Risks With Door to Door Contractors
Have you ever had someone show up at your door offering you the deal of a lifetime? It’s not uncommon for someone to show up at your door, offering their services for home repairs, pest control, paving work, etc. While some door-to-door contractors are just trying to make an honest living, a little healthy discretion on your end can keep you from getting roped into a scam. Let’s take a look at a couple of common door-to-door contractor scams.
I recently read an article issued on October 14, 2019 by the Better Business Bureau, issuing a warning about the “Group Buy” door-to-door contractors’ scam. The scam invited residents of a neighborhood to participate in a “group buy” where residents all agree to use the contractor for any home improvement service to save money. The more neighbors that are involved, the higher the discount. Phony contractors tell residents that in order to reserve a spot for the neighborhood, a contract needs to be signed and a deposit made on the spot. They tell residents that they can earn even more discounts by providing the address of neighbors who might also want to take advantage of the “group buy,” but end up taking off with money and a list of people likely to fall for the scam as well. Always be cautious when invited to join in a “group buy,” and be very suspicious of anyone who asks for a down payment on the spot.
As an insurance specialist, one thing that I often see are false reports of damage. If a hailstorm comes through a region, it is not uncommon for roofers to show up at your front door and offer to do a free inspection of your roof to determine if you have hail damage. Unless you have an honest roofer (which you might), it’s likely that they will tell you that there is indeed hail damage and that you should turn in a claim. They might justify their finding by saying that, “Susie down the street just got a new roof, so should you.” Keep in mind that this contractor has a lot of skin in the game. Their hope is that when you file a claim, you will allow them to do the repairs. There are many roofers out there who will give you a free estimate. It is always a good idea to get a second opinion.
Finally, while many of these door-to-door contractors are honest men and women, just trying to make a living, I would always recommend taking the time to look at their reviews online before you sign any contract. This will ensure that you hire the right man or woman for the job, not just someone looking for a quick buck!