Watch Out for "Storm Chasers" - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Watch Out for "Storm Chasers"


People left cleaning up after this week's devastating storms could find themselves with some unwelcome repair crews.

Consumer experts warn people to watch out for door-to-door repair contractors who might come knocking.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection calls them "storm chasers."  They're fly-by-night contractors who promise quick help at a great price.

Sometimes, homeowners are pressured for money upfront; others find out about sudden price jumps; in other cases, the crew simply leaves without finishing a job.

Consumer experts offer the following tips:

  • Hire a contractor based on referrals. Try to get a local business. Ask for references.
  • Never rely on a verbal commitment for a job. Get a written contract with a start and finish date, and exactly what work will be done.
  • Request a copy of the contractor's certificate of liability insurance.
  • Make sure a contractor shows you their state registration card. Contractors who register with the state are issued a card.
  • Have someone watch the work being done.  Check with your local building inspector to see if the work requires a permit and make sure an inspector visits the job site before you provide final payment.

Also know these traveling clean up crews can play on emotions, too. While you might want to get work started right away, it's best to do your research to find a reliable contractor.




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