The seasons are changing – autumn is here and this is a popular time for scammers going through neighborhoods offering seasonal services to homeowners. Whether it is a window installation job, window repair, leaf raking, or window washing, there are people out there that will promise to do a great job, take your money, and then never deliver the service. Here are some ways to spot window contractor scams in Portland.
The most popular scams:
A person posing as a reputable contractor comes to your door claiming he is in the neighborhood installing windows. The person claims that he is able to give you a big discount because he is already in the area working on a job. If the potential customer decides to hire the person for the job, he will ask for a partial payment upfront to secure your place and then he will return the next day after he finishes his other job in the area to start work on your home. But, he’ll likely take the money and run with it – you’ll never see him or your money again.
In another similar scam, the “contractor” will arrive to your home and start work on the job. While he’s working, he’ll find an expensive problem that needs to be fixed right away. He won’t give you any other option and you’re stuck with an incredibly expensive repair that you weren’t planning on.
How can you protect yourself from window contractor scams?
There are a variety of ways to stay alert to potential scams. Here are some helpful tips.
Tip #1: Look for red flags.
If a potential contractor is putting a lot of pressure on you during the sales pitch, if they say you can only pay with cash, or they want to see inside your home before you have officially hired them, beware. These are all red flag signs. You should never do all cash deals or let someone in your home before you have had the opportunity to do your research.
Tip #2: Work with reputable local businesses.
Before you hire anyone to work on your home, be sure that the contractor has clear identification that tells you that they are with a legitimate company. Business cards, land lines, printed invoices and estimate sheets, and quality vehicle signage are all signs that the business is established and legit.
Tip #3: Read reviews and check references.
Once you have established that the company is legit, look online to see what kinds of reviews they have for their business. Online reviews are a huge part of doing business today. Look at sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, Google, or Better Business Bureau to start out and see what people are saying about the company. If there are a lot of negative reviews, you might want to think twice about hiring them to do a big project on your home. In addition, be sure to check references that are available from not just one person, but several. This will allow you to get feedback and necessary information before the job starts.
When the seasons change, you’ll see more and more seasonal contracting scams happening. Be sure you do your research on local companies before you hire anyone to do a big job – especially window repairs or window/door installations! Lifetime Windows & Doors has a glowing reputation and we’re proud of our team of employees. Read our online reviews here.