This page applies to residential property with a dwelling. If you’re reading this page, odds are we've sent you an HIC (Home Improvement Contract).
You’re probably wondering why in the world you’re getting a contract that is so long and repetitive. To put it simply: California requires HICs for any projects performed on residential property containing a dwelling. Specifically, California’s CSLB (Contractors State License Board), via Contractors License Law (mostly sections §7159 and §872) specifies what the contents of residential contracts must contain. If you read section §7151, you'll quickly realize that this requirement isn't just for major works by general contractors - your landscaper, air conditioning company and other service companies are all specifically required to use a complete, fully California-compliant HIC (though practically none actually do).
In its requirements, California mandates that these contracts say the same things three or four times, presumably to keep you "safe". Our opinion is that an excess of words can't make doing business with bad people safe. We would suggest that it is still critical that you research and choose your standby power system vendor wisely. After all, if you're doing business with a trustworthy person, that relationship is relatively safe, while no amount of lengthy contract verbiage protects anyone from crooks. Still, evidently, California lawmakers believe that saying the same thing over and over will somehow make you better informed. Those who wrote these laws don't seem to have given sufficient weight to how repulsive it is to require repeated reading of the same regurgitated information. In reality, the repetition of the HIC seems to have the opposite effect, as many will stop reading it at some point...Most of the HICs that we've seen don't even come close to including all of California's required verbiage and still are up to 12 pages long (and require as many signatures). We thought that was a bit ridiculous so we fit everything into just two pages that you can print on both sides of a single piece of standard 8.5 x 11 paper. You can even sign electronically (please do - we prefer e-signatures). You can easily spot the majority of California's required verbiage if you click here - it is everything boxed in RED.
Many ask why we strive to put everything on just one piece of paper and it isn't just about saving trees: It is also because a lot of the required verbiage and extra signatures are only required if on a separate page. Since we placed everything together, many extra signatures and even entire paragraphs could then be eliminated (while still being California-compliant), making the contract as simple as is legally possible and requiring only one signature and one initial.
For those wishing to print out their contract, please note that printing of this contract must be done to scale at full-size, minimum. You can increase the size, no problem, but please don't let the print size become reduced. That’s because all of the characters are already the minimum size that are legally required, so reducing the size would invalidate the contract. Of course, if you have difficulty reading the contract, please just let us know and can even run to the print shop, have them blow it up on larger paper and then mail you a hardcopy.
Please mark up the contract:
Please note that we try to put everything into this draft version of your contract that we believe may likely either be required or that you may desire. As such, we're depending on you to confirm or decline additionally recommended works. So please feel free to mark up the contract and simply initial any minor changes. Please know that any major changes (i.e. hand-written notes, requested changes or conditions that significantly alter the terms of the contract) may require that we review the HIC, re-issue the HIC with those changes, counter-offer and/or decline your offer.
Accounts with AAAA:
Anyone wishing to be a customer of AAAA Generator Services Inc must apply and be approved for an account with a sufficient limit, as AAAA does not offer simple retail sales and/or services.
Account limits:Before setting up your account, AAAA will evaluate your application and, if you qualify for an account with us, we will then offer a set dollar limit for your account. We will then include that limit into your contract, to be used for unforeseen works (i.e. to replace a dead battery) so that unforeseen issues don't become big problems due to a lack of prior written funding. Experience has shown that no one is happy when we're unable to make minor, necessary repairs due to a simple paperwork issue. Having a high limit in your contract helps avoid the surprise, difficulty and delay caused by an account limit that is insufficient to fund the work you want performed on site.
Please note that it is critical to differentiate between your account limit (that may or may not be used) and approving work (required to be performed to bill against those funds).
An example: You sign a contract for $1,000 but only approve work for $400. While this is commonly done to avoid the pain and expense of signing multiple smaller contracts, some might worry that the excess $600 could be invoiced without actually getting approval to perform any additional works. Please know that trying to enforce collections for the $600 is not something AAAA would do and is not enforceable anyway.
So please know that the way our contract is worded is for your benefit and that the approved account limit does not, by itself, entitle us to use funds beyone what work is specifically approved. So, in reality, unless you're prone to uncontrolled rants of approval, having a low account limit doesn't really add a safety factor; it just diminishes your ability to approve work when we are on-site. By comparison, it is like telling your credit card company to lower your limit to what you expect to spend next month, which would lead to denial of your card if you so much as tried to buy an extra gallon of gas. So it is in your best interest to try for the maximum account limit that you qualify for, as a low limit can only lead to increased costs for you in the way of return travel charges. Also, one of the requirements to open an account with AAAA is a sufficient account limit.
