BBB at the Rochester Home & Garden Show

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York visited with Accredited Businesses at the Rochester Home & Garden Show March 25 and 26. Our booth was set up to show attendees which businesses are accredited and why it’s good to look for an Accredited Business when thinking about home improvement projects. We also handed out RFID sleeves to protect credit cards from electronic scanners.

Thank you to the following Accredited Businesses for your support at the show:

Access Lifts & Ramps

Ace Swim

Admar Construction Equipment & Supplies

Albright Remodeling Inc.

Apex Window Films

Bath Fitter of Rochester

Best Tile

Betlem Residential Heating & Air Conditioning

Brockman Tree & Lawn Care

Cameron Roofing

Champion Windows

Comprehensive Mold Management

Crossfield Heating and Air Conditioning Inc.

Custom Window Treatments By Theresa

Design Pool & Spa Ltd

Doctor Electric

Everdry Waterproofing of Upstate New York

Fitch Construction, Inc.

G&G Window Repair

Geotherm Inc.

Graves Bros Home Improvement Co.


Hamilton Building Services

Harman Flooring Co. Inc.

Hawkeye Glass Block & Basement

Highland Contractors

Holbrook Heating Inc.

Home Comfort/

Home Power Systems, LLC

Homes by Design Inc.

Isaac Home and Air Conditioning

John Betlem Heating & Cooling, Inc.

Keystone Custom Decks

Marshall Exteriors

Miracle Method of Greece

Modern Windows

Monkey Bars Garage Storage & Flooring

N Hance of Western New York

Neverwet Basement Waterproofing

Nichols Electrical Contracting, inc.

Nu-Look Cabinet Refacing

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Pace Window and Doors

Patio Enclosures

Pella of WNY

R & W Paving

RAC for Women

Renewal by Anderson

Rochester Bath & Kitchen Remodeling

Rochester Colonial

Rochester Glass Block

Rochester Linoleum & Carpet One

Seamless Gutters & Supply Co.

Taylor Heating, Inc.

The Roofing Guys

Tracey Door Company

Travel Resorts Of America

Trinity Home Renovations

True Energy Solutions

Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning

Upstate Alarm LLC

Van Hee Mechanical

Vekton Corporation

Wonder Windows

Yorkstate Roofing Services


BBB at the CNY Home and Garden Show

Home show season continued for Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York March 16-19 at the CNY Home and Garden Show in Syracuse. Held at the New York State Fairgrounds, the event attracted visitors and businesses from Central New York and beyond.

BBB had the opportunity to visit with more than 70 Accredited Businesses and used signs to encourage consumers to visit those businesses.

Home improvement season is getting closer, and attendees were able to visit businesses to get project ideas and get one step closer to making them a reality.

Thank you to the following Accredited Businesses for your support at the show:
AAA Exterminators- The Critter Ridders
American Homes
Apex Solar Power
Arrow Fence
Atlas Fence
Barden Building Systems
Barry Best Seamless Gutters
Basement Waterproofing
Bath Fitter
Berkshire Hathaway CNY Realty
Best Tile Distributors
Busch Products, Inc.
C. Michael Exteriors, Inc.
Classic Cozy & Carpentry
CleanWay Systems – Indoor Environmental Services
CNY Home Improvements
CNY Solar, Inc.
Comfort Windows
Concrete Renovators
Countryside Stove & Chimney
Crown Construction
CSM Finishing
Cutco Cutlery
Energy Savers
Falso Service Experts
GrandView Home Enhancements
Hawkeye Glass Block & Basement Solutions
Holbrook Heating, Inc.
Home Power Systems
Isaac Heating & AC
Kitchen Tune Up
Lawn-a-Mat of Syracuse
LeafFilter Gutter Protection
Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing
Murtaugh Restorations Inc.
Nationwide Lifts
Neverwet Basement Waterproofing
Next Building
Nickels Energy Solutions, LLC
Nu-Look Cabinet Refacing
Olum’s Appliances/Olum’s Furniture
Overhead Door Company of Auburn/Syracuse
Pace Windows and Doors
Preferred Exteriors and Renovations, Inc.
Prime Heating and Air, LLC
Roma Tile
Seamless Gutter & Supply
Sit Means Sit Syracuse
Sleep Number
Sunesta Awnings/Barry Best
Sunspace Sunrooms
Superior Insulation
Superior Seal & Paving, Inc.
Syracuse Dog Fence
TAG Mechanical
The Roofing Guys, Inc.
True Color CNY
Tyler Construction Services
Wayne-Dalton of Syracuse
Wet Basement Solutions, LLC
Wilcox Basement Systems, Inc.
Woodford Bros., Inc.



