12/27/2013 7:49:00 AM Ask the contractor: Always check on 'too good to be true' deals
It is gratifying and heartwarming when a call comes into the office to thwart off an issue rather than asking for help after the damage has been done. Last week an elderly woman called and wanted to know if it was OK to hire a contractor who came to her door saying he would resurface her driveway with some leftover asphalt material from a jobsite and wanted to give her a "smoking deal".
My answer was a very short, repeated two-letter, one-syllable word: No, No No! The "very nice" and "clean-cut" company representative said he was a licensed contractor and that he would take cash or a personal check made payable to him. Upon further investigation, an Arizona State License could not be found for the company, but they did have a California license that was revoked in 2011.
There was an enlightening editorial in The Daily Courier on Dec. 13 about scams, and it is so important to be aware now days. You can guard against scams and high-pressure tactics by just remembering a few simple straightforward tips. It is important that you do not make yourself the target.
Unsolicited sales calls are questionable. If what they are trying to sell you sounds too good to be true, then it is.
Make sure you identify the company and/or contractor. Obtain their ROC License number. Take the time to ask for a business card. If they do not want to give you this information or say they do not have any business cards, this is a red flag.
Be aware of arrogant tones or high-pressure tactics to get a foot in the door. Remember, the longer the conversation goes, the more difficult it will be for you to end it.
Do not be forced into buying or signing anything for goods and services if there is a deadline attached to the purchase.
Be cautious of sales pitches. There are companies that pay strictly on commission and while meant to be motivational, commission salaries can also place demand on salespeople to complete more sales and be more creative. Commission sales are not bad, just ask questions about the product and/or services and make sure you have a totally understanding of what is being offered.
Remember to ask about the warranty and cancellation clause and never pay in cash or write a personal check to an individual.
Q: My husband and I saw the cutest most charming Cheerios commercial on TV with honey bees and it made us wonder, where do the bees go in winter? I have not seen them flying around our plants? Molly and Ed, Prescott
A: Not knowing about bees, I reached out to Cliff Deane, a local bee expert, beekeeper, and all around bee lover and asked Cliff what do honey bees do in the winter and where do they go?
Cliff said "different species of bees deal with cold temperatures in many different ways from hibernation to dying off." Honey bees stop flying when the weather drops below 50 degrees and form what is called a "winter cluster." All of the worker bees surround the queen and they shiver and shake and keep the hive at about 80 degrees. The worker bees have rotating schedules where they go from inside to outside to keep their body temperatures normal. When the weather is a little warmer, the bees embark on short fights; only to eliminate body waste but no long flights of fancy because they need to stay warm and a short flight ensures they are able to return to their hive.
Because there are no flowers in bloom during the winter, all nectar gathering flights are cancelled. No flower blossoms, no pollen, no bees.
Did you know that approximately one-third of all the food we eat is indirectly or directly a result of honey bee pollination? Food such as melons, cherries, apples, plums, avocados, blueberries and so much more are here because of honey bees.
Here are some more interesting facts about honey bees. The worker bee on the average has a life span of 6-8 weeks. The common cause of death is his wings wear out and it is no wonder because in this period of 6-to-8 weeks, the worker bee flies the equivalent of 1.5 times the circumference of the earth. A queen bee can lay up to 3,000 eggs per day in the springtime.
To quote the editorial in The Daily Courier on Feb. 25, 2013 about Cliff Deane and honeybees:
"Bees are an important, even indispensable link in the environment chain, yet one that most of us rarely give a second thought to. That's why it's fortunate for us that folks like Cliff Deane are among us, doing the work, collecting the honey and making sure that Einstein's dire prophesies remain just footnotes."
Let's all go love a bee.
Yavapai County Contractors Association (YCCA) is a professional association representing licensed, bonded and insured contractors, suppliers, distributors and business entities. Call YCCA for information on hiring a contractor at 778-0040. Submit questions to email@example.com or through www.ycca.org.