Instead of Solving Real Crimes, Cops Go Undercover to Arrest 118 Handymen for Not Having Licenses

Sep 2019
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It's all about the money.

Instead of Solving Real Crimes, Cops Go Undercover to Arrest 118 Handymen for Not Having Licenses

Hillsborough County, FL — In the land of the free, attempting to earn money in certain professions without first paying the state for the privilege of doing so can and will get you kidnapped and extorted. These laws are applied to children behind lemonade stands as well as adults selling flowers. The state callously and with extreme prejudice has been documented arresting people, or even beating up women to enforce these licensing laws.
 
Feb 2020
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dfw, texas
while some handyman work should be licensed, due to possible safety issues, if there is no real safety threat, then it is obviously too big of a nanny state problem. there is a greater chance of getting ripped off, though, so all these people, usually older folks without a lot of disposable income, better be sure these guys they use have some good references, and you don't give them too much up front.
 

LTP

Mar 2018
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while some handyman work should be licensed, due to possible safety issues, if there is no real safety threat, then it is obviously too big of a nanny state problem. there is a greater chance of getting ripped off, though, so all these people, usually older folks without a lot of disposable income, better be sure these guys they use have some good references, and you don't give them too much up front.
I disagree. I hire handymen all the time. If you do not pay for licensing, insurance, etc. then you assume the risks in lieu of the savings. AND, in a free market economy, that is our choice. This is especially true when those on fixed or low incomes cannot pay big box rates for jobs that simply are not worth a surgeon's wages.

To illustrate the point, I had two lawyer friends I did a lot of work with. One of them shut his practice down and opened a plumbing company after paying a plumber to fix a stoppage one Thanksgiving day. The other had a fencing business and the fencing business paid him more than the legal field. People are using those licenses and insurance, etc. to rip us off AND charge rates so exorbitant that many simply cannot afford them. Let me pick who I want and let the buyer beware.
 
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Sep 2019
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while some handyman work should be licensed, due to possible safety issues, if there is no real safety threat, then it is obviously too big of a nanny state problem. there is a greater chance of getting ripped off, though, so all these people, usually older folks without a lot of disposable income, better be sure these guys they use have some good references, and you don't give them too much up front.
I know licenced contractors, mechanics and other supposed "professionals," who don't know their ass from a whole in the ground. Licenses don't mean shit, except revenue for the government that issues them.
 
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Mar 2013
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Land of the free , home of the brave, capitalism, deregulation, work hard, earn your way, become rich, unless of course you’re a working stiff. Someone with a truck and some tools then don’t you dare try to do so without the state’s permission!!!!

MAGA !!! But only for giant corporations.
 
Nov 2005
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Licensing? To me, that's one issue. We could debate the value / merits of that.

The police officers ENFORCING licensing via arrests?
WTF? That is profoundly schmucked up.

The issue (for me) is much broader than the example involved. Apple and other companies are fighting "right to repair" ideals and trying to ensure THEIR METHODS for repair are the only ones that are allowed.
Something wrong with your Mac book or iPhone? It doesn't matter that it should be fixable by replacing a single part. Apple wants to replace much more at a higher cost.

Kevin Purdy, a writer for iFixit, hits even harder, saying some of the repairs Apple performs are “disingenuous.” He says there are instances when a repair to a solid-state drive or a Touch ID sensor on a Mac laptop will result in the replacement of the motherboard, which he likens to “prescribing a heart transplant for a common flu." "Only Apple can, with a straight face, claim that they offer ‘repair services through refunds or replacements’ on some devices,” Purdy writes.

(On a personal note, this has happened to me at least twice. When I attempted to get the cracked screen on my Apple Watch Series 2 repaired, I was eventually told by an Apple Store employee that the pricey “repair” would mean a replacement of the whole watch module. Another time, my nonworking MacBook Pro keyboard was diagnosed as a liquid-damaged machine and resulted in the replacement of the logic board, display clamshell, top case, bottom case, battery, keyboard, trackpad, and more. It cost $755.)

