BUREAU WARNS OF STORM CHASERS
Peoria, IL – November 18, 2013 – The recent damage done by the tornados
in Central Illinois brings out the best in people, as strangers reach out to
help others in need. Unfortunately, the aftermath of a crisis also brings out
contractors who take advantage of those who have already been victimized.
As a follow up, your Better Business Bureau is warning local residents
affected by the recent storm to beware of storm chasers and out-of-town
contractors soliciting business.
“It is not uncommon for out-of-town storm chasers to solicit business
after storms like the ones we had yesterday,” said Bonnie Bakin, President of
the Better Business Bureau. “Storm chasers may not have proper licensure for your area and may
offer quick fixes or make big promises to which they won’t deliver.”
offers the following tips for storm victims:
- Start With Trust. The BBB
Accredited Business Directory contains screened, approved, and monitored
businesses you know have marketplace credibility.
- Find out if a company is
registered within the State of Illinois. Call 800-732-8866 or
by going online to http://www.revenue.state.il.us
to check whether a
contractor is registered.
- Many municipalities require a solicitation permit
if sales people go door-to-door.
Verify that they need to have a permit by contacting your local
Township or Municipality. BBB suggests consumers be pro-active in
selecting a contractor and not re-active to sales calls on the phone or
- While most roofing
contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know
inspect your roof. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to
- Try to get at least 3-4
quotes from contractors, and insist that payments be made to the company,
not an individual.
- Do not pay for the job
in advance. Be wary of any contractor who demands full or half payment
- Resist high-pressure
sales tactics such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire the
contractor on the spot.
- Get a written contract
that specifies the price, the work to be done, the amount of liability
insurance coverage maintained by the contractor, and a time frame. Require
a copy of their current certificate of insurance.
- Pay by credit card, if
possible; you may have additional protection if there’s a problem.
- Check that the
contractor’s vehicle has signs or markings on it with the business name,
phone number and license plates for your state.
has previously seen out-of-state contractors setting up shop in the area trying
to capture construction work caused by the tornados. BBB is warning the area
contractors to beware of storm chasers who are willing to pay local
construction companies substantial amounts of money to use a local business’s
established name, reputation and phone so they can masquerade as a local
seen this happen in other areas of the country. After doing repairs paid by
insurance companies, the out-of-state contractors left the area. Many
contractors who agreed to let these storm chasers use their name regret their
decision once they were left holding the bag of unsatisfied customers due to
bad workmanship and/or unfulfilled warranties.
Disaster victims should never feel forced to make a hasty decision or to
choose an unknown contractor. Start With Trust. For reliable information, lists
of BBB Accredited Businesses by industry and BBB Business Reviews you can trust
on local businesses, visit www.bbb.org or
information or to schedule an interview with a BBB spokesperson, contact Vice
President Jessica Tharp at 309-670-1182.
years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses,
brands and charities they can trust. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 116 BBBs
serve communities across the U.S. and Canada. BBB provides objective advice,
educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust and free business
reviews and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM on more than 4 million
local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org or call
309-688-5124 for more information.