Piedmont woman warning others about hiring for home repairs

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A Piedmont woman wants to warn others to be careful when hiring for home repairs. She believes workers who came to her home stole money and jewelry from her.

Lois Barnes, of Archdale, says she hired a company to install new carpet in part of her home. She withdrew $800 cash and had it in a kitchen drawer to pay the men when they were done.

But the money disappeared, along with jewelry from her bedroom. Barnes filed a police report. The case could be hard to prove because tracing the cash could be nearly impossible, she said. She had to pay the bill anyway.

We can’t name the company because charges haven’t been filed, but Barnes still wanted to warn other elderly people about what she learned from this ordeal.

“Whoever's out there that's got elderly people needing something done in the home, have a loved one there with them at all times while them people is there,” she insisted. “You’ve got to have somebody there with you or you're going to get ripped off somewhere along the line. I don't care what the company is.”

Kevin Hinterberger is the president and CEO of the ‎Better Business Bureau Serving Central North Carolina. “If there are seniors in your family and they're having work done, it's great to volunteer to be there with them as the work is being done, maybe help them do the research,” Hinterberger said.

But, he said, home repair advice goes for consumers of any age. “Get at least three estimates. Paying with a credit card will always offer the most protection for the consumer. That way they can dispute the charge if they need to, if things don't go the way they planned, they can dispute the charge with the credit card company.”

Barnes is relieved her home insurance helped cover her losses, but said she'll be more careful who she lets do work on her home in the future.

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