Pre-approving unforeseen works:
By default, even though you have an account with an approved limit, our contracts are worded so that you have to provide some sort of additional approval to actually use these unallocated funds. Honestly, having customers' on-site approval is our preference but it just isn't always feasible for many of our busy customers. For those who aren't always on-site (meaning they may not be able to verbally approve works while we're on-site), we recommend initialing the yellow highlighted box on the HIC next to the pre-approval funds' dollar limit. That way, if we find something we believe you'll want repaired, AAAA can, at minimum, bill for time and materials up to the amount of your account limit. Please note that, as a courtesy, even if you do choose to initial the highlighted box, AAAA's policy is to still attempt to attain your approval before performing the work (i.e., if you're home, we'll ask). The yellow box is only for those who are comfortable with a blanket pre-approval of both funds -and- work. Since our older accounts usually grow to trust our judgment on these things, please just let us know once you decide to adjust your contract.
While AAAA allows approval of items proposed in advance in writing, AAAA does not provide residential change orders on-site. Instead, since California discourages verbal approvals for residential projects, we've done our best to use our decades of experience with standby power systems to take educated guesses at the most likely repairs that may be needed and/or desired. We then itemize and provide bid pricing for those common repairs in order to be as transparent as possible as early as possible. That way, well in advance of our visit, you can consider, request changes and/or approve things as you like.
Why the contract is open-ended:
We've yet to meet anyone who wants to deal with an HIC twice. As such, we've done our best to make sure that, for any future work you would like, all you would need is to approve simple change orders. If you prefer that your contract have a specific end, please simply ask (or just scribble it in before signing and returning the HIC to us).
Once you've decided to sign the HIC:
We've color-coded the signature sections of the HIC for easier viewing. Please be sure to completely fill in and sign the contract (electronic signatures are preferred), including:
Because most Californians are surprised by all of required protections that must be in every HIC, we do our best to explain that California's myriad protections are there to protect residential property owners. Remember - we've done the hard work of complying with all of California's requirements so that you don't have to worry about a thing - you only need sign and initial once. Still, please feel free to let us know what questions and concerns you have. We can’t budge on the legally required verbiage mentioned above but we can be flexible with the rest of the contract verbiage. Again, please just let us know what changes you would like.
Page 1: Write in any notes, requested changes or conditions you would like documented. You can scribble them anywhere you find an open space on the first page (no notes on page 2, please)
Page 1: If (and only if) you wish us to retain your credit card information on file, please fill in credit card information (and provide Cardholder information if different from Contact Information). Otherwise, you can always enter your credit card information later into your own secure customer portal.
Page 1: Sign & date in the highlighted space.
Page 1: Notices of cancellation: You can skip this, if you like, as we can fill in the dates for you once we have the contract back from you. But, basicaly, unless completing step 6, all HICs that aren't signed at our offices must have the dates filled in to the notices of cancellation with the termination date calculated (this is actually Federal law, not just California). If you choose to fill in the dates yourself, you'll need to put the date you sign the contract in the "Notice of Cancellation _____ [date]" fields and then calculate 3 days after that for the "...midnight of _____ [date]" fields. We would fill in the dates for you if we could but since we don't know when you'll sign, the dates then have to be input after you've signed. Remember, this is only needed if you're -not- filling out the "Waiver of 3-Day Right to Cancel" in step 6.
Page 2: Initial the highlighted Terms and Conditions in the bottom-middle of the page.
Optional: "Waiver of 3-Day Right to Cancel" on the bottom right column of Page 2: Many don't want for us to delay setting their appointment by three days (during the cancellation period). Those wishing to schedule an appointment within three days of signing need to describe the emergency in their own words and handwriting on this empty line. Examples of what to write could be as simple as "generator is giving us trouble". Please note that, if you opt to fill out and date the waiver, there is then no need to fill out the dates on the two Notices of Cancellation in step 4. So if you sign the Waiver, step 4 is moot.
Return completed contract to us digitally via email (high-resolution is preferred) or regular mail so that we can begin scheduling.