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Question DetailsAsked on 4/18/2014

Why does Angies List call contractors “licensed” when they are not? Part 1.

I do give Angies List credit for making a bit of progress since I began telling them that it is ILLEGAL to call a contractor “licensed” when they are only in the process of becoming licensed or when their once valid license has expired or been suspended.

Yet they still list RAD Rooms and Patios, a company once listed as licensed even though they did not have a Contractors State License Board license (but what appeared to be some sort of city business license) as “My license application is in progres”…which means they are NOT LICENSED. I confirmed how applicants are viewed with CSLB, whose representative told me that companies in the “process” of getting a license are not allowed to contract.

As a consumer, I do not have to be as stringent as a government agency about only hiring licensed workers. But I should be able to know whether I am working with a licensed company or an unlicensed company, which becomes especially important when, for example, a project requires a permit.

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3 Answers

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In defense of Angie's list I believe that they are going on good faith as to a license being in effect. The cost to check all those that require licenses and to keep up with the yearly renewals would probably push the cost of using the list out of reach for many. While many contractors may post they are licensed, and they may have been when they joined the list it can be revoked and there are no notices that I know of in my state that are publicly posted. There is a website in my state (NJ) that you can put in the name of the business and check to see if it is valid at the time of a customers work. I have a large renewal certificate I have in the office and a wallet size one I keep with me. Even if I show it to a customer it does not mean it is still valid, much like you could have a driver's license and it could be revoked. When it comes to a major job though the list can screen out some undesirables it still is wise to check for a valid certificate of insurance and actually it should be sent to the customer not a photo copy. If a contractor just gives you a copy the policy it could have been cancelled and you would not know it. On say an addition job I have no problem having my agent send out a certificate, on small jobs I will but not that often as most of my work is referals and customers take at my word. But say you are having something like a large tree that is hanging over you house which should be a one day job if I were a customer I would not feel funny asking for one. As far as for permit applications I do not know if my state notifies the various towns about suspended licenses and I an not even sure if the towns even check the website. As I am on my towns Board of Adjustment and our secretary is also the Building Inspector's I may have to ask her at the next meeting now that you have me thinking about it.

I think Angie's is a good place to start but you still have to do your homework. If it is a big job I would ask for local references (but the bad guys will not give you and negative references) and before signing a contract for a big job ask for a certificate of insurance and look up on your state's website to see if the license is current.

I hope this helps and maybe some others may add to their knowledge as mine is limited to what my state does. I am pretty sure my cautions about getting your own certificate of insurance applies for most states. And as an extra bit of information some states like mine for a Home Improvement License you can know nothing about building and as long as you have insurance they will give you the license. I am not even sure they do a criminal check on you or check on any of the other questions asked.


Don

Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon

0
Votes

Not to take issue with your desires, but as you recognized in part 3 or 4 I think, it is not realistic for AL to be constantly checking up on the current licensing, bonding, or insurance status of thousands or tens of thousands of vendors.


If you know of people offering to provide services for which a license is required but thjey do not have such a license, and it bothers you, send the information to the state licensing board for action.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

1
Vote

In California it is illegal to "advertise construction services" without a contractors license. It is illegal to perform construction services for more than $500 labor and material combined without a contractors license.

The CSLB is looking at companies that recommend Contractors, as depending on the Companies reputation that is doing the recommending, people can be led astray in thinking they are in a safe place.

As a licendsed contractor myself, I was very suprised when looking for vendors for my own home how many illegal, unlicensed, or licened and sanctioned contractors came up in my search.

At least in Ca. I will now use AL, like I would Yelp, just as a neighbor review site, but insure I check out Contractors with the CSLB, before engaging for a quote or work.

Definitly there is no assurance you will be getting a "safe" recomendation here, do you own research.


Source: https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/onlineservic...

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_97682981




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