The recent damage done by the storms and tornados brings out the best in people, as strangers reach out to help others in need. Unfortunately, the aftermath of a crisis also brings out contractors who take advantage of those who have already been victimized.
Your Better Business Bureau is warning local residents affected by the recent storms to beware of storm chasers and out-of-town contractors soliciting business.
It is not uncommon for out-of-town storm chasers to solicit business after storms like the ones we had yesterday. 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.
Your BBB offers the following tips for storm victims:
Contractors must be registered with the Georgia’s Secretary of State’s Office.
Many municipalities require a solicitation permit if sales people go door-to-door. Verify that they need to have a permit by contacting your local City Hall or County Courthouse or Municipality. BBB suggests consumers be pro-active in selecting a contractor and not re-active to sales calls on the phone or door-to-door pitches.
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.
Try to get at least 3-4 quotes from contractors, and insist that payments be made to the company, not an individual.
Do not pay for the job in advance. Be wary of any contractor who demands full or half payment upfront.
Resist high-pressure sales tactics such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot.
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.
Pay by credit card, if possible; you may have additional protection if there’s a problem.
Check that the contractor’s vehicle has signs or markings on it with the business name, phone number and license plates for your state.
For companies you can trust, please visit bbb.org.