BBB on KQTH: Beware of Monsoon Scammers

  
     
Monsoon season is here! The severe storms, microbursts, flash floods, and high winds can certainly create havoc on our homes and business structures here in Southern Arizona. The weather also blows in those unethical storm chasers who conveniently knock on your door right after the storm with promises to fix your damaged structures. They entice you with quick turnarounds and low pricing only to deliver empty promises and typically run away with your payment.
August 02, 2017

BBB on KQTH: Warning of Monsoon Scammers

BBB of Southern Arizona wants to encourage you to proceed carefully when hiring a contractor or service provider to take care of the damage caused by our Monsoon storms... and anytime for that matter. If you hire the wrong one, you could be facing a wide range of problems from unplanned charges, unfinished work, and even being sued if workers aren’t paid. They entice you with quick turnarounds and low pricing only to deliver empty promises and typically run away with your payment.

These are tips to think about:

  • When they arrive at your front door -  ASK QUESTIONS.
    • Do they have a business card with proper contact information & License #?
    • Do they have a company vehicle with a logo?
    • Do they have a website that you can look at for testimonials and are their customers you can call for references?
    • Where is their headquarters located at?
    • What experience do they have to professionally and properly address your property damage?
  • Research their track record. You can search for a contractor’s Business Profile at tucson.bbb.org to see if they are a vetted Accredited Business, review history of complaints, and read verified Customer Reviews. Also ask for local references.
  • Obtain multiple quotes. You should always shop around and get at least three quotes from different businesses. Make sure all bids consider the same set of criteria. Remember that the lowest bid may not necessarily be the best bid; if one bid is significantly lower than the others are,  the contractor may be cutting corners or may not understand your work requirements.
  • Get it in writing. Always get estimates in writing and never let any work begin without a written and signed contract that you fully understand. It should include contact information, start and complete dates, a detailed description of the exact work to be done, any material costs, payment arrangements, and warranty information. Specify who is to obtain necessary building permits and who is responsible for clean up.
  • Verify license and insurance. Always be sure that the company you decide to work with has the necessary licenses and insurance policies. Call the insurance carrier to confirm appropriate coverage for worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability in case of accidents.
  • Confirm building permits. Your contractor must have the correct permits before starting your project. They will usually obtain the permits, but you will probably pay for them. That should be detailed in your contract.
  • Think about future service issues. Make sure you are aware of your warranty coverage and how to deal with service issues.
  • Arrange a payment schedule. Never pay in full up front. Stagger your payments so your final payment is not due until the work is complete and you have fully inspected it. Do not pay cash; make sure your check is written to a company, not an individual, or that you use a credit card.
  • Get a receipt. Request a receipt marked “Paid in Full” when the job is completed and your final payment made.