BBB Urges: Do Research When Hiring Help for Storm Damage Repairs

  
     
March 03, 2017

Know the signs of possible “stormchaser” scammers

March 2, 2017

(Lexington, KY) Better Business Bureau® serving Central & Eastern Kentucky is urging home and business owners who suffered property damage from this week’s  severe storms and torrential rains to research what companies they hire to help rebuild and repair damage.

Disastrous events like the flooding and wind that hit the area can act as a magnet for out-of-town contractors to come offering their services. Some of those businesses may be legitimate and reputable, but con artists can be in the mix.  BBB is ready to help them determine what businesses they can trust.

The public is urged to check with the BBB on any contractor they are considering using at www.bbb.org/lexington, or calling (859) 259-1008 or 1-800-866-6668. Even if your insurance company will pay the cost, you want to make sure that the business that does the work is reputable, competent, and able to address warranty issues if they arise long after the out-of-towners have left.

BBB also has free listings by industry of BBB Accredited Businesses who meet the BBB’s ethical standards and have committed to BBB dispute resolution processes.  Consumers may access these lists on the BBB website or call to request lists be mailed or faxed.

Tips for Hiring a Company to Repair Storm Damage:

  • Get the company's complete name, address and phone number. Be skeptical of any vague answers, or no offers of contracts or anything in writing. Beware of high pressure…reputable companies will let you check them out first.
  • Check out businesses with the Better Business Bureau by logging on to www.bbb.org/lexington. Get a list of BBB Accredited Businesses in the category you need on the website or by calling 1-800-866-6668. If a business says they are BBB Accredited, verify it with the BBB first.   
  • Verify that the company has liability and worker's comp insurance, as well as licensing if required. If a contractor cannot provide proof of it, reconsider.
  • If paying costs yourself, get several estimates.  Remember, businesses can charge whatever price they like. Get a written contract for work to be done. This helps protect the consumer and the business.
  • If it's an out-of-town or out-of-state company, ask how any warranty issues or problems will be addressed long after work is done and the company is gone.
  • NEVER pay the entire amount of the job up front. 

 

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Contact the Better Business Bureau serving Central & Eastern Kentucky to check out companies, charities, or to report problems and scams by calling the Lexington office at (859) 259-1008 or toll-free 1-800-866-6668. Services are also available by logging on to www.bbb.org/lexington.