BBB Warns: Be on the Lookout for Chimney Related Repair Scams

June 25, 2014

Your BBB is receiving numerous calls from consumers inquiring about chimney cleaning and chimney repair companies. Many are legitimate companies but there are a few scammers in the mix. Consumers, calling our office, have mentioned being contacted by these scammers either by telephone or in person. The company offers a very special “low price” deal to clean the chimney. Once at the home the company finds “expensive repairs” that need to be completed. The repairs can include such things as replacing all or part of the chimney or a need for a new cap or liner. Warnings are given that the repairs need to be performed right away and quotes given for hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

These scammers play on the fact that consumers have little knowledge of chimneys and the location of the work to be performed. They also play on people’s fears. Consumers have reported being told that without the repair their house could catch on fire, the chimney may collapse and they may get carbon monoxide poisoning.

Your BBB Serving the Atlantic Provinces suggests the following tips:

 Don’t fall for low price deals
 Always ask for and check references
 Don’t be pressured into fast action. Shop around and get at least three quotes before making a decision
 Make sure the company has insurance
 Get a contract in writing for the work that needs to be performed. It should include the price, date of completion, company address, phone number and warranty information.
 Always check with the BBB for a report on the company that you are thinking of doing business with.