Simple TIPS to help consumers and businesses begin flood damage recovery And not be a victim for a second time
[May 6, 2010 -- Middle Tennessee] Tennessee residents and businesses have a huge emergency need for restoration and clean up services that may not be able to be quickly handled by available local companies. Demand for immediate services provides an opportunity for out of state contractors and restoration companies to enter our marketplace and help flood victims who would otherwise be on long waiting lists.
Out of state contractors/restoration companies who travel to Tennessee does not mean these companies are all scammers looking for the opportunity to prey on victims.
Many long established, reputable companies located in OK, LA, Al, KY and GA have contacted BBB letting us know they are here and simply want to help residents and commercial businesses in the recovery process.
For the most part, these out of state companies are BBB Accredited Businesses, with long held reputations for doing business the right way, and are leaders in their industry. All responsible, ethical businesses will urge consumers to check them out with BBB.
What residents must do:
Know who you are doing business with
IF THE COMPANY HAS NOT REGISTERED WITH A BBB SOMEPLACE IN THE U.S. THEN THE COMPANY HAS EITHER CHANGED NAMES TO AVOID THEIR PAST BUSINESS HISTORY, OR IS SIMPLY OPERATING UNDER THE RADAR.
- Confirm the company name and check the company out with BBB
- No BBB business report? YELLOW FLAG. Proceed with caution.
A company with a BBB Report & good rating drives consumer trust. A question all consumers should ask themselves: Why would a business NOT have a BBB report if they do business with the public?
Check List for doing business with out of state contractors:
- Ask for ID...drivers license, record the DL #, name and address, make a record of the company vehicle tag #
- Check the company out with BBB @ www.gobbb.org
- Ask for proof of their business license locally
- Ask for and VERIFY the company's General Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance
- Obtain a WRITTEN CONTRACT for all work to be done.
- The contract should include a completion date schedule & payment schedule.
- Payments should coincide with completion schedule & include an inspection process that the work has been done correctly
- Down payments should be no more that 30%
- Door to Door with a spiel that the company can speed up insurance process
- Mold scares...mold is and will be a huge issue in Tennessee...know as much about mold remediation and associated costs as possible. To learn more check out the web sites for the CDC (Center of Disease Control) & the EPA
- NO to Cash Up Front...Instead, Pay by credit card...if the contractor doesn't return to begin work you are protected
- Price gouging (this usually happens after a 'repair estimate' has been given, agreed to and the work is in process). The company comes back with a higher price and threatens to stop work if not paid more money. Five Counties in Tennessee are in a declared State of Emergency...price gouging is illegal and should be reported to the Tennessee State Attorney General
Kathleen Calligan | CEO
Better Business Bureau Middle TN
201 4th Avenue N., Ste 100
Nashville, TN 37219
Dir: 615.250.4242 Fax: 615.250.4245
Start your search With Trust by visiting www.Nashville.BBB.org
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The BBB of Middle Tennessee, Inc. was founded in 1961 as a non-profit Tennessee organization serving 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and 7 counties in Southern Kentucky. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada.
Serving as the 'ethical gatepost' of our communities, BBB fosters and promotes ethical business practices and self-regulation standards that build consumer trust in the marketplace. BBB services include business reliability information, complaint resolution services and consumer and business educational information. In 2008 BBB Nashville handled over 4.0 million services requests via our web site www.nashville.bbb.org.
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