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Best Craigslist ad ever?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Close.

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  • Possibly.

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • Needs a skosh of pepper and call it good.

    Votes: 1 11.1%
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5,480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Top 10 reasons why your family deserves better than "unlicensed."

1) Your family's safety.
Furnaces and electrical systems have great potential for property damage or loss of life. Despite all of the craigslist boasts, a State License is the best evidence that the contractor is qualified to work on these inherently dangerous systems. State Licenses require written proof of 5 years of qualified experience, reviewed by a panel of experts. A State License requires a 7 hour exam, proof of liability insurance and annual continuing education. You can't fake that.

2) The law requires it.
Every jurisdiction in Ohio decides for itself what is required to register and perform work in that area, and the majority require a State License, and liability insurance, at a minimum. If you hire a non-licensed contractor----particularly if it's a rental property---and something goes wrong you can be held criminally liable.

3) Insurance & your liability.
The vast majority of unlicensed contractors don't carry liability insurance either. If someone is injured----including the contractor himself!----you may be held liable. God help you if an innocent third person is hurt. Would you drive without insurance? Hiring uninsured contractors is potentially much, much worse.

4) Your warranty.
A running joke in the fly-by-night crowd is the "tail light warranty"; as in, "Your warranty is good as long as you can still see my tail lights." Moonlighters and fly-by-nighters are notorious for being scarce when there is a problem.

5) Quality & experience.
A guy who's taken the years to learn his craft, study, apply and receive his license intends to stick around. He's serious. It's his living and if he hopes to stay in business he is more likely to make sure his work is of high quality.

6) Material selection.
Avoiding pesky expenses like liability insurance doesn't quite get you to the too-good-to-be-true pricing. No, what's needed now is the cheapest electrical/hvac materials and furnaces out there. We have no quarrel with 'inexpensive.' But "cheap' is another story. And most often, 'cheap' is just what you will receive.

7) Integrity.
A guy who tells you he only wants cash is [implicitly] telling you that he's cheating you and other citizens who do pay their taxes. That's often the same guy who's telling you he's doing "side work in a tough economy"; letting you know he's cheating on his employer. (and often use their employer's tools, materials, and even sometimes vehicles) If he's already let you know clearly he's a cheat, what makes you think he won't cut corners on you?

8) But the Big Guys are too expensive.......
We kind of agree with this. We know from experience that they're not crooks, and most of them do decent work. But somebody has to pay for those high falutin' trucks and commercials on cable TV. And that somebody is you.

There is a sane alternative. This town has a fair amount of "little guys" who are passionate about their work and customers. Many are true craftsmen and who've taken the time to be licensed and insured. The fact is, you don't need to take the risk of a guy who's doing it for sidework money to get a good deal.

9) Drugs & Alcohol
How many craigslist ads have you seen where no company name is listed? How about those who only list cell phones as phone numbers? We have been contacted by customers who have had bad experiences with people who showed up looking like they came from the set of "Deliverance." In our own experience, a potential employee (who posts on craigslist as a contractor) didn't pass a drug test. In another they had no drivers license because of multiple DUIs.

10) Peace of mind.
We're not trying to scare you. But the things we've listed are real and happening to people right now, in this town. We love craigslist and think it is a FANTASTIC resource to our community. But we believe there is a piece of mind in dealing with people you can trust, and who have made a commitment to their craft by acting responsibly and earning a State License and the necessary insurances.

A final word......
We've learned that there is sometimes confusion over what is a State License. People representing themselves as contractors will sometimes take advantage of this confusion. So you know, "E.P.A"., "E.P.A Universal", "E.P.A Certified", "Journeyman",ACCA, "N.A.T.E.", "Certified" , "Master" or other similar words are *not* licenses. (and may not be true) Some of them----like the "E.P.A" designation -----is a 20 minute test after a 1 hour class, and is available to anyone over the internet. It's only purpose is to make sure that anyone handling Freon complies with Federal Law. Would you feel comfortable having someone install a furnace or A/C with a designation that you yourself could get in an hour or two? Lastly, many ads say "Licensed & Insured", or list a long number in the License title bar and are counting on you not asking for proof. State Law *requires* that the actual State License be listed in the ad. Beware of those trying to deceive you, and we can tell you that many are trying to do just that.

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