Friday, July 16, 2010

Dealing with Door-to-Door Roofing Salespersons

In the past year, the Kansas City area has seen new developments in the roofing industry.  Roofing companies new to the area brought their sales tactics with them.  We have had numerous phone calls from consumers who are dubious about door-to-door salesmen who are approaching them about replacing hail-damaged roofs. Many callers feel pressured into signing contracts and feel that they purchased something they do not want or need.  These salesmen often target areas that have not had hail in years.  Based on the calls and inquiries we've received from customers, we have compiled some tips on what you can do to protect yourself from predatory salespersons.

1. Contact the Better Business Bureau when you are contacted by a roofing company.  The BBB receives more inquiries on Roofers than any other type of business.  Nationwide, the BBB received over two million inquiries on Roofing companies 2009, seven hundred thousand higher than the second highest type of business. Analysis of our records shows that Roofing companies settled only 61% of complaints filed with the BBB, so it is a good idea to make sure they address their complaints before doing business with them.  In the Kansas City area alone, we have reliability reports on over six hundred roofers.

2. Don't sign anything during a first visit unless you are absolutely sure it's what you want.  Give yourself time to get other estimates. Don't feel pressured into signing anything.  Salespeople ask for your business, they cannot demand it.  You are under no obligation to do anything, and until you contact other roofing companies, you don't know if you're even getting a good deal.  Unless you have knowledge of the industry you will not know if you are saving money.

3. Make sure you need a new roof before asking your insurance company to pay for its replacement.  Your roof may only need minor repairs and if you report damage to your insurance company, you may end up paying your deductible and increasing the price of your insurance.

4. Don't sign over power of attorney. A business with a vested interest in getting your money should not have power to make home repair decisions for you. Whether or not the company's intentions are honorable, there is no need to take such steps for a roof.  It is your money and your home.  If you don't feel qualified to make decisions about home repair, find a trusted individual and ask them to do it for you.

5. Remember, if you sign a contract in your home, you have three (3) business days to cancel for any reason. There are no restrictions or exceptions to this.  A door-to-door salesman cannot lock anyone into a contract on the spot.  If you decide to cancel, be sure to send the notice of cancellation by mail or fax as well as telephoning the company.

6. If you file an insurance claim, it WILL count against your policy.  No matter what the salesperson tells you, filing a claim with your insurance company, whether it's denied or not, can affect the price of your policy.  Contact your agent and ask what normal procedures for claims.

12 comments:

  1. It seems to be an impressive information. I would like to appreciate you.

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  2. It's a good idea not to sign over power of attorney when it comes to roofing repairs or other roofing needs. I've never been sure about this until after I've read this post. I also agree with you to contact several roofing companies in order to compare prices and services before signing anything. Here in our place, it's best to contact a dependable Calgary roofing company to know your possible options.

    Thanks for sharing these tips, Aaron! I really value your ideas.

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  3. I am what was reffered to above as one of those "predators". First of all I agree with all the information above. Under no cirumstance should you feel forced to sign a contract on the first meeting with a salesman even if you are sure its what you want. only after you your contractor of choice and the insurance adjustor have all met and discussed the roof should the word contract be mentioned.

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    1. I agree with you Troy, you shouldn't feel pressured or forced to sign a contract with a salesperson ever. Always make sure you get insurance involved before you even think about contracts. http://www.cambridgeroofing.ca

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  4. I am a license insurance adjuster and although most of the above is true each underwriter of each insurance company has there on policy as to policy premium increases, as a rule of thumb if your area has been declared a Catastrophe, neither you or your insurance agents book of business would suffer direct cost from filing a claim. In fact some companies has a 48 hour period for claim withdrawal. With that being said the poor overworked adjuster would perfer at least two different local professionals confirm the damage prior to making a claim so that his time is best served helping people that have a true need. As far as contracts being signed that is more of a good faith thing. Most states say that a contract is not valid until work is performed or money has exchanged. Last but not least it would be nice to think the few local roof professionals could handle the bussiness a Catastrophe brings them but if your honest you know that would mean two to three year getting your roof repairs made. Overall the big picture reveals that out of town contractors serve a purpose in getting your house, neighborhood, town back into Pre-storm condition or better. **You just have to be more careful dealing with a out of town Roofer. *Most will offer some kind of a upgrade in material to put you back better than before and even do so for what your insurance pays, thats a good thing, and for that reason most won't take the time to write an estimate. It is not in the customers favor to shop around for the best price because the insurance carrier with just adjust it out of your depreciation withheld. The main thing to remember is not to pay any contractor until the job is 100% completed. ***This means even if they drop material before workers show up*** Don't pay, this could be a trick to lock you in the contract and put the job off for a few days or weeks.****
    Senior Claims Adjuster

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  5. I agree completely with the above post. I too am an Inusrance adjuster and know how the claims process works. First, you don't get penalized for filing a claim if it is a weather related event, second, the stigma of storm chaser was created by the local companies who don't want to compete for the new found business that will come from a large storm. Truth be told they know more about the claim process than any local Joe roofer, they deal with them daily not just every few years. My advise to anyone looking to hire a contractor is the same to anyone looking to enter into any type of business contract. Read it, understand it, and if you don't find someone who does. If you get taken for lack or research, it's your fault.

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  6. The information that you provided was thorough and helpful. I will have to share your article with others.

    kansas city roofing

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Thanks for the information. I liked the point you made about a good roofer being able to give many options when it comes to materials. kansas city roofing

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  9. Contact the Better Business Bureau when you are contacted by a roofing company. Make sure you need a new roof before asking your insurance company to pay for its replacement. That is possible with EPDM Rubber Coatings.

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