Since the dawn of time, there have been people out there trying to take advantage of you. Whether they’re door to door salesman or telemarketers, there’s no avoiding them. This is why it’s important that you know ahead of time how to deal with them.
For a long time, people in South Carolina had to deal with people trying to scam them on their roofing repairs. Since South Carolina is a state that has its share of bad storms, it was an ideal place for these people to put their scam into action.
It’s not just South Carolina that has to deal with these con artists. Other states in the South deal with them too. However, in 2013, the legislature in South Carolina was smart enough to pass a law to help deal with these companies.
What Was the Scam?
So, let’s talk about how the scam is carried out. There are a few ways.
Some companies wait for a bad storm to hit your area. They wait a few days and then start going door to door. They offer to clean up the storm’s wreckage from your property. They also offer to make repairs to your roof for a certain price.
The salesman will offer you a price that seems fair – maybe more than fair. Then they’ll ask for a down payment. This down payment could be anywhere from 10-20% of the total bill. They set a date to perform the work.
Days and weeks go by and you don’t hear back from the company. You call and leave tons of messages but nobody calls you back. After doing some research, you realize the company either doesn’t exist or is known for scamming people out of their money.
Or, they do come back and do the work. They end up using inferior or shoddy materials. You have no idea because you’re not a roofing expert. At first, it looks like they did the job they promised. Months later, you find out that you need additional repairs because they did such a poor job on your roof.
These scams end up costing homeowners thousands of dollars and a lot of headache. After receiving hundreds and thousands of complaints, the South Carolina legislature decided to pass a law to protect consumers from these companies.
What is the Law that Protects Homeowners from Scammers?
In 2013, the South Carolina legislature passed a law to protect homeowners from scam artists. The new law protects people who enter into any kind of contract with roofing companies.
The new law offers the following protections to consumers:
- Gives homeowners the right to cancel any such contract within five (5) days of learning that their homeowners’ insurance isn’t going to cover all or part of the work
- Prohibits roofing contractors from demanding or cashing down payments for at least the 5-day period. This gives homeowners time to rescind the contract or demand their down payment be paid back.
- Prevents the roofing company from being able to handle the homeowners’ insurance claim
This new law is great news for both consumers and reputable roofing companies. Consumers feel better knowing they won’t be taken advantage of by scam artists. Reputable roofing companies feel better knowing that other companies can’t make their industry look bad.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
It’s great to know there’s a law out there that can protect you. But it’s also important that you know what to do to protect yourself. You’re better off taking the steps to make sure you’re never in the position where you need to hire a shoddy contractor.
Competent and reputable roofing companies in Greenville, South Carolina, do exist. And they want you to protect yourself. They don’t want you to be taken advantage of either. They’d rather you do your homework before you hire them. This way, you can enter the contractual relationship knowing you’re in good hands.
Here are some of the steps you need to take to protect you and your wallet:
- Do your homework before you hire a roofing contractor
- Always get your proposal in writing before you hire anyone
- Don’t accept vague estimates – get something down in writing and make sure it’s concrete
- Do minor and temporary repairs yourself so you have time to research the roofing company you intend to hire
- Ask for references and read online reviews before you hire someone
- Don’t give a deposit until you research the company
- Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau
- Don’t let anyone do an estimate if you didn’t personally request it
If you follow these tips, you should be in good shape.
When the time comes that you do need a roofing professional, choose a competent and reputable company like Greenville Roofing in Greenville, South Carolina. Call today to request your free estimate.