BBB at the Buffalo Home Show

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York visited with Accredited Businesses at our biggest home show of the year so far. The Buffalo Home Show was held March 3-5 and 10-12 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Tens of thousands of people visited the show as a kickoff to the home improvement and outdoor season. Contractors, landscapers, pool companies and more, all showed off their work and answered questions for potential customers.

Thank you to the following BBB Accredited Businesses for attending!

A Best, Inc.
A-1 Concrete Leveling
AAA Timberline
Adams Door Co., Inc.
ADT Security Services
All Star Energy/Home Comfort
Allegany Mountain Resort
Amherst Alarm, Inc.
ARB Heating & Cooling
Bath Fitter
Beauty Pools
Best Antiques
Black Rock Roofing, Inc.
Braendel Painting
Braymiller Builders
Buffalo Glass Block
Buffalo Hardwood Floor Center
Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors
Buffalo Solar Solutions
Capital Heat, Inc.
Carpet Factory Outlet
CertaPro Painters of WNY
CIR Electrical Construction-Solar
Classic Home Improvements, Inc.
Colley’s Pools
Collingwood Construction Corp.
Comfort Windows
Concrete Innovations
Cortese Construction
Culligan Water
Custom Carpet Centers
Custom Interiors Kitchen & Bath
Custom Turf
Cutco Cutlery
D.H. Berry, Inc.
Decks By Design
Designer Pools
Direct Security Systems
Doyle Security
Everdry Waterproofing
Felgemacher Masonry
Fiorella’s Landscaping & Snowplowing
First Buffalo Total Basement Finishing
Frank’s Basement Systems
G & G Fitness Equipment, Inc.
Grassman Lawn & Landscape
Hamburg Overhead Door, Inc.
Hart To Hart Industries, Inc.
Heatwave Heating & Cooling, Inc.
Indoor Air Professionals, Inc.
International Stone Gallery
IQ Modular Homes, Inc.
Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning
Ivy Lea Construction
Jameson Electric, Heating & Air
K-9 Connection
Kohler Awning, Inc.
Lakeside Sod Supply Co.
LeafFilter Gutter Protection
Leveled Contracting, Inc.
Mario Tile
Mesi Agency, Inc.
Metro Mattress Corp.
Miracle Method
Modern Windows of NY, Inc.
Mr. Plumber Heating & Cooling
Munro Products
National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation
National Overhead Door, Inc.
Neverwet Basement Waterproofing
Niagara Hardwood Center
Northeast Mechanical, Inc.
Paint of WNY
Parise Mechanical
Pella Of WNY
Phoenix Home Improvement
Picket Fence and Exteriors, Inc.
Pollard Windows
Pool Brite, Inc.
Premier Kitchen Cabinet Refacing
Pro Kitchen Renovation
Property Optics Irrigation & Lighting
Raynor Doors
Realty Smith
Recreational Warehouse
Renewal By Andersen
Ridge Overhead Door of North Tonawanda
Satellite Solutions
Seibold Construction, Inc.
Shield Security Systems
Siegel Landscape & Drainage
Stockmohr Company, Inc.
Stonish Lawn Care & Snowplowing
Sun Enterprises Sheds
Sunbeam Service Experts
Sunroom Additions & Improvements, Inc.
Sunset Custom Homes, Inc.
Switala’s Construction
The Buffalo News
The Gutter People Of WNY, Inc.
The Kaz Companies
The Vinyl Outlet
Universal Windows Direct
Utech Basement Waterproofing
Vintage Vibe
Watercure USA
Williamstown Construction Co., Inc./Superior Insulation
Wonder Windows
Zenner & Ritter Home Services


Don’t get scammed when buying March Madness tickets!

