Do not pay up front!
They say April showers bring May flowers, but the onset of spring brings other things too. Unfortunately, one of those things is scam artists. For one reason or another they tend to come out in full force just as the winter season comes to an end. Among the door-to-door scammers that come knocking, some will be offering roofing services. The Better Business Bureau calls these scammers “storm chasers” because they tend to come in the wake of nasty weather. While these scams vary, they usually have a few things in common. They ask for payment up front (usually in cash), they either do a very poor job or they do no work at all, and finally they skip town before the police can catch up with them. The Better Business Bureau has offered the following tips to protect yourself from being taken in by a roofing scam.
· Ask to see their roofing license. Almost all communities require roofers to have a license to work in that community. Don’t agree to any work if the roofer can’t supply a license.
· Get at least three quotes. There’s no way to know if the price you’re being charged is fair unless you have other bids for the same job. Don’t go with a roofing company just because they’re the one already on your doorstep.
· Don’t pay in advance. Reputable roofing companies can afford to pay for roofing materials up front. They collect their payment when the job is done. Storm chasers demand payment up front because they have no intention of finishing the work.
· Watch out for high pressure sales tactics. Reputable roofers make a bid and will honor that price even if you take a week or two to decide. Storm chasers use high pressure sales tactics like saying you have to agree to the work on the spot to lock in a certain price for the work.
· Check with the Better Business Bureau. Ask for a company name, then look up that name on the Better Business Bureau website. If there is no record of that company, or if the company has a poor track record when it comes to customer satisfaction, don’t agree to anything.
· Look for a company vehicle or uniform. Most storm chasers aren’t elaborate enough to have any kind of company markings on their vehicle or uniform.
· Get everything in writing. Even if everything else checks out, make sure you get everything in writing. Any good roofer will have you sign a contract before any work begins.
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