Considering a repair or remodeling project for your home or property? Know your rights. The local CBS affiliate in Boston, WBZ-TV reported about problem consumers experienced with a national home-improvement chain:
“… the I-Team took a closer look at the Lowe’s home improvement contract, which required Sullivan to pay for her deck in full before work began, more than $12,000. “I was told that was the only way that they would do business,” explained Sullivan.
Ivy Schutt of Littleton said she was told the same story when she handed over $41,000 before any work began on her kitchen remodel. “I thought it was one-third, one-third, one-third. And they said that’s not Lowe’s policy,” said Schutt. Same story from Susan Bartzak-Graham of Newton…”
WBZ-TV didn’t stop there. It investigated further:
“The I-Team took the Lowe’s contract to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation to ask if it was legal. “As written now, no it is not,” said John Chapman, the Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs. “What was wrong with it, is that it was requiring consumers to pay 100-percent upfront and that’s not what the law states,” said Chapman.
The law states “any deposit… cannot exceed one-third of the total contract price” before work begins. Consumer Affairs immediately reached out to Lowe’s and Lowe’s agreed to make changes.”
The news report includes links to several important resources for consumers: the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contract Law, Required Home Improvement Contract Terms, how to check if a contractor has a license, and more.
Good. Kudos to WBZ-TV for looking out for consumers.