2007-04-20 / Community

Pheffer, CPB Begin Home Improvement Investigation

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer Chairperson of the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee has reported that the New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) is launching an investigation into the home-improvement industry, which brings hundreds of consumer complaints to the CPB each year.

"Home improvement contracting problems have been a growing issue for New York consumers. The Senate and Assembly have been working diligently on legislation to address this issue. I am excited about the role that the CPB will play in helping to document the problematic contractors and to help educate our consumers," said Pheffer.

The first step in the CPB probe is an online survey that is available on their redesigned website at www.nysconsumer.gov . The CPB is inviting consumers, contractors and other interested parties to answer questions and present comments in the online survey.

The website also includes tips, a sample building contract and other information to help consumers ask the right questions and select a reputable contractor. The website will continue to be updated to bring relevant information and warnings to consumers in a user-friendly format. "Every year, the CPB hears complaints ranging from incomplete or poor workmanship to instances where contractors take upfront payments but never show up for work," said CPB Chairperson Executive Director Mindy Bockstein.

"We'll be looking for solutions that will better protect consumers without stifling work opportunities for contractors." The CPB will soon be announcing a series of public hearings to gather more information about home-improvement and home-repair contracting.

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