Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2002

ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUES CONSUMER ADVISORY IN WAKE OF RECENT STORMS

Aftermath of Tropical Storm Fay Prompts Consumer Precautions

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today issued an advisory alerting those in the storm-ravaged Houston and Central Texas regions to be on guard against unscrupulous contractors and others who may engage in deceptive business practices that result in consumer ripoffs.

"Lots of people along the upper Gulf Coast and Central Texas were hard-hit by Tropical Storm Fay late last week and over the weekend," said Attorney General Cornyn. "Just as with the devastation that occurred a year ago last June with Tropical Storm Allison, many people have suffered major property damage. With this realization comes the potential for dishonest business people who prey on the helplessness and misery of these property owners."

When consumers must turn to businesses and contractors for services necessary in the cleanup and rebuilding process, they should consider these precautions:

  • Engage the services of licensed or bonded contractors or builders;
  • Be wary of door-to-door solicitations and offers of up-front payment for services not rendered;
  • Don't be rushed into signing contracts;
  • Secure the terms of any warranty work in writing;
  • Ask for references from contractors.

Persons who believe they have been victimized by deception may file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office by calling toll-free 800/621-0508 or 800/337-3928. To file a complaint online go to www.oag.state.tx.us and click on "Consumer Protection."

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