The misrepresentation of a person or business by using the wrong descriptive words has lead to lawsuits, physical confrontations, and irreparable damages. This misrepresentation can occur through ignorance or what could be called intent or fraud.
When a business stretches the description of their self for marketing enhancement, a line can be crossed and in my opinion, the integrity of the ownership is called into question.
The situation I am about to detail I would like to think falls into ignorance more than fraud. However, when it comes to selling someone something, I am always pessimistically cautious.
Quick background: On January 1, 2006, Idaho enacted a Contractor registration law ( Title 54 Chapter 52- Contractor Registration Act) whereby all Contractors by definition of the law are required to register with the State. There is great detail of who is and who is not a Contractor and the wording of the law is quite easy to read and worth the effort. If you wish to be an informed consumer, I encourage you taking a minute and looking up this law. (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title54/T54CH52.htm)
Part of the law requires that: “ A contractor registered pursuant to this chapter shall prominently display his contractor registration number for public view in his place of business, on advertising, contracts, permits, company or business letterheads, and purchase orders and subcontracts within sixty (60) days of issue of registration.”
The problem I am seeing is that the word” Registered” is being substituted with “Licensed” for advertising purposes. Because the official paperwork comes from the State Bureau of Occupational Licenses, some individuals are taking that to mean that they are now licensed. WRONG.
I have seen companies on their vehicles and print advertising promoting that they are Licensed Idaho Contractors. WRONG. We have no licensing of Contractors in Idaho. We have Registration. That number they show is a Registration number, RCE means Registered Contracting Entity.
What’s the big deal you may ask? The big deal is when a customer assumes they have consumer protection or a trained and tested professional because of licensing.
So back to the ignorance or fraud comment I made earlier. Which is it? Do they not know they are not Licensed? Do they know and not care that they are using the wrong word? To they actually think they are Licensed? Are they purposefully trying to pull something over on you? Are they lying or stupid?
Ask them. You are the customer. You have the right to know who you are hiring. Demand to see this mythical license they are advertising. Who issued it? Probably wasn’t the State of Idaho.
Registration is the law. Unregistered Contractors are breaking the law. Who do you want working on your home? It is worth looking into and asking the questions.
Plumbers, Electricians, and HVAC Contractors are Licensed through the State by their own divisions and boards and technically do not have to apply for registration.