PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)-South Dakota’s Attorney General is warning consumers about home and roof repair scams that have surfaced in South Dakota due to severe weather earlier this week.
Marty Jackley says unfortunately, scammers react quickly to these situations.
Jackley says his office’s Division of Consumer Protection quickly began receiving complaints about repair companies with aggressive tactics. He encourages folks to turn to repair places they are familiar with.
After a disaster, people often feel an urgency to get their homes, vehicles or other damaged items fixed as quickly as possible. Jackley, however, urges people to not rush into making a decision regarding these repairs, no matter how good the deal seems or how quickly they claim they’ll be able to do your repairs.
Severe weather ripped through central and southeastern South Dakota Tuesday night bringing strong, gusty winds and dropping a range of dime to softball sized hail. A tornado was spotted about 10 miles south of Fort Pierre, briefly touching down.
To contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office, call 1-800-300-1986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Consumer Protection Division suggests taking the following precautions when dealing with storm repair companies:
- Do not be pressured into a quick agreement.
- Request a written contract specifying in detail the work to be done and the agreed upon price.
- Be cautious if cash-only terms are required.
- Do not make full payment before the job is satisfactorily completed.
- Ask for local references and call these references to make sure they were satisfied.
- Get bids from other companies to compare prices.
- Consumers typically have a three day right to cancel on door-to-door sales contracts.
- Sellers must provide the consumer with a copy of the contract or receipt at the time of the sale. This receipt must show the date of the sale, the name and address of the merchant, and a statement to the buyer of his or her right to cancel the contact within three days.
- Remember that a legitimate offer does not require you to have the work done immediately. Do not get pressured into a sale.
- Ask to see their current South Dakota tax license. State law requires all persons selling products or services to have a current South Dakota sales or contractors’ excise tax license. Remember that even though they may have this license it does not mean that you will be able to locate them once the work is done.
- Be cautious when allowing a company to negotiate with your insurance company.