If it sounds too good to be true... you know the story - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

If it sounds too good to be true... you know the story

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 8:33 am

It happened about two months ago.

My photographer, producer and I confronted a mechanic outside his West Valley car shop.

Dozens of people said they paid him to restore their cars; and while the mechanic took the money, they say he didn’t do the job.

Some showed me pictures of their cars with scratches and missing parts. Each say they paid thousands of dollars for subpar or very little work.

I’ve tracked down dozens of people. Sometimes I get answers.

Unfortunately, our meeting with this mechanic ended as many had before. The man, surprised, probably because of that big camera, retreated. He went into his garage, closed the door, and made no comment.

That might have been it. But, a few days later he answered an email I had sent. He blamed the people who hired him. He said he’s getting out of the business and then said, “You get what you pay for.”

Wow. Not a profound statement. And, it makes him look pretty bad.

But, it got me thinking: How many times have I seen people get taken when they chose the lowest price?

This man advertised on Craigslist. Some victims said his fee was less than half of the estimates they got from others.

Hey, I’m guilty. I get the three estimates we should all get before hiring anyone, and yeah, many times I go for the best deal.

But in this case, there were other warning signs that could have kept a lot of people from losing a lot of money.

First of all, a basic Internet search using the owner and business name would have shown plenty of complaints. If customers looked further, Ripoffreport.com and the Better Business Bureau also showed negative comments.

When they hired this man, he wanted about half the money up front. Folks, this might be the biggest warning. Too many times, victims tell me the business demanded huge payments up front and then took off.

And out of the customers I talked with, only one actually had a written contract with the business. This guy didn’t put anything in writing.

So, think about it. If you ever wanted to sue later, or prove what you paid and what you didn’t get, how could you?

Contracts written with payments tied to progress are crucial before you hire anyone.

Now, I’m not blaming the customers here.

No one should have to pay to get their cars towed away because the mechanic was evicted.

No one should find their car in pieces months after paying or have missing parts. Those things happened here.

If you pay $6,000 for a job to be completed, then the business should complete the job. And in many of these cases, it appears this one did not.

But, despite numerous complaints to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement, nothing was done to stop this man.

So, I offer this story as an example. It’s true, “The best defense, is a strong offense.” In cases where you hire anyone, you must keep a close eye on the warning signs. And while I try to stay away from overused phrases, here’s another one you really should live by, “If it sounds too good be true, it probably is.”

• ABC15 Investigator Joe Ducey is Arizona’s consumer alert expert. Watch his reports weekdays on ABC15 at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., and email him with questions or news tips anytime at jducey@abc15.com.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Trump: People are smart to cancel Arizona Republic subscription

PHOENIX - “The people get it!” Donald Trump unleashed a tweet towards the Arizona Republic after they endorsed Hillary Clinton this week. Trum…

Published: September 30, 2016 - 8:00 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/state/trump-people-are-s…

Phoenix sends Trump campaign cease-and-desist demand over ad

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) - The Phoenix City Attorney has sent Donald Trump's campaign a cease-and-desist letter regarding an election ad that some …

Published: September 30, 2016 - 7:59 am @ http://www.cbs5az.com/story/33287533/phoenix-sends…

What’s your favorite parent-child relationship in pop culture?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes o…

Published: September 30, 2016 - 7:23 am @ http://www.avclub.com/article/whats-your-favorite-…

FBI investigating hack of GOP operative’s email

The FBI is investigating the email hacking of a Republican operative who believes she was targeted by allies of Donald Trump in a bizarre onli…

Published: September 30, 2016 - 6:53 am @ http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/fbi-email-ha…

Potent painkiller fentanyl, and a drive to sell it, faulted in woman's death

STRATFORD, N.J. — There was a stranger waiting for Sarah Fuller when she visited her doctor to discuss switching medications for her back and …

Published: September 30, 2016 - 6:30 am @ https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/30/fentanyl-opioi…

USA Today thinks Trump is so ‘unfit for the presidency’ that it just wrote a historic anti-endorsement

It didn’t go so far as to endorse Hillary Clinton — or, for that matter, libertarian Gary Johnson — but what USA Today wrote Thursday night ab…

Published: September 30, 2016 - 6:29 am @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp…

Vegetarians: You Have 5,700,000 Options at Taco Bell

9/30/16 9/30/16 Celebrate World Vegetarian Day in the most pragmatic way — by indulging in one of Taco Bell's nearly-6-million vegetarian comb…

Published: September 30, 2016 - 6:23 am @ http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Taco-Bell-Vegetari…

Donald Trump names 32 pro-life leaders to his Pro-Life Coalition

NewsAbortion, Politics - U.S. WASHINGTON, D.C., September 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has assembled a team of pro-life heavyweights…

Published: September 30, 2016 - 6:22 am @ https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/donald-trump-nam…

Why Do Some Election Officials Want to Hide Evidence of Non-Citizen Voting?

Arcan Cetin faces five counts of murder after his shooting rampage at a Seattle-area mall last week. But he also turns out to be a non-citizen…

Published: September 30, 2016 - 5:52 am @ http://www.nationalreview.com/article/440580/arcan…

How the Coen Brothers Storyboarded Blood Simple Down to a Tee (1984)

Seldom, in the films of the Joel and Ethan Coen, do characters’ schemes go according to plan. You can watch it happen all across their filmogr…

Published: September 30, 2016 - 5:22 am @ http://www.openculture.com/2016/09/how-the-coen-br…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…