Basketball fans are excited for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, with the first round being held at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. As March Madness gets underway, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is urging fans to buy tickets from reputable sources and avoid scammers.

Don’t forget these key steps when buying tickets to March Madness games in Buffalo

“As Buffalo prepares for basketball fans from all over the country, BBB wants to make sure everyone has real, legitimate tickets to the games,” said Warren Clark, BBB’s president and CEO. “Remember to thoroughly check the tickets over before you buy.”

BBB offers tips for determining a legitimate ticket deal from a possible scam:

Do your research. 
Look up the seller or broker on for details about the company, history of complaints, and for customer reviews.

Know the difference between a ticket broker and a ticket scalper. A ticket broker is a legitimate and accredited reseller while a ticket scalper is an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller.

Check the ticket broker’s refund policy. Only buy from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.

Don’t give too much personal information. It is important not to give anyone your Social Security number or financial data. Confirm the name and address of the business before your purchase, especially if you have clicked on a ticket broker or third party website.

Pay with a credit card. This way, you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Do not use cash; there is little to no way of getting your money back if the tickets are fraudulent.

Verify the seats are real. Always ask for a section, row and seat number to verify the location and avoid seats that do not exist.

Buy your ticket from the source. The NCAA advises fans to buy from the official website or host schools’ ticket offices. The NCAA Ticket Exchange is the only 100% guaranteed, NCAA-approved secondary ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets with other fans.

Report any suspected ticket scams to BBB’s Scam Tracker so that others can be warned as well.


BBB at the WNY Home & Garden Expo in Hamburg, NY

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York met with our Accredited Businesses at the WNY Home & Garden Expo at the end of February. The event was held at the Fairgrounds Event Center in Hamburg, and drew thousands of people looking to get a jump on spring and home improvement season. Companies from all over Western New York showcased their work, from simple garden projects to pools to new houses.

Thank you to the following BBB Accredited Businesses who attended:

A-1 Concrete Leveling and Foundation Repair
ADT Security
Allegany Mountain Resort
ARB Heating & Cooling
Barden Homes
Bath Fitter
Bean Concrete, LLC
Beauty Pools, Inc.
Black Rock Roofing
Braymiller Builders of WNY
Capital Heat, Inc.
Carpet Factory Outlet
CertaPro Painters of WNY
Colley’s Pools & Spas
Cortese Construction Services
Culligan Water
Darling Paint
Designer Pools
Everdry Waterproofing of Upstate New York
Expert Contracting
First Buffalo Total Basement Finishing
Frank’s Basement Systems
Hamburg Overhead Door Inc.
Heatwave Heating & Cooling
House Crafters
Indoor Air Professionals
Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning
Ivy Lea Construction
Joe Basil Chevrolet
John Sixt and Son, Inc.
Lakeside Sod Supply Co., Inc.
Mario & Son Tile and Linoleum
Mattress Firm
Modern Window of NY, Inc
Munro Products
National Overhead Door, Inc.
Paint of WNY
PCS Plumbing & Heating
Pella Windows of Buffalo
Phoenix Home Improvement of WNY, Inc.
Quality Craft Contracting
Realty Smith
Renewal by Andersen of WNY
Satellite Solutions & Electronics of WNY
Seneca Plumbing & Heating Supply
Solar by CIR
Springville Door & Window, Inc.
Sunroom Additions & Improvements, Inc.
Tanner Remodeling & Construction
The Gutter People of WNY/ Gutter Helmet
The Kaz Companies, Inc.
The Vinyl Outlet
Tripi’s Landscaping LLC
Universal Windows Direct of Buffalo
WaterCure USA
Williamstown Construction/Superior Insulation


BBB at the Albany Times Union Home Expo

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York met with our Accredited Businesses at the Albany Times Union Home Expo this month. The event drew thousands of people looking for new ideas and companies to make their home improvement “to-do” list a reality!

