ST. LOUIS- With the recent storms that have moved through the St. Louis area, it's very common to see out-of-town contractors and roofers entering the city. While some of these contractors are well-established across the nation, many of them cannot be trusted and aim to take advantage of consumers looking to fix damage to their homes.
In the industry, these contractors are known as "Chucks in a Truck". They tend to offer free product upgrades, free deductibles, and amazing warranties. However, in reality, it is illegal for a contractor to offer to cover a customer's deductible or for a homeowner to financially benefit from an insurance claim. Furthermore, the warranties these contractors offer are generally worth about as much as the paper they are printed on. The "Chucks" tend to leave town quickly after a storm and not fulfill warranty issues when they arise in the future.
While some of this information may seem obvious to many consumers, it is astonishing how many homeowners fall victim to these scammers each year. In fact, the BBB recently released a list of Top 10 industries for complaints and a Top 10 list for BBB inquiries. On those lists, home construction/remodeling and roofing/guttering were listed in the top 5. Moreover, the Senate passed Bill No. 101 in 2011 to prevent many of these contractors from taking advantage of consumers. To learn more about this law and see if your contractor is following state and federal regulations, please visit http://www.senate.mo.gov/11info/pdf-bill/tat/sb101.pdf.
Olneya is proud to be BBB Accredited with an "A" rating. President/CEO Crystal Anderson feels that honoring warranties and providing consumers with care and valuable customer service has been crucial to her company's success in the St. Louis market.
"My employees and I are dedicated to helping consumers recognize the scammers in our industry before they fall victim to their shady tactics," Anderson said. "I've been in this business for a long time and have seen my share of homeowners left with a horrible product on their house. Being taken advantage of is completely preventable and my goal is to help and educate people through the restoration process and weed out the Chucks of my industry."
Unfortunately, in Missouri, a contractor does not need to be licensed in order to practice general residential contracting. For this reason, it is relatively easy and cheap for anyone to obtain a business license and begin working on customer's home. This is why homeowners need to remain vigilant on who they choose to perform work on their home.
"Always use a BBB Accredited company, and if they're not Accredited, at least check out their rating at the BBB. Also, search their name online for any consumer complaints prior to signing on with them and make sure the company has Workman's Comp and General Liability Insurance," Anderson said. "And one huge thing I preach to people is go local! There are reputable, up-standing roofing companies in St. Louis that you should choose before an out-of-towner. Please don't sign anything before doing a thorough background check into the company. Be safe and smart about the company you choose."
Olneya's services include commercial and residential roofing, gutters, siding, storm damage restoration, roof replacement, roof repair, replacement windows, and attic insulation. For more information on Olneya, please visit OLNEYA.com, call 314.432.6100, or visit them on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
For more information on Olneya services, community involvement, or news, please contact Sarah Ruffatto at 314.432.6100.