Don’t get burned by cold-weather home repair scams
ATLANTA (Atlanta News First) - No running water at home, you can’t shower, you can’t brush your teeth and now experts are saying you have to keep an eye on who you hire to fix the problem.
Experts from the Better Business Bureau said during severe weather in Georgia there are always scammers looking to drain your pocket, but just because they say they can fix an issue quickly doesn’t mean you should sign on the dotted line.
MORE FROM NEWS 12:
- Pipes burst? What you should do (and not do) before mold grows
- Fixing broken pipes yourself may not be a good idea; here’s why
- What can renters do if pipes burst due to winter weather?
“Anytime there is a winter storm or freeze or any type of natural disaster we are always going to see these things. We call them ‘storm chasers,’” said Simone Williams of the Better Business Bureau.
“They come and say, ‘Hey we can fix this for, you know, this much.’ They undercut the next guy ... and then what homeowners unfortunately do is agree to these things because it’s a pressure tactic because they are also telling them you can only get this deal today or you only have 24 hours,” Williams said.
Stay up to date on winter weather by downloading the WRDW Weather App on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Williams said you can search a plumber’s name and find their license number on the BBB’s website scam tracker and then cross-reference it with the Attorney General’s Office online to make sure their license is active.
“So we always encourage consumers to go to bbb.org to look at business profiles so that you can get a background on the business, including any complaints or customer service reviews. Again, you just want to be sure that their business is properly licensed, you want to compare bids and job scope, you want to get everything in writing,” Williams said.
Felix Vasquez, with Andes Plumbing, said finding a reputable repair man may take time, but it will save you money in the long run.
“There’s a lot of handymen running around, and they may be able to do the repairs. You don’t have to be licensed to do a repair in Georgia, but it’s a good idea because if anything happens down the road, insurance will cover it,” Vasquez explained.
Williams said you can also reach out to your own home insurance company for reputable and trustworthy references.
She also said to find out how long the warranty is good for, make sure all verbal agreements are also reflected in writing, compare prices, and don’t pay until the end.
Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.