Your BBB of Southwest Missouri wants to again remind consumers about possible scams and con artists who may move into the area looking to prey on residents with homes suffering tree damage and debris-scattered yards due to the recent storm in Southwest Missouri.
Consumers and businesses alike need to be vigilant in doing their homework prior to hiring any goods or services in any situation. Particularly during this time of natural disaster status there is a sense of urgency to rush out, clean-up and put things back as they were. Stop! Treat this situation as you would any other situation in which you are about to purchase goods or services in association with your home or business.
Be cautious of contractors or companies who enter town just to offer their services during this time of need. These individuals may be participating in fraudulent business practices that are only out to get your money. Keep the following tips in mind when considering a company to do business with:
• Call your area’s county office or city hall to check the licensing requirements of all businesses in your area. Most cities and counties require businesses to have a merchants or business license in order to lawfully do business.
• Ask for proof of liability and workman’s compensation insurance. It’s always smart to do business with companies who have these in case a worker gets injured on the job site so you cannot be held financially responsible.
• Ask the company who is responsible for making good on the warranty, the product manufacturer or the company installing the product.
• Don’t sign a contract until you 100 percent understand and agree to the terms. If the company makes any verbal promises make sure it is written into the contract prior to signing and that no lines are left blank. Keep a copy of the contract for yourself.
Though these steps may add to the time it takes to make crucial repairs, it will save you time and money in the long run.
For BBB Reliability Reports on companies please call BBB of Southwest Missouri at (417) 862-4222 or start with www.southwestmissouri.bbb.org.