Rude to ask for repairman's license and insurance

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No, it's not rude. And if they take it that way, tell them to pack lead. Most states let you look up their license number and see if it's valid and if there are complaints, etc.
Would you rather them not have insurance, get hurt and sue you?
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Most legit contractors have a level of pride in their work that makes them happy to show their professionalism by providing license and insurance documents. Around here they do it all the time.

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If their first impression left me in doubt that they're LB&I I wouldn't use them, even if they are...
And as has been suggested, they should have that documentation at hand.
But it would be an error to interpret that alone as any measure of honesty or competence.
Any legitimate business is registered with the state, which is -very- easy to check in MT via the Secretary of State's website. YMMV. I usually find additional interesting information there too, such as the same person/s control two directly competitive businesses. -----
- gpsman
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wrote:

Yes, there are a lot of poor businessmen and scamsters out there who are licensed, bonded, and insured.
In Las Vegas, recently, Purrfect Auto Repair has been under investigation by the State AG office for ripping off customers. And I mean for big money, and for a long time. I know this company has been in business for nearly ten years at their location near my home.
Point is, they are still going, and it took a long long long time to do anything about it. Right now, they are "under investigation" and doing business as busy as ever. And lots of time, if you call, and ask some governmental agency about a company, or even the BBB, their reply is, "I'm sorry, we cannot divulge that information."
Being licensed, bonded, and insured don't mean shit. Any smart scamster knows how to successfully tap dance within the lines. And there's always plenty of suckers, new business, and clueless homeowners to keep them plenty busy.
"Oh, look, Honey! There's a handyman van. Did you get the phone number?"
Friends and family and neighbors of mine know I'm a handyman DIYer type, and they bug the shit out of me all the time to do things. Many times, I relent, but it's stuff I know I can do, and nothing that requires a contractor. I WON'T tell people I weld. Point is, anyone who is halfassed good at all can go get work.
For our state, it goes something like this: If you work by the hour, you're a handyman. If you say you'll do the job for $200, you're a contractor. This is loosely enforced in my state for repairmen until they get to the point of doing major work. The State Contractor's Board has changed the reading so that "anything that permanently attaches to the house, or is part of the systems within the house" requires a contractor. But, still, they won't bother the licensed handymen who install fans, or unstick disposals, or install new ones, although it clearly falls within the lines of their laws. And then, no one cares until you start taking the big jobs, run into inspectors, or step on the toes of contractors by taking work they want.
Steve
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