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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > December 2014 > Don’t Get Burned When Hiring a Holiday Light Installer

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Don’t Get Burned When Hiring a Holiday Light Installer

Have you ever considered paying a professional to hang your outdoor holiday lights? While relying on a pro may add a special sparkle to your home’s holiday décor, be sure to do your homework before allowing an expert to do any work on your property.
The following tips will help ensure you hire a reputable installer to hang holiday lights or perform any work on your home:
· Always check the reputation before hiring any professional. Research whether any complaints have been properly resolved by contacting the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the local Better Business Bureau. Ask for references and contact prior customers to find out if they were satisfied with their holiday light installation.
· Avoid paying for all of the work upfront. Paying for the whole job before work has begun puts all your money at risk in case the holiday light installer fails to do a satisfactory job or skips town before hanging a single bulb.
· Know if you have a three-day “right to cancel.” Under Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act, consumers generally have three days to cancel sales of $25 or more made in their homes or at a location that is not the contractor’s regular place of business (for example, a home improvement show or winter fair). In these cases, the installer should not begin hanging your holiday lights until three days after you authorize the work.
· Receive a written contract. This contract should include all details about the work that will be performed, including any promises made to the homeowner. If a verbal promise or agreement – such as removing the lights after the holiday season or supplying a certain type of decoration – is not included in the contact, it is not guaranteed.
· Know how to cancel the contract. Generally, in order for consumers to exercise their cancellation rights (under laws that provide such rights), consumers must cancel in writing. However, sellers can choose to make it easier for consumers to cancel, such as allowing them to cancel online. Make sure all acceptable cancellation methods are written into the contract.
Hiring a light installer can spice up your home for the holidays, but be sure to treat this work as you would any other home improvement project. Doing a little homework now will save you time and money if a holiday light installation is not done to your satisfaction.
If you suspect a scam or unfair business practice, report it to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.