It’s easier than you think to fall prey to a con artist or scam, particularly where home improvements like paving and roofing are concerned.
These people appear very plausible – “we have materials left over from another job down the road” or they’re offering special deals if you agree there and then. Other excuses like ‘homes in the area are needing ridge tiles re-cementing’ etc – the con artist has plenty of tricks to sound convincing.
Victims complain of poor quality work, extortionate ‘extra charges’ as the work progresses and menacing behaviour to obtain payment, including ‘escorting’ homeowners to cash machines to withdraw large sums.
Nobody’s safe, but the elderly are particularly vulnerable.
There are a few simple steps you can take to try and safeguard yourself against such a con.
Firstly, never deal with any company that cold calls (contractors knocking on the door un-invited). Home Improvement Quotes services will always email you with the contact details of the companies we’ve passed your enquiry onto, should you wish to take your online quote further.
Don’t be fooled by what appears to be a bona-fide business card or letterhead. These items can be professionally produced for pence.
Never pay cash upfront or agree on the doorstep to any work. Any reputable company will want you to take time to consider their quotes.
There’s been a lot of new stories recently about the theft of metals – one cheeky mob managed to strip the lead flashing off of a row of new houses on a single estate. They managed to do the first house un-checked and when ‘challenged by another homeowner, said they were from the house builder and were replacing the ‘faulty’ lead flashing around the bay windows.
If you’re unsure, always ask for a number and check with the company that’s supposedly sent them. The Police would love it if you managed to get a registration number of the vehicle they were using.
Home Improvement Quotes service not only tells you which tradesmen (up to a maximum of 3) to expect but also their office contact details and feedback from other homeowners who’ve used them or just received a quote from them, to help give you even more peace of mind.
There really is no need to be a victim of a home improvement scam anymore.
photo credit: anindo ghosh