Beware The Restoration Scam
Whenever we have a problem that is uexpected, we inadvertently open ourselves up to the possibility of getting ripped off. There are always those who will go out of their way to prey on the misfortune of others. And make no mistake, these people are good at what they do. Otherwise intelligent, discerning people get taken in by scammers every day. If it has happened to you, don’t worry, you’re in good company. If it hasn’t yet, well, here are a few suggestions designed to help you separate the bad guys from the good.
In the water restoration industry, scammers prey on folks who want the problem taken care of and their home restored to its condition as soon as possible. Remember, acting quickly to avoid further issues is one of the main pieces of advice offered with regard to water and flooding problems. Scammers know this and will move with a sense of urgency to get into your lives.
The most common way of separating you and your money is to charge exorbitant fees for the simplest water damage restoration services. These outfits will send someone to check out the condition of the home, and once that is done they will insist on doing the work immediately, giving you no time to check with other providers or compare offers. They will provide reasons that sound legit, such as leaving water in the home which leads to further damage, and how you may lose help from insurance by not acting within a reasonable time frame.
They will not provide a written cost estimate and may tell you the price verbally. Of course more work always seems to follow the initial estimate, driving up the price. Some may provide costs as they go but will not provide any detailed explanation of the work involved, and homeowners will not complain because they are told that insurance will pay them back for everything anyway. The fact is that they are charging high fees for simple procedures, and sucking your bank account dry in the process.
Some companies may also charge a minimal fee for the evaluation of the damage. Charging this fee guarantees them at least some instant income even if the homeowners end up not hiring you.
If any company refuses to provide a clear cost estimate following an inspection of your home, then do not sign up for the service. You should at least have a pretty good idea of how much the restoration project will cost you. Ideally you should get quotes from two or three companies and pick the one somewhere in the middle, something that balances service with value.
Visit the Clean Trust or other authoritative sites such as Restoration Local in order to get connected to qualified, competent water restoration services in your area.