This is a picture of my parents, Mary and Floyd; in the winter they live in a lovely retirement community in Sun City, Arizona. I was on the phone with my Mom yesterday and she started telling me about this "contractor" who knocked on her door earlier in the day and offered to repair some small cracks in the exterior of her home (which is stucco, as are most homes in AZ). He said that he would give her a great deal; only $1900 instead of the standard $2200. Hmmfff... He would not stop badgering her and finally my Mom firmly stated "I am not having this done!" Then, he came back later and wanted to paint the exterior of her house (which was just painted four years ago). When she said no to that, he offered to repair the stucco cracks again, but for the special price of only $1700. Hmmmfff... Of course, my Mom is not a push-over and will not be bullied. I was on the phone with her when he knocked on the door a third time; what a pain!
My purpose in mentioning this story is just as a reminder to everyone that reputable contractors are not typically knocking on your door to get work. Receiving a flyer on your door or in the mail or being offered a better price on your project during a slow work period are marketing tools; knocking on someone's door and trying to intimidate them into letting you fix something at their house is not marketing...it is bullying. Please share this with your friends and family. The elderly are often targets so if you are lucky enough to have your parents or grandparents in your life, make sure they know not to trust someone who shows up on their doorstep randomly offering home improvement services. I am including a link to a story on the AARP website which addresses this issue precisely; it is http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourmoney/scamalert/articles/scam_alert__fix-it.html.