Severe hail storms spark BBB storm-chaser warning

  
     
August 08, 2014
 

CALGARY, ALBERTA - August 8, 2014 - After several damaging hail storms struck Airdrie, BBB is encouraging home owners to be vigilant in the coming days and weeks when it comes time to hire disaster recovery and repair contractors.

"Unfortunately, scammers tend to come out of the woodwork after a weather disaster to capitalize on the fact that people are vulnerable," says Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. "It's crucial that while residents are anxious to repair the damage to their homes and vehicles, they take the time to ensure they're not dealing with a storm chaser."

Storm chasers are generally out-of-town contractors who show up after a disaster, walk door-to-door offering great deals on recovery efforts, take deposits from unwitting homeowners and then leave town - often without completing any work at all.

BBB offers the following tips to consider if your home, business or vehicle has suffered hail damage:

  • Do your research. Check BBB before you hire a contractor and avoid businesses who come to your door with a "good deal." Check out our online BBB Business Reviews to see ratings and business history records. 

  • Get it in writing. Request bids from three different contractors that include costs, timelines and warranty information. Remember, the lowest bid doesn't guarantee the best deal. 

  • Check licensing and credentials. Check with your municipality to determine if inspections, permits or licensing is required. Contact Service Alberta for information on required provincial licensing. If the contractor can't prove his qualifications, walk away. 

  • Beware of upfront fees. If a contractor or repairman request full payment upfront, it could be a red flag.  

  • Ask about insurance. Although contractors are not required by law to carry liability insurance, it could mean you could be liable for damage to you or your neighbour's property. Also find out what your homeowner's insurance will and won't cover. 

For tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.  

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Media Contact:

Leah Brownridge, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay
(403) 531-8793 or leah@calgary.bbb.org

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 


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