need of repair. In addition, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is still seeing a large number of out-of-state transients targeting consumers for paving jobs.
Consumers and business owners are still reporting poor quality jobs at exaggerated prices, often double or triple what was originally quoted. “Every single year our Consumer Protection Division receives numerous complaints against transient contractors and this year has been no exception,” said Jackley. “Unfortunately, some scammers will try to cash in on the misfortune of those affected by storm damage by providing low quality services or in some instances taking consumer monies and providing no service.” Here are a few precautions that may help prevent becoming a victim:
Do not be pressured into a quick agreement.
Request a written contact specifying in detail the work to be done and the agreed upon price.
Be cautious if cash-only terms are required.
Do not make full payment before the job is satisfactorily completed.
Ask for local references and call these references to make sure they were satisfied.
Get bids from local companies to compare prices.
Consumers have a three day right-to-cancel, which should be stated on the receipt of contract.
Sellers must provide the consumer with a copy of the contract or receipt at the time of the sale.
This receipt must show the date of the sale, the name and address of the merchant, and a statement to the buyer of his or her right to cancel the contact within three days. After proper cancellation, the seller has 10 days to refund your money.
Remember that a legitimate offer does not require you to have the work done immediately. Do not get pressured into sale.
Ask to see their current South Dakota tax license. State law requires all persons selling products or services to have a current South Dakota sales or contractors’ excise tax license.
But remember that even though they may have this license it does not mean that you will be able to locate them once the work is complete. Contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns regarding transient vendors.