Police Warn of Storm Damage Repair Schemes - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Police Warn of Storm Damage Repair Schemes



    Denton police are warning residents about possible car repair schemes from people trying to make money off of folks hit by last week’s storms. (Published Monday, April 7, 2014)

    Denton police are warning residents about possible car repair schemes targeting folks hit by last week’s storms.

    Officers said massive hail storms, like the one that hit the city on Thursday, tend to attract a lot of contractors — some of whom are less than reputable to fix damaged roofs and vehicles.

    The department wants people to watch out for common red flags. For example, companies that show up from out-of-town within hours of a storm and offer seemingly low-rates for quick work.

    They insist that the work will get done, but often not up to quality or with other problems, and then they leave customers unable to track them down.

    Police also warn of contractors that may use high pressure techniques to get potential customers to sign onto a deal too fast or who will low bid and not estimate costs for unforeseen issues.

    Officer Shane Kizer said one of the biggest concerns is unlicensed door-to-door salespeople who don’t have the proper city permits to offer services. Any door-to-door salesperson must have a solicitor’s license and be able to provide photo identification upon request, he said.

    After baseball-sized hail hit Denton last Thursday, signs and offers for damage repair immediately began going up around town. Some folks even report going into stores the day after the storm and coming out to find multiple ads or offers for repair on their vehicles.

    Randy Sorrells, owner of Metro Roofing and Construction, said his company first opened up shop in Denton 35 years ago and every time a big storm hits the normally “small” community of roofers grows almost immediately.

    "We had pretty significant damage, and once you get that a lot of people come in to try to take on some of the workload,” said Sorrells.

    Sorrells said the biggest thing he warns customers against is moving too fast after storm damage; especially before insurance is involved.

    "Just take a little deep breath. You have time to look and think and feel comfortable with whoever you're going to use,” he said.

    He adds it’s very much a business of reputation and folks should shop around, check references and look for certifications.

    Police agree, it’s important to take your time with the process, understand all of the details of a contract and always start with your insurance company.

    Police said customers should check groups like the Better Business Bureau before hiring anyone.