How to Avoid Chimney Repair Scams
If you’ve ever been scammed before, you know the frustration and helpless feeling of being taken advantage of. How can you avoid chimney repair scams? There’s no guarantee but there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
Pay attention to your instinct
If something feels off or you just don’t trust the person advising you, take the time to get a second opinion. Too many people quiet that voice inside and make decisions that will hurt them in the long run. If something is telling you to stay away there’s probably a reason for it! Many companies provide free estimates, a few minutes to raise concerns to another professional may end up protecting you from scammers.
Get references and check reviews
It is true that some companies pay for reviews or simply make them up but you can ask for references. If you don’t want to believe the reviews on their website, try Yelp or Google to see if there are any unbiased opinions. The Better Business Bureau is an excellent resource to check out a company’s history.
The Better Business Bureau is a national agency that helps to provide information to the public. You can submit a formal complaint about a company and it goes on their “record” for all to see. Check this agency before you hire anyone. Neighborhood Apps like “Next Door” are great because you can check with your neighbors to see if anyone has any prior experience with the company you’d like to use. At the very least you can get recommendations on reputable chimney sweep companies.
Ask if they have insurance
What if a worker falls or injures himself on your property? If the company is not insured the worker may have no choice but to seek damages from you because they can argue it was your property and maybe even your negligence that caused the accident. The next thing you know, 1000s of dollars are coming out of your pocket to pay for injuries and your issue may not even be repaired. A company’s insurance not only protects them, but it also protects you.
Do they have a license?
Experience is a beautiful thing but unfortunately without a license, how can a new customer know for certain that the technician has the necessary skills? Licensed professionals are tested on the basic skills necessary to perform their job, they have to pass tests in order to carry that license. Your average Craigslist handyman may not have been tested as thoroughly. A license does not guarantee you won’t be scammed but it at least gives you a bit of assurance that you are probably dealing with a competent person.
Companies who have gone through the trouble of being licensed and insured are usually happy to show you their credentials. If the employees or business owner react in a rude or angry fashion and refuse to show you any proof that their legit, run!
Finding the right chimney sweep can be nerve-racking but you can avoid the headache by choosing Advanced Chimney.
We are certified chimney professionals with over 15 years in the business. Don’t spend another minute scrolling through websites for shady handymen. Instead, choose the trusted professionals at Advanced Chimney for any of your chimney needs.