Before you sign a contract or make a large purchase from a business, do some very simple but important homework:

#1 Check out a business' complaint history through the following agencies:

#2 Verify Licensure:

If you have a problem, the following are some helpful agencies:
  • America's Consumer Law Experts National Consumer Law Center Consumer Information to protect your money from fraud and other scams
  • Area Agency on Aging "How Do I Resolve Consumer Problems?"
  • Better Business Bureau of West Florida Call (727) 535-5522 or go online
  • Citizen Dispute Settlement Program - Clearwater and St. Petersburg (727) 582-7250
  • Consumer Protection (727) 464-6200
  • Consumer Credit Counseling (727) 585-0099 (financial counseling)
  • Construction Licensing Board Pinellas County (727) 536-4720 (call before signing any contract)
    • Home improvement contractors must be licensed with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board. The license number must be displayed on advertising as well as on contracts. You can verify a contractor's license number and check any complaints by calling or going online.
  • Federation of Manufactured Home Owners (727) 530-7359
  • Insurance Commission (727) 588-3688
--Written by N Thompson, ARNP in collaboration with C Thompson and M Thompson, MD, Internal Medicine, Last updated March 2007

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