BBB warns of home improvement scams
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) – Think twice before hiring a contractor without reading reviews first.
That’s advice from the Better Business Bureau.
Whitney Quick has some tips to spot home improvement scams.
“One common hook is when the scammer claims to be working in your neighborhood or on another project and has leftover supplies. Once started, the contractor may find issues that significantly raise the price if you object and they threaten to walk away and leave the job have finished, or they may accept your offer up front with a deposit and then never come back to the job. We’ve talked about this with natural disasters. Scammers persuade homeowners to sign over their insurance payment,” Whitney Quick said.
“So a couple of things to look out for on this or scam is watch out for red flags. So say no to cash only deals. If somebody has high pressure sales tactics with you and like we have to do this now with a high upfront payment. Those are always red flags and handshake deals without a contract. You always want to get a contract and on-site inspections,” Quick said.
“Not all storm chasers are con artists, but enough are that you should be cautious anytime a home contractor contacts you first, especially after a natural disaster. Ask for references and check them out. So if somebody does come to your house and offers to do something with your house, make sure that you are getting references from them. If you get the references from past customers, both older references to check the quality of the work and the newer references to make sure that the current employees are still good,” she said.
“So make sure that you check them out on bbb.org to see what other customers have experienced. We always say that we have complaints on bbb.org and that they’re not necessarily a bad thing. So you can always go on our website, see how the business deals with the consumer complaints that’s gonna give you a little bit of an idea to understand what would happen if something were to go wrong during this or if you weren’t happy with their work, how they would handle and fix it,” she said.
“And then also know the law. Work with local businesses that have proper identification, licensing and insurance, confirm that your vendor will get the related permits and make sure you know who’s responsible for what according to your local laws and that your vendor is ready to comply,” she said.
If you’re looking for a contractor, Quick recommends you head on over to BBB.org to find a business background checked by the Better Business Bureau.
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