Apple’s inability to fix certain modular parts could as much about its design decisions as its repair policies. “If any single part fails, it shouldn’t result in a replacement. But they’ve designed themselves into a corner,” iFixit’s Wiens says, referring to Apple’s attention to sleek, thin products, which may be aesthetically pleasing but equate to hard-to-access glued parts, whether that’s in a laptop or an AirPod.​

Apple has actually put out info on what they think should be implemented to allow third parties to repair their items.
The requirements are profoundly absurd and unreasonable. Explained more below. Video includes profanity and Louis flipping off Apple...
 
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Also, from the original article (post #1), please note the description provided.
This isn't a situation where typically a con man shows up to perform work that will hurt people.
It involves entrapment.

Sammis explained that the undercover cops will hire handymen on the pretext of performing work that doesn’t require a license and then trick them into doing it mid-job. It’s nothing short of entrapment.​
“When the handyman says no, then the undercover detective moves the conversation to something else and then comes back to the question later in a different way,” says Sammis. “By the time the handyman gets to the location, they want to make the homeowner happy and end up agreeing to perform work that they didn’t intend on doing when they first arrived. The undercover detective are just creating a crime that probably wouldn’t occur otherwise.”​

Sammis says that these cops couldn’t care less about homeowner safety, which is illustrated by the fact that very few actual criminals are caught. Also, while these cops are devoting resources to arresting handymen, actual crimes in which there are actual victims, go unpunished and uninvestigated. Instead of solving or helping to prevent the further victimization of innocent citizens, these elaborate stings are used to bolster the city’s bottom line.​
“These sting operations rake in big money in fines and court costs,” Sammis says. “Catching real criminals actually committing a crime is much harder.”​
 
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Feb 2020
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dfw, texas
I disagree. I hire handymen all the time. If you do not pay for licensing, insurance, etc. then you assume the risks in lieu of the savings. AND, in a free market economy, that is our choice. This is especially true when those on fixed or low incomes cannot pay big box rates for jobs that simply are not worth a surgeon's wages.

To illustrate the point, I had two lawyer friends I did a lot of work with. One of them shut his practice down and opened a plumbing company after paying a plumber to fix a stoppage one Thanksgiving day. The other had a fencing business and the fencing business paid him more than the legal field. People are using those licenses and insurance, etc. to rip us off AND charge rates so exorbitant that many simply cannot afford them. Let me pick who I want and let the buyer beware.
what part do you disagree with, that some jobs around the house could be dangerous if a licensed plumber or installer does not do it? do you have any idea of how dangerous a gas water heater or gas furnace could be if not installed right by someone who knew for sure what the hell he was doing? or even a toilet and bathroom plumbing in general? ever heard of methane? if you want to go around putting your life in danger, and your kids, to save a few bucks by hiring guys who may not know about how to safely do some plumbing and water heater and furnace installation, i agree that is your call. but it should be the law for licensed installers to be used, to protect people who deserve to be protected and not interested in saving a few bucks.

i bet you also believe the FDA is a waste of time- let the buyer beware!! so what if some drugs were mislabeled or not tested correctly and are dangerous as hell- after a few consumers die or get sick, others will quit buying it and the company will go out of business anyway!! capitalism, baby!! inspections? we don't need no stinkin' inspections....
 
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Mar 2013
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what part do you disagree with, that some jobs around the house could be dangerous if a licensed plumber or installer does not do it? do you have any idea of how dangerous a gas water heater or gas furnace could be if not installed right by someone who knew for sure what the hell he was doing? or even a toilet and bathroom plumbing in general? ever heard of methane? if you want to go around putting your life in danger, and your kids, to save a few bucks by hiring guys who may not know about how to safely do some plumbing and water heater and furnace installation, i agree that is your call. but it should be the law for licensed installers to be used, to protect people who deserve to be protected and not interested in saving a few bucks.

i bet you also believe the FDA is a waste of time- let the buyer beware!! so what if some drugs were mislabeled or not tested correctly and are dangerous as hell- after a few consumers die or get sick, others will quit buying it and the company will go out of business anyway!! capitalism, baby!! inspections? we don't need no stinkin' inspections....

Tell us. The last time you took your car in for service, especially something like brakes, did you verify the person actually performing the repairs was ASE certified? Or did you just call around and find who would do it cheaper? Do you ever question the quality of parts being installed on your car ??