News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

April 21, 2008

MANITOBA CONSUMERS REMINDED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHEN HIRING CONTRACTORS: CONSUMERS' BUREAU



Spring and summer mean home renovations and Manitoba’s Consumers’ Bureau is encouraging all Manitobans to be thorough in their search for a home repair or renovation contractor.
 
The Consumers’ Bureau suggests obtaining three written estimates outlining:
·         work to be done,
·         materials to be supplied,
·         labour specifications,
·         total cost and cost breakdown,
·         amount of deposit, and
·         start and completion dates.
 
The bureau also suggests that consumers:
·         check references to verify the quality of the work and the contractor;
·         not sign a contract if there is something you don’t understand;
·         hold back 7.5 per cent of the cost for 40 days after substantial completion of the job to ensure no liens have been registered against your property by a supplier;
·         be wary of ads with 1-900 numbers that promise guaranteed loans;
·         ask to see a valid direct seller’s licence if approached by an individual going door-to-door selling home renovations or repairs;
·         if a salesperson can’t provide a licence, write down the person’s name and the name and address of the company represented, and contact the Consumers’ Bureau;
·         read the whole contract before signing; and
·         consider having a lawyer read through the agreement, especially for large projects.
 
To check on a direct seller’s licence, or to make a complaint about an unlicensed direct seller, high‑pressure sales tactics, poor quality product or workmanship, contracts for unnecessary work, excessive prices and scams, contact the Consumers’ Bureau at 945-3800 or toll-free at 1‑800‑782‑0067. Information is also available on the Consumers’ Bureau website at www.gov.mb.ca/finance/cca/consumb/.
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