Beware of Storm Chasers
With snow storms occurring in the winter and hurricanes and hail storms in the spring and summer, contractors need to educate homeowners all year around about the potential dangers of storm chasers.
We all know that when a storm hits, it’s important to be ready and reach out to homeowners for business, but you also want to make sure you don’t lose a job to a fly-by-night contractor who will take their money and run. Educate homeowners about who they can trust and what to look for in a reputable contractor. If you plan on mailing out information or going to homes after a storm, make sure you put your insurance number, BBB, and manufacturer designation on any materials you give out. Show them that you’re the real deal and that they will work with a quality, reputable, and dependable professional contractor.
You can also share these Better Business Bureau tips with homeowners so they’ll know what to watch out for:
- Make sure the contractor is registered with the state.
- Many areas require a solicitation permit to go door-to-door. Check to see if your area needs a permit and, if so, make sure they provide it to you.
- Be careful about allowing anyone you don’t trust on your roof. Some unethical contractors could even create damage to get the job.
- Do not pay for the work in advance. It’s a red flag if a contractor asks for full or half payment upfront.
- Get a written contract that outlines the price, work to be done, and amount of insurance coverage.
- Get a copy of their insurance.
- Look up the business on BBB to make sure they are well rated.
- Pay by credit card so you have additional protection.
- Watch out for high-pressure sales tactics such as offering “deep discounts” and “deals” if they are hired right away.
- Get at least three quotes from prospective contractors so you’re being proactive in making an informed decision rather than reacting to sales pressure.
- Check their vehicle to make sure they have proper business markings such as company name, phone number, and license plates in the state where you live.
Tell them that every GAF Master Elite® and Certified™ Contractor is properly licensed, adequately insured, has a proven reputation, and is committed to ongoing professional training in order to ensure quality installation.
Show homeowners your listing on gaf.com. Even if you are not GAF certified, have a reputable site confirm that you are legit.