News release from the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Indiana:
BBB Warns of Storm Chasers
(July 2, 2012) – The recent damage done by the high winds in Fort Wayne and surrounding areas brings out the best in people as they reach out to help others in need. Unfortunately, the aftermath of a crisis such as the one that took place last Friday also brings out contractors who take advantage of those who have already been victimized by powerful storms. That’s their job: to con storm victims and take the money and run!
As a follow-up, your BBB is warning residents affected by the recent storms to beware of storm chasers and out-of-town contractors soliciting business.
“It’s not uncommon for out-of-town storm chasers to solicit business after storms like the ones that occurred last week,” said Michael Coil, President/CEO of BBB serving Northern Indiana. “Storm chasers may not have proper licensure for your area and may offer quick fixes or make big promises to which they won’t deliver.”
BBB offers these tips for storm victims:
[li]Is the contractor licensed in this area? Contact your local licensing office and check first. Don’t take their word for it.[/li]
[li]While most roofing contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know inspect your roof. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work.[/li]
[li]Even though you are anxious to get started, get at least 3 to 4 quotes from contractors, and insist that payments be made to the company, not an individual.[/li]
[li]Do not pay for the job in advance. Be wary of any contractors who demand full or half payment upfront. Pay by credit card, if possible; this may give you additional protection if there’s a problem.[/li]
[li]Resist high-pressure sales tactics such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot.[/li]
[li]Get a written contract that specifies the price, the work to be done, the amount of liability insurance coverage maintained by the contractor, and a time frame. Require a copy of their current certificate of insurance.[/li]
[li]Check that the contractor’s vehicle has signs or markings on it with the business name, phone number and license plates for your state.[/li]
“BBB encourages storm victims to contact us at 260.423.4433 to find out whether or not the contractor is legitimate orto check the Business Reviews of potential companies to work with,” said Coil. “Turn to a reliable company you can trust to get your work completed on time and to your satisfaction.”