Major property damage after a disaster can attract criminals who are looking for ways to make money fast. Repair workers often travel from city to city following disasters.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt warns consumers affected by recent wildfires to make sure the contractors they select are reputable.
Pruitt suggests the following tips for choosing a contractor or repair service:
- Ask people you trust for referrals.
- Deal with local firms, whenever possible.
- Check out the repair service with the Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau.
- Ask for customer references.
- Get written estimates from several firms.
- Don’t do business without a written contract.
- Get all guarantees, warranties, and promises in writing.
- Agree on start and completion dates and have them written into the contract.
He also cautions consumers to be wary of repair services and contractors who:
- Solicit door-to-door.
- Offer discounts for finding other customers.
- “Just happen to have” materials left over from a previous job.
- Accept only cash payments.
- Pressure you for an immediate decision.
- Ask you to pay for the entire job up-front.