Nashville, TN., March 3, 2020 – Like many in Middle TN, Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Middle TN and Southern Kentucky are devastated by the destruction and loss of life affecting our communities this morning. Unfortunately, during this numbing time, BBB wants to remind people to be cautious as they begin to clean up. Better Business Bureau says they have already received reports of “Storm Chasers” active in our area.
It can start with a knock on the door, a social media ad, or a flyer. “If a person comes to your door, it may genuinely be a contractor wanting to help, but it can be hard to separate reliable companies from those that are not,” says Robyn Householder, President and CEO of BBB serving Middle TN and Southern KY.
Storm Chasers are handymen who go from town to town, chasing severe weather, looking to pick up work. Not all of them have lousy track records. Still, typically they are not as reliable as the contractors in your own community.
Householder says that merely entering the company or individual’s name into a search searching can save you a lot of headaches down the road. “Always do your research on who you chose to do businesses with, especially when it comes to your property.
Here are a few more tips BBB serving Middle TN had for cleaning up after severe weather:
- Check your insurance. Talk with your insurance agent to find out about your coverage and filing requirements. Make sure to save copies of your receipts.
- Get quotes in writing. Try to get at least 3-4 quotes in writing. Be wary of any quote that seems unusually low or high compared to the others. You can go to BBB.org, where you can request multiple quotes on a job quickly.
- Resist high-pressure sales tactics. Don’t feel pressured to hire someone on the spot. Allow yourself time to do your research before you sign a contract.
- Check for licensure. Check with your local and state ordinances to see what’s required in your area and look for trade association memberships. Know that all BBB accredited businesses have their required licenses before they are certified so that we can save you this step.
- Beware of accepted payment methods. Watch out for businesses that only want cash. Always pay by a credit card or check whenever possible.
- Be especially careful of door-to-door contractors. Many municipalities require a solicitation permit if salespeople go door-to-door. Ask for identification. Check their vehicle for a business name, phone number, and license plates for your state or province.
- Don’t sign over insurance checks to contractors. Get an invoice from the contractor and pay them directly (preferably with a credit card, which offers additional fraud protection over other forms of payment). Don’t sign any documents that give the contractor any rights to your insurance claims. If you have questions, contact your insurance company or agent.
- Ask BBB. Click HERE or call 615.242.4222 to find out a company’s BBB Business Profile. This information includes the BBB rating, contact information, verified customer reviews, and more.
- Get a copy of the contract. Make sure to get a copy of your contract. Read over it carefully and ask questions on anything you do not understand. The contract should detail all the work, costs, pay schedule, and projected completion date. The contract should also state who will obtain the proper permits.
- Don’t pay the full amount upfront. If a company demands full payment upfront, stay away.
About BBB of Middle Tennessee
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org
. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Middle TN and Southern KY, which was founded in 1961 and serves 45 counties in Middle TN and Southern KY. Visit bbb.org
for more information.