Attorney General Cuomo Launches New Website To Help New Yorkers Avoid Home Improvement Scams And Dishonest Contractors

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 22, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled a new website, www.nyknowyourcontractor.com, to help Capital Region residents avoid home improvement scams and dishonest contractors. The new Website will allow consumers to easily check for local contractors that have been subject to legal action or have substantiated consumer complaints filed against them.

The Attorney General’s Office has listed more than 180 contractors from across the state on the Website thus far for shoddy or incomplete work, or because they took people’s money without finishing the job. 

“By making this easy-to-use technology available to the public anyone considering home improvements or repairs can find the information they need to help make an informed decision when hiring a contractor,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Becoming the victim of a dishonest home improvement contractor can be costly and potentially ruin your most valuable investment. However, this tool is designed to help consumers do their homework. It should be the first stop for all New Yorkers before they hire a contractor for any home improvement project.”

The Website allows users to view substantiated complaints that have been filed with the Attorney General’s Office and read legal judgments against contractors. Consumers can search contractors by name, business name, region, or county. The site, www.nyknowyourcontractor.com, has other valuable resources including:

  • Helpful hints on what consumers should do before hiring a contractor
  • Home improvement resources, including links to state and county agencies and consumer groups
  • Information on how to file a complaint against a contractor with the Attorney General’s Office

 

Chuck Bell, Programs Director of Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, said, “By posting on the Web information about problem contractors that his office has encountered, Attorney General Cuomo is arming consumers with valuable information. This is a simple solution to a systemic problem and the Attorney General's Website is an essential first stop for anyone in the market for a home improvement or repair.”

The Website, which is being updated continuously, lists contractors from each region of the state. As of September 24 the numbers were:

  • Western New York: 24 contractors are listed
  • Rochester region: 53 contractors are listed.
  • Central New York: 24 contractors are listed.
  • Southern Tier: 12 contractors are listed.
  • Capital Region: 17 contractors are listed.
  • Hudson Valley: 43 contractors are listed.
  • North Country: 12 contractors are listed

Statewide, since January 1, 2007 the Attorney General’s Office has mediated more than 1550 complaints against contractors resulting in restitution of more than $800,000 to consumers.

The Attorney General’s Regional Offices handle contractor complaints. More information can be found online at www.ag.ny.gov.

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