Thank you to the following BBB Accredited Businesses who attended:

American Design & Contracting, LLC

Aztech Geothermal, LLC

Basement Waterproofing, Inc.

Bath Fitter

Bellamy Construction

Bennett Contracting, Inc.

Capital CoverCrete

Champion Window Company of Albany

Culligan of the Hudson Valley

Curtis Lumber Company Inc.

Direct Energy Solar

Dorini, LLC Log & Custom Homes

Earl B. Feiden Inc.

Empire Overhead Doors, LLC

Family Danz Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Fridholm Painting & Remodeling

Hudson Solar

Lotus Energy Inc.

Monolith Solar Associates, LLC

NAVCO Windows & Doors

Normanskill Custom Cabinetry

Otterbeck Builders, Inc.

R.M. Pena Inc.

ReBath of Albany

Seamless Gutter & Supply Company


Symmetry, The Technology Company

Window Depot USA of Albany

Window World of the Capital District




Can you hear me? Do not say yes!

Answering “yes” to the question “can you hear me?” is all a scammer needs to execute the latest phone call scam. Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is seeing a dramatic increase in reports on our Scam Tracker and calls to our office reporting this scam.

There's a new phone scam out there!

There’s a new phone scam out there!

There are three different “versions” of the scam calls: Phishing, employment, and vacations.

People in Central New York and the Capital Region report the following:

“I returned a missed call and was asked if this was (my name) and I answered yes. I’m job-hunting at the time and the phone call said they were following up on a request for info about going back to college that I submitted but they could not tell me who I submitted it through. I am unaware of ever requesting any info about college. And I just heard about a scam on the news that sounds pretty similar to this. Wanted to report it.”

“Caller said they were having trouble with headset and asked ‘can you hear me?’ I replied ‘yes.’”

“Just saw this on the news about someone calling and trying to record the word “Yes.” A man called and said he was with the customer support team and asked if I could hear him. He then went on to say I’d won a vacation and I hung up.”

“When phone answered-scam recording acted like they couldn’t hear the answer stated a problem with their headset. Once “headset” was fixed stated I won a vacation.”

scam tracker can you hear me

How the scam works:
A call comes in from someone who provides an introduction and identifies the business or agency they supposedly represent. After the introduction, the recording will ask if you can hear the caller clearly. If you answer “yes,” there’s a chance that was recorded by the scammer. They could use your agreement to sign you up for a product or service, and then demand payment for it. If you refuse, the caller may produce your recorded “yes” response to confirm your purchase agreement.

What you should do:
If you receive an unsolicited call from an organization or business, just hang up. Avoid responding with “yes, sure or ok.”

The scammer may ask you to press a button to sign up for the Do Not Call Registry. Just hang up the phone. Saying anything or pressing buttons when prompted may help the scammer identify that you have an active phone number. Remember that no government agency will ever solicit for the Do Not Call Registry.

Write down the phone number of those callers violating the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with BBB Scam Tracker and FTC’s Do Not Call List.

BBB advises to check your account statements frequently in the event you do fall for a similar scam or provide personal information in an unsolicited phone call. The earlier you identify unauthorized charges on your accounts, the easier it will be to recover any lost money.


Protecting your credit cards

Even with credit card chip technology, protecting your credit cards from fraud is still important.

Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies are warning people about skimmers on credit card machines. 

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York wants everyone to keep their cards safe when using them at retail establishments.

What are skimmers?
Skimmers are card readers that can take your information fraudulently and get it in the hands of criminals.

Skimmers are commonly found on gas pumps and ATMs. Remember, if a card reader appears to have been tampered with, it’s best to not use it and let someone know.

What can you do? 

BBB has advice for protecting your credit card:
Credit Card Protection Info

There is a light at the end of the tunnel; Arrests were recently made in Genesee County. Read more here.


Looking to join a gym and get fit in the new year? BBB has advice

If you are looking to get fit and join a gym in the new year, you aren’t alone.

