How do you know who is legit and who isn’t?
It’s hard in this day and age to know who is in the business to help you and who’s just trying to scam you. Here are some things to look out for…
- Door to door salesmen
Whereas Door to door salesmen have become a staple business practice in our industry, out-of-town or storm chasing contractors may try to scam people by going to neighborhoods with a majority of residents being senior citizens. They will also target neighborhoods with houses that are 10 or 20 years old. These salesmen will show up unannounced and offer a free estimate for your roof. After the estimate, they might show you a picture of a different roof with a lot of damage and claim it is your roof. They also might fabricate damage that would be covered by insurance by ripping shingles off, adding wind damage, or using a tool to create hail damage. This is very much illegal. This is why we’ve built relationships with actual insurance companies and agents. Our integrity is paramount…its’ what we’re built on.
When to tell them to leave
Think about this… once a storm hits, many people won’t know they have storm related damages. If a legitimate company takes the time to send out door-to-door canvassers, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re desperate for business, they are simply making homeowners aware of the damages that may exist. When your car gets hit with large hail, the damage is obvious, you see it every time you approach it. Most people do not get on their roofs, and with a 1-year timeframe to file a claim, your days are numbered! Simply check the BBB website. Continental is a BBB A+ Accredited Business. There are many good door to door salesman out there, just do your research before agreeing to a company, contractor, or roofer.
- High-pressure contracts
Never agree or sign a contract until you have done your research. Many door-to-door salesmen will put the pressure on hard to get you in a legal binding contract. The salesmen might ask for “both decision makers” in the house to be present. This is an immediate red flag. The salesman will say this because he wants to take away the, “I would like to speak to my spouse” excuse.
Say no to pressure
Most of the time they are pressuring you because the estimate they gave you is super high. They want you legally bound so you have to pay it. They will put you in high-pressure situations so you sign. If you say no or seem hesitant they might offer you all kinds of discounts and deals just so you will sign. These deals are just ploys to get you to sign. Do not rush into anything. Do not let them back you into a corner. This is your house and your roof. If you’re not comfortable, say so.
- OH, more money, please
Many scams start by asking for all the money upfront. (Immediate red flag) Then the material will show up and they will ask for more money to pay for labor or they will tell you the price of the materials went up. There are even stories of people hiring someone. They pay everything up front. Then the roofer will strip the roof of all the shingles and demand more money before putting the shingles back on. This doesn’t leave you in a good position. It has also happened where a roofer has taken all the money up front and then just gone missing.
We’ll stitch that hole in your pocket
Cash flow is what makes a small business world go around. Deposits are normal but we have our homeowners pay part of the payment once all the materials are delivered and then once the job is done the remaining balance is due. We want the customer to be at peace while we are working. Keep in mind, companies let us know weeks in advance if the price of materials is going up. So, the estimate we give you takes that into consideration.
I’m way ahead of ya..
I know that sometimes, a tree can go through your roof and you just need the hole fixed ASAP, but don’t rush into any company. You don’t want to be left with a bigger hole in your pocket. Research. The Better Business Bureau is a great resource to see if the company is legit and what other customers are saying about them.
Here are some easy ways to get ahead of the scams.
- Ask to see the company’s insurance and Workman’s Comp certificate
- Ask to see or research reviews left about this company, or just simply ask about previous homeowners they have helped.
- When researching the company make sure their location isn’t a PO box. This will be an immediate red flag.
- Most legitimate contractors will work within the funds provided by the insurance company. Beware those who don’t!
- Make sure this company is a part of the Better Business Bureau.
The most important thing you can do is prepare. You never know when a leak will start, a tree will fall, heavy winds will blow, anything. One of the most important things you can do is find your roofing company NOW. Now is the time, when you are not in a crisis and have time to research, read reviews, and talk to other customers. Find the perfect roofing company for you. (Continental Roof Company, honestly sounds pretty perfect to me, but I’m biased)
Get ahead of it. Be prepared. Don’t let the next scam happen to you or anyone you know. Share this blog with your neighbors and the senior citizens in your life so we can all be prepared.