When one is gone, three more show up. It feels that way in the restoration business and you should be concerned. Not long ago, a one time major restoration company went out of business. They had several trucks, ten to twelve employees and over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of equipment, not to mention several locations. But their practices of short cutting, overcharging customers and scamming insurance claims through shady public adjusters finally caught up. That sounds like like the end of the story right? But it’s not. The employees of companies like this, either basic tech’s or supervisors behind the scams start businesses not long after. They buy the used equipment off of their previous defunct employer, lease a new truck, get a new name and claim to have many years of experience. So how do you protect yourself?
First, you can ask for a copy of their license, which you have every right too. Contractors can block out personal information on a license or EIN form, but they should never hide when the company was filed. Another way to find out how long they’ve been in business, is to use sites that track website analytics which usually display the date of when the domain was registered and how long the site has been up. Lastly, ask questions. There’s nothing wrong with asking a contractor where their office is located, if they have one, where did they previously work and can they show documentation as to the training they claim. Remember, hiring a contractor is a short term partnership and you’re allowing someone not only into your home, but into your life.