Consumers should research businesses, to avoid being scammed

By Taylor Kearns - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - More people are coming forward saying they were taken advantage of by Moses Telford, the  man they say was operating a repair shop on Garners Ferry Road.

The sheriff's department is waiting to hear his side of the story. How do people know who to trust when it comes to home or auto repairs?

Moses Telford customers say he seemed reliable said and all the right things.  But at least seven people say they walked away with work done poorly or not done at all.

"I kind of liked the guy when I first met him," said Buddy Wilkes, one of Telford's customers. "He was very friendly and outgoing."

The Better Business Bureau says as long as you do your homework, avoiding headaches can be easy.

"Never take anything at face value," said Jim Camp of the Better Business Bureau. "Especially during tough economic times, people need to be mindful of who they do business with. Sometimes word of mouth is not enough to ensure that you'll get good service."

According to Camp, consumers need to do their research on who they're dealing with.

Camp says that a lot of the information is available on the internet or, where they can search a running database of reputable businesses.

"Stories that often sound too good to be true, they're not true," Camp added. "They're taking advantage of you."

In addition, consumers should always check for a business license, Camp says.

According to Richland County, Telford's shop was without one.

Now in Telford's case, most of his customers were referred by friends.

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