Summer storms are not a new thing for an Edmontonian, and neither are the tragic tales of roof repair scams and other types of fraudulent activities. It is heartbreaking to see that despite the advancement of our societies, opportunists never cease to exist. Yet, the most painful and devastating part is that these con artists are eager to take advantage of innocent people during difficult times of their lives. Ironically, these scammers call themselves ‘professional businesses’.
Even though the Consumer Protection Act lays stringent rules and penalties for businesses to protect customers from unfair business practices, fly-by-night service providers and shady companies seem least deterred by it. After every storm, we hear stories about seemingly trustworthy professionals who approach homeowners with an illusory noble intention of helping them fix their roof promptly, only to disappear after taking upfront payments.These people usually drive around a neighbourhood after a storm and approach naïve homeowners with their highly lucrative and discounted roof repair offers. To further forge professionalism, they pinpoint the various types of damages incurred and suggest top-notch solutions. However, after the contract is signed, and the amount is paid, their initial discussions turn out to be nothing but empty promises.
As professional metal roofing contractors, we believe these acts not only cause financial loss to homeowners but also result in an overall loss of trust in even genuine businesses.
In order to protect our society from such con artists and further strengthen our people’s trust in us, we present this blog post with tips on evading scammers after a storm.
While cold outreach was once an acceptable marketing technique, people lost faith in it after businesses forgot their boundaries and began invading personal spaces and privacy. However, the latter wasn’t the reason behind the collective disapproval of this marketing technique. With time, unreliable businesses morphed this technique into a scamming strategy that robs people of their hard-earned money.
Through the use of high-pressure sales tactics and non-cancelable contracts, shady businesses sought numerous opportunities to sell unnecessary and costly products. For this reason, door-to-door sales and marketing of energy products were banned in Alberta. A similar scenario is said for roofing services as well.
Since it is difficult to differentiate between genuine marketers and scammers, we recommend you avoid them altogether.
If your metal roof has sustained damage during a storm, do not rush and request repairs from the first roofing contractor you find. Remember that an inaccurate repair is more detrimental than no repair at all. This is because improper repairs pave the way for problems such as leaks that did not even exist in the first place. If an inexperienced contractor further damages your roof, not only will the repair costs go down the drain, but it will also invite additional expenditure.
Thus, you must spend ample time analyzing a prospective contractor’s suitability.
Although this point falls under the matter discussed above, we believe its importance mandates separate emphasis. If a contractor appears suitable in respects such as available reviews, their portfolio, and communication style, politely request to have a look at their licence and other relevant documentation that reinforce their authenticity and integrity.
Before requesting residential or commercial roof repair services, make sure that the terms and conditions are clearly relayed and understood between you and the contractor. Ask them to provide you with detailed, clear, and concise estimates of the expected costs before work commences. Also, do not forget to inquire about additional or hidden charges.
If the contractor beats around the bush, suspend the agreement at once and look for another company.
Once you have agreed on the precise terms of the agreement, request the contractor to put them down in a formal contract. Never let any contractor charm you into a verbal agreement. Such charms often feel like hexes when their results materialize.
Upfront payments are not illegal, but prevalent scams demand extreme caution and skepticism. In our opinion, you should not pay the full contract amount up front. If the contractor insists on the payment to cover the costs, settle for a middle ground like a 30% upfront payment.
With an unwavering adherence to the philosophies of value creation, sustainability, and impeccable customer service, we aim to become Canada’s most trusted residential, commercial, and industrial metal roofing contractors. Learn more about Stahl Roof Systems and our commitment to excellence and quality.
Contact us now for the best roofing solutions.