In the wake of the tornados that struck the Dallas area in early April, “fly-by-night contractors looking for quick deals have been popping up,” reports Marcus Murphree in The Dallas Morning News.
“I can tell you that it’s expected after a bad storm that out-of-town contractors would show up,” said Jeannette Kopko, spokesperson for the BBB serving Dallas and Northeast Texas. “While some may be good, others might take money and not do the job, not finish the job, or not be around and not honor the warranty” on the project.
Homeowners should be pro-active in choosing a contractor, even with all the stress of dealing with the effects of a disaster.
“Some red flags include contractors going into a high-pressure situation, saying ‘You’ve got to sign up right now for this price,’” Kopko said.
BBB also advises to get several estimates to compare prices, contracts and warranties.
The article notes these tips from BBB on avoiding scams:
• Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and specific filing requirements.
• Be wary if a contractor is rushing you to sign something.
• Shop around for three or four estimates.
• Trust your gut. You need to feel good about your contractor before beginning the long repair process.
• Once you’ve found a contractor, request proof of a current insurance certificate.
• Never pay in full for repairs in advance, and never pay cash.
• Avoid door-to-door contractors who claim to have leftover materials.
• Require a written contract agreement with anyone you hire.
See the full article here: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/20120414-experts-urge-tornado-victims-to-be-on-guard-for-fly-by-night-contractors.ece
To check out a business, find BBB Accredited Businesses, see tips and alerts, file a customer complaint, or report false advertising, start at www.bbb.org.