Buyer Beware, scammers will run riot

April 1st, 2009 by Douglas

I had plans to discuss other topics today, but a news story out of Toledo has changed my mind.

I will not go into details over the story, minus to say that there will definitely be an increase of scammers in the industry this year, with everyone worrying about maintaining what they have instead of putting in new.

The usual scam starts out with a stranger knocking on your door. He will then start with the line “Hi, there. I was doing a job down the street and we have some extra materials that we will use them on your driveway for a bargain price!” Usually this price is FAR from a bargain. I have heard stories, locally, of prices being as much as ten times the usual cost or even higher.

This scam is fairly universal to the whole Home Improvement business environment. The line is easily changed from asphalt, to concrete, to sealer, to shingles, etc. The usual target are the elderly, who are usually unable to do the repairs or maintenance themselves.

The easiest way to avoid this scam is to turn down any of these offers. Most contractors will schedule work in advance, and in most cases left over materials can be reused on the next job (especially with driveway sealer.) All of these scams rely on the marketing tactic of this being a one time offer… if you tell him no, he will never offer it again. In most cases it is in your best interest to not take this offer.

Unfortunately, it is these people who ruin the industry for many of the hard working laborers who aim to do things the right way. One bad experience is usually all it takes to turn someone willing to pay for the work, into someone who will do the work themselves from now on.

Avoid any issues, and turn down any “leftover” offer.

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