Contractors Ready to Take Advantage of Storm Victims
February 27, 2012
Denver, CO – February 24, 2012 – Every time storms hit, the Better Business Bureau receives many complaints about unethical contractors, called storm chasers. If your property was damaged by recent wind or snow storms, your Better Business Bureau warns that you may be targeted by unethical contractors.

Know that storm chasers are not just roofing contractors. Use caution when dealing with landscapers, siding contractors, tree service companies, window contractors and auto body repair shops.

“Do not act in haste if someone comes to your door and offers to work on damage, no matter what scare tactics they use, or how good of a deal they offer,” says Dale Mingilton, President and CEO of The Better Business Bureau serving Denver/Boulder. Mr. Mingilton suggests you take their information, and tell them that you will follow up if you are interested in using them for repairs. Contact your insurance company directly, and have them come out to assess the damage before authorizing repairs or signing any type of contract.

If your property has been damaged remember the following:

· DO NOT sign a contract with the first company you come across. Always get three bids, and check each company out with your BBB either by visiting our website, www.denver.bbb.org, or by calling (303) 758-2100. You can obtain bids from accredited businesses using the Request a Quote on the BBB’s website.

· DO NOT trust door to door salesmen. Always get a business card, then contact the company you are considering contracting with to verify the person’s employment.

· Be cautious of doing business with any out of state contractors. They may be here one day and gone the next.

· BEFORE you sign ANYTHING, read it carefully to make sure you clearly understand what you and the contractor are responsible for.

· Any promises made verbally should be written into the contract. This includes any warranties on materials or labor.

· Prepare a written agreement with anyone you hire. It should detail the work to be done, materials to be used, and the price breakdown for both labor and materials. Review it carefully before signing. Never pay for all repairs in advance, and never pay cash.

· Contact your insurance company to request an inspection before involving any contractor.

· DO NOT give your insurance information to a contractor and do not allow them to file a claim on your behalf.

· Verify that contractors are licensed with your county building department BEFORE you entering into any verbal or written agreement.

· If you have ANY questions about a signed contract contact your attorney IMMEADITLY.

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About the BBB
The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews and BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM on charities, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 125 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada. Please visit
www.denver.bbb.org for more information.

(Written by: Megan N. Miller / BBB Serving Denver|Boulder)