7On your side: National Consumer Protection Week - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7On your side: National Consumer Protection Week

No one wants to pay for home repairs and then get substandard work, but it does happen, as one local family can attest.

"I feel bad, I'm ashamed of myself!" lamented Gussie Edwards.

Her situation was heart breaking for many who heard about the case.  Last mont, she and her husband Jeffery paid $400 and gave away their truck for plumbing repairs that didn't seem to fix much of anything.

Ultimately, local contractors took notice and fixed the problems with the plumbing and other parts of the house... A happy ending of sorts.

After the repairs Gussie was ecstatic, "My heart is just so full.  I'm going to leave it at that.  And I'm going to pray for each and every one of them that played a part in this 'cause God knows my heart is just so full and I'm so happy to take a look in the kitchen, they're fixing all of that.  They done lay all new rugs in there for me," she said.

But there isn't a good Samaritan willing to help everyone in such situations.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says one way to protect yourself is to get an agreement in writing. Caldwell says his office can help provide people with the tools to do that.

"We can get them a copy of a one page contract that's one of the best in the country that will tell them everything they need to know to avoid getting ripped off," said Caldwell. The actual sample contract is here along with tips.

He says you can get it online or by calling the A.G.'s office.  If consumers do feel they've been taken advantage of or even scammed, they can file a complaint with the consumer division.

"One thing that the Attorney General does have is one of the best units in the United States to help people tend to contractor fraud and consumer issues and they can give us a call," said Caldwell.

Caldwell urges people to keep personal information private to protect themselves.

"There's a different type of scam once a week.  One thing you can be sure of is that scams will not stop and the main thing is for people not to give any information or trust anybody who's trying to get your money or your personal information. It's probably a scam and if you work by that rule 95% of the time you'll be safe," he said.

Caldwell says it's never too late to become an engaged and more informed consumer.  This is National Consumer Protection week

For links to information to help you protect your interests when getting home repairs or other services, log onto kplctv dot com.

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