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Where to complain about a plumber or any other contractor

4) What you want to accomplish with your complaint:

  1. You want to create some negative publicity for your contractor.
  2. You want your contractor to correct the work he's done.
  3. You want your money back.

a) These days it's easy to post your complaint on the Internet. It may not help you to resolve your dispute with a contractor, however it may cost him future customers and have other negative consequences for him.
We collect all sorts of customer reviews, complaints, and comments here.
To post your comment on Google do the following:
Find your contractor in Google maps, and click the “more info” link next to the name of your contractor. On the following page, scroll down to “Reviews by Google users” and click on “Rate and review” link on the left.
There are many other websites that let you post comments and complaints about your contractor. Below you may find just a few examples:
1) (registration required),
Make sure that the website where you send your complaint or comment is indexed by search engines so that your complaint will show up in Internet searches.

Complaints to your State's Contractor Licensing Boards or the BBB may show up in the contractor's record with these agencies. Other customers searching for the contractor will be warned. The BBB Business Reviews are indexed by all the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) and will come up in search results.

Check with your local newspaper, TV, and radio stations for consumer reporters or “action lines”. This could be a very efficient way to publicize your discontent with a contractor.

b) If you are dissatisfied with the quality of work that the contractor did for you and want him to fix it, the best place to complain is your State's licensing authority/Board. Licensing Boards have considerable leverage over licensed contractors and may order them to make repairs or replace defective components.
You can find more information and links to the majority of State licensing boards here:

Another option is the Better Business Bureau.

c) If your goal is to obtain restitution rather than having poor workmanship corrected you should consider a court action. If the amount of money at stake is not big (around $5000 or so, depending on State) you may take your case to Small-claims court, which is relatively inexpensive (no lawyer is usually needed), simple, and fast. If there is a significant amount of money at stake, contact your lawyer.
The Small Claims Court may not help if your contractor cannot be located, or is no longer in business, or has filed for bankruptcy, or has no money or property.
There is a small chance to get your money back without going to court. For this your contractor should be bonded and should have posted his license bond in the form of a surety bond. The surety company has the right to pay a written claim prior to court action but may require you to get a judgment against the contractor and the surety company. To find out the type of bond held by your contractor contact your State's contractor licensing authority.

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