News 12 First at Five / Thursday, March 15, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It's days like today that make us start thinking about projects for the summer. But before you hire a contractor, you need to ask yourself: paper or plastic?
We get lots of On Your Side calls about contractor problems, so that's why I'm being very picky ... and choosing plastic over paper.
The Federal Trade Commission warns of contractors who only offer the option to pay cash. They may not be as reputable as one who has other payment options available.
What you want is a paper trail, so make a copy of your check before paying them. If you do choose cash, have the contractor sign a receipt.
Also keep in mind that paying with debit or credit is very different.
"A credit card and debit card are not the same thing. Remember your debit card is connected to your checking account and the money goes out automatically. By using a credit card, you get extra protection because it takes longer for you to pay that bill," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.
Another thing to remember is that debit cards don't offer the same consumer protection that credit cards do.
Keep in mind that you should not fork over all of your money for a job that has not been completed yet.