Every year, thousands of innocent homeowners fall victim to roofing scams. Thanks to the existence of shady construction companies looking to take advantage of people and make a quick profit, many are left with holes in their pockets and improper work done on their homes.
What is a roofing scammer?
A roofing scammer is an individual or a company looking to take advantage of budget-conscious homeowners by selling goods and services that are not needed. Con-artist companies like these usually target neighborhoods with a large number of senior citizens, or first-time homeowners who have no idea how to maintain and protect their homes. Areas frequented by storm damage, hail, and other catastrophic events are also high traffic areas for these companies. They have a talent for making homeowners feel as if their homes or their safety are in jeopardy, and they usually do high-priced work with low-quality materials, leaving you wondering what happened during the transaction.
How do I know if I'm being scammed?
There are some situations and signs that you can look for to determine if a roofing company is legitimate; following your intuitive guidance will also be an essential part of determining whether you are negotiating with a reputable company or not. Look for these situations and refuse to sign on any dotted line if it doesn't feel legitimate:
1. Beware of storm chasers. These opportunists look for areas that have recently been hit hard by storms. They will likely offer to do an inspection for free and follow it up with reports of extensive damage and the need to do repairs quickly. Many will ask for a generous down payment to secure the work, and then you'll be lucky if you see them come around again. You could slow or stop them in their tracks by asking to see proof of certifications, as well as photographs of your damaged roof, should you not feel comfortable following them up there. Once they see you are not so easily scammed, they'll go looking to make their money elsewhere.
2. Beware of low starting bids. These contractors will offer a lower bid than any other contractor in your area to get you hooked, and midway through your project, you may find yourself with "unforeseen problems" or the need for extra materials. No reputable contractor is going to saddle you with additional costs before continuing work. Tell them to keep moving and look for a roofing company with an established reputation in your area.
3. Beware of assignment of benefits agreements. This shady work involves not only scamming you but your insurance company as well. An assignment of benefits contract places the responsibility of making claims on your homeowner's insurance over to a third party---a roofing contractor, for example. Here is what that means for you: a. The roofer will have access to the rights and responsibilities of your insurance policy. b. Your insurance company will only communicate with the roofer about your claim. c. You will not have any right to make decisions about your claim. d. The roofer will be able to file a suit against your insurer without your knowledge or consent. e. The roofer could even endorse checks on your behalf.
Refuse to deal with any roofing company insisting to deal directly with your insurance company. Inform these scam artists that you are aware of this type of scam, and you will report them if they attempt to do business in your area.
4. Beware of high-pressure sales tactics. Many dishonest companies will show up in a neighborhood and attempt to implement legally binding contracts using high-pressure sales techniques. Offering specials that are "today only," "for a limited time," or discounted while they are standing there are just a few ways at these companies attempt to close a sale and rope you into a contract. Don't fall for it; insist that you wait, do your research, and don't be afraid to say no right there on the spot. You are the one in control of the situation, and unless you sign on the dotted line and give away your power, they can do nothing to you or your home.
Hire Len's: A reputable company serving South Florida and beyond!
For over twenty years, Len's Roofing has been proudly serving residents of South Florida and beyond. Our commitment to quality service, quality work, and customer satisfaction have gained us thousands of satisfied clients. Our superior work speaks for itself. Call us today at 941-896-7897 or visit us at www.lensroofing.com for a no-obligation quote and affordable options for beautifying and fortifying your home's most valuable asset-- your roof.