After a storm, many people and companies panhandle wide are willing to help with temporary and permanent repairs. BBB reminds you to use reputable, well established companies for home and car repair and even yard clean up.
Tips for choosing a reputable company:
- For major permanent repairs, take time to shop around for contractors, get competitive bids and get a report from the BBB. If a company helped you make temporary repairs, you still have a right to choose the company you want for permanent repairs.
- Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and specific filing requirements.
- Contact the BBB at www.bbb.org/Amarillo or 806-379-6222 for a list of accredited businesses in the industry you are shopping in.
- Ask to see the company's license from your City’s Code Enforcement or Building Safety department in your city.
- Prepare a written agreement with anyone you hire. It should outline the work to be done, the materials to be used, and the price breakdown for both labor and materials and include any special instructions or requirements. Review it carefully before signing. NEVER SIGN A BLANK CONTRACT!
- Ask questions and if you don’t receive straight answers, choose another company.
- Never pay for all repairs in advance, and don't pay cash.
- Never pay in full until all work is completed.
Immediately, after a storm be patient. Major repairs, especially community wide will take time. “Seeing storm damage can be emotional; make sure you have plenty of information before making major decisions,” said Janna Kiehl, BBB CEO.
Unfortunately, there will be unscrupulous companies who will take advantage of an already difficult situation. “Contact the BBB for a full Business Profile so that you will be able to tell the difference,” said Kiehl.
- “Too good to be true” offers.
- Companies who will not submit information in writing, or do not put their promises in a contract.
- Companies who use high pressure and intimidation.
- Blank contracts or holes in the contract.
- Paying cash or making a check out to an individual, instead of a company.
- Paying money BEFORE the work is started.
- Paying all the money before the work is finished.
- Companies who won’t give you straight answers to your questions.
- Claims that your home is unsafe. If you are concerned have an engineer, architect, or building official inspect it.
- Companies offering a bargain price for left over materials. Established, reputable companies do not utilize left over materials this way.
After a storm, make temporary repairs if possible and take your time choosing the company that’s right for you!