How to Spot and Report Roofing Scams

We’ve all seen the TV shows focusing on rogue traders and their methods, featuring vulnerable people being taken for a ride by unethical scam artists out to make some quick cash.

Whether cutting corners on construction, potentially endangering lives and property, or promising work that never materialises, there are a number of different ways in which cowboy contractors can take people for a ride.

Unfortunately, the roofing industry is not exempt from shady dealers and scammers, and learning to spot them before they take advantage of you is the best way to avoid ending up massively out of pocket for sub-standard or non-existent services. Here are a few clues to help you spot a cowboy…

The Scams

The tricks of the trade for most dodgy contractors are their tried-and-tested scams. One of the most popular is for a passing cowboy to just happen to spot that your roof “needed” work from the street, and knock on your door to convince you to take up the many services they offer. These cold callers are more prevalent in the colder, wetter months, preying on people’s concern over potential leaks in their roofs. It is common of this particular scam for a cowboy to offer a free evaluation of your roof, returning with a long list of “absolutely necessary” repairs and replacements that they claim you must have performed.

This then plays into a separate scheme, in which huge “discounts” are offered for a one-off, special deal for the entirety of the work – particularly if you pay in cash. Encountering any cash-in-hand-only contractors should immediately start alarm bells ringing in your head, as this is a classic tax avoidance scam, and in some extreme cases, it may see the cowboy getting hold of your money and scarpering before any work is done at all.

The Tell-Tale Signs

There are a range of other signifiers that may indicate the presence of a scam artist. For example, if any roofer requests to carry out a free appraisal of your roof, make sure they are willing to present their credentials first, such as company details, a valid landline number and proof of any accreditations.

Most reputable roofing companies will not have a problem with supplying details of past work, including contact details for previous customers to allow you to verify their quality and standard of work. Similarly, a website with testimonials and case studies helps to authenticate a roofing company.

Any roofer that says he can provide a discount due to having leftover materials from previous jobs should be treated with caution. This could be a way of convincing you that you’re receiving a great deal, and there’s nothing to say that the surplus materials aren’t stolen or of inadequate standard.

Other Tips

Never accept the first quote you are offered. Take some time to ask around and work out whether you are being ripped off or having the wool pulled over your eyes by a suspiciously low figure, and always make sure that a contract detailing the full extent of the work is drawn up beforehand, giving you a leg to stand on should you be the victim of a cowboy.

Check all work thoroughly before completing payment, making sure it is of good quality and carried out to the standard expected.

Morgan Asphalte

As a fully accredited roofing company, vetted by a number of relevant industry associations, such as Safecontractor, TrustMark, Constructionline and more, our expert roofers provide first rate services throughout the London area.

For more information about our range of roof repairs, or to make enquiries about any of our roofing services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Morgan Asphalte today on 0800 998 1378.

Posted on 22 August 2013 in Roofing.

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