DENVER, COLORADO — If you spend any time in Colorado, you are bound to hear the phrase, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” Colorado is famous for weather changing sporadically; with dramatic shifts in air pressure and temperature, the result can sometimes be treacherous hail.
Becoming a victim of a hail storm may be impossible to avoid. But you can avoid being victimized by dishonest contractors who often go door to door in damaged neighborhoods offering repair services. While many contractors are honest and reputable, others are not. Consumers need to be wary of fraudsters that scam victims by making false promises to consumers who are looking to repair hail damage.
The Better Business Bureau offers these tips when looking to repair roofs and automobiles.
- Always check with BBB at bbb.org to see what other consumers are experiencing in the marketplace, and request information and quotes from BBB Accredited Businesses.
- Get more than one estimate, and review each estimate carefully.
- Don’t be pressured to sign contract right away or at your doorstep.
- If you come across a faulty business, visit bbb.org/scamtracker/denver/ to help warn others of illegal scheme or fraud.
- Get everything in writing, including cost, work to be done, time schedule, payment schedule and other expectations.
- Never sign a contract with blanks.
- Wait to pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is truly completed.
- Avoid giving a down payment unless special materials are being ordered.
- Ask if the company uses their own workers or if they hire individual, third-party subcontractors.
- Know exactly who is working on your roof and who is responsible if something goes wrong.
- Verify applicable licensing and permits with your city and county.
- Always ensure that before you sign a contract it meets the terms set in Colorado Senate Bill 38:
- Contractors contact information
- Scope of work and materials provided
- Approximate dates of service and cost of materials/service
- Roofers surety and liability coverage insurer and contact information
- 72 hour right to rescind
- Contractor cannot in away way pay, waive or rebate all or part of the insurance deductible
- Contractor will hold in trust any payment until the majority of the work is performed or materials are delivered to the residence
- 72 hour right to rescind after the insurance claim is denied
- If under warranty, follow the manufacturer’s requirements to keep your warranty in effect.
- Make sure any certificates advertised are recently obtained and then independently verify this information.
- When receiving estimate, ask the service consultant to explain all work completed.
- Be sure warranty information is included in writing on the repair order.