Better Business Bureau warns of possible “storm chaser” scams
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky is urging home and business owners who suffered property damage and flooding issues from this weekend’s severe storms to research what companies they hire to help rebuild and repair damage.
According to the Better Business Bureau, disastrous events can attract out-of-town contractors and, while some of those businesses may be legitimate, con artists can be in the mix.
The Better Business Bureau says, even if your insurance company will pay repair costs, you want to make sure the business that does the work is reputable, competent, and able to address warranty issues.
Check with the Better Business Bureau on any contractor you are considering using at www.bbb.org, or calling (859) 259-1008 or 1-800-866-6668.
The Better Business Burea also offers these 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 information 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. 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 and warranty 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.
• Do not let strangers in your home to “evaluate” damage. Legitimate businesses will survey damage with your insurance adjuster to determine coverage. Contact BBB with any reports of scams so that others can be warned!