Each January, millions of people crowd into gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers. While it’s exciting to gear up towards a goal, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York advises everyone to treat this like any major purchases. BBB received hundreds of complaints about gyms, fitness centers and health clubs across North America in the last two years.

2017 new years resolution is exercise calendar icon

Many complaints were related to contract issues. Remember, those who ask the right questions and read the fine print are more likely to be satisfied.

Five questions to ask the gym:

What are the terms of any introductory offers? Make sure you understand the terms and what price the service will be once the introductory period is over.

Will my membership renew automatically? Many times people join a gym but don’t consider what happens when the original contract runs out. Some gym contracts renew automatically unless they are canceled.

How can I get out of my contract?effect-of-leaving-gym-on-your-health

Getting out of any contract isn’t always as easy as getting into one. Make sure you understand what steps are necessary to cancel your contract.

What happens if I move? Gyms have any number of policies for what happens if you move. It might depend on how far away you’re moving and if they have affiliate gyms you could attend.

What happens if it goes out of business? Ask the gym to explain what will happen to your money if it goes out of business.

Five questions to ask yourself when looking at a prospective gym:

What are my fitness goals? Determining your fitness goals in advance will help you select the most appropriate facility for your needs. If you have a serious medical condition, consult a medical professional when setting your fitness goals.

Is this location convenient? If the gym is across town, you’ll be less likely to work out. Choose a fitness club that is convenient for you from work and home.

Can I really afford this? Monthly gym fees add up and after any introductory periods are over, the price could jump higher than your budget can handle. Do the math before you join and make sure you can afford the gym membership.

Am I feeling pressured to join? Do not give into high-pressure sales tactics to join right away. A reputable gym will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facility, and make an informed decision.

Did I get everything in writing? Read the contract carefully and make sure that all verbal promises made by the salesperson are in writing. What matters is the document you sign, not what you heard.

For more information, visit




Avoid being the victim of a snowplow scam!

Do you know how to avoid being the victim of a snowplow scam?

Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Upstate New York reminds everyone to do their homework before hiring a snow removal service. By doing so, you will know to be on the lookout for prices too good to be true, fly by night operations, and other red flags.


BBB urges everyone to keep these important tips in mind when hiring snow removal services:

Look for experience. Each home or business is different and experience does matter. Check to see if everyone who works for the company you hire has relevant experience, not just the owner.

Ask about scheduling. Some contractors do snowplowing as a part-time job, and this may affect their availability to clear a driveway when needed. Always check to see if there is a schedule for snow removal.

Get more than one estimate. BBB recommends you get at least three estimates before making a decision. Ask for all the costs upfront to avoid any surprises. Keep in mind the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best service.

Ask about insurance. Who is responsible for damage of your home or grounds during the winter season? Find out what type of insurance coverage potential contractors provide, as well as homeowner’s insurance. Does a municipality require the contractor to have a permit or license? Before you hire anyone, make some calls to find out and then check to make sure the contractor is appropriately covered.

Review the contract.  Never settle for a verbal agreement. Contractors should always provide a written contract. A representative should come out to look at the property and make notes about services requested and potential obstacles. Get all of the details in writing and always read anything before you sign. Understand cancellation fees and any extra charges that may apply.

Split the payments. Find out how the company expects payment. Most snow plow contracts take two forms: pay per plowing or pay per season. If you choose a pay per season contract in a light snow season, the contractor is not obligated to refund any money. If you’re expected to pay all fees upfront – consider it a red flag. Most contractors will split fees into two or three payments – one at the beginning, middle and end of the season.

Beware of scams. Remember even if a business appears to be reliable, it does not mean it is. When a company is reluctant to answer questions, won’t supply proper information or unwilling to offer references – there could be cause for concern.

Check with us. BBB provides background information, complaint history, and resolution to complaints in our Business Reviews. Check out snow removal services at

Report a scam. If you spot a business or offer that sounds like an illegal scheme or fraud, tell us about it through BBB’s Scam Tracker. BBB’s Scam Tracker provides information on trending scams in our area.