5 Leak Detection Scams
There’s a lot of great contractors out there mixed in with highly skilled scammers. How can you avoid being taken advantage of? Become familiar with these 5 popular leak detection scams and learn what to do to avoid shady leak detection companies.
The bait-and-switch gimmick has been around for years! Companies will advertise goods or in this case service, at an incredible deal, with the intention of providing a significantly inferior service in addition to substandard materials.
Your misleading leak detection company then pockets the profit.
Another method of this madness is actually using expensive material but jacking up the price much higher than it should be.
This leak detection scam most often offers three red flags:
1. If your leak detector is halfway through a project and suddenly the contract changes or additional work comes up, the contractor may have a scam strategy to quote low for work and charge high fees for these “surprises”. This could also mean the leak detection company simply doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing.
2. Verbal contracts mean nothing! For example, if you’re on the phone and a leak detection company and they offer an amazing estimate, then start the work still without any paperwork, then before you know it, they’ve done and the price spiked two or three times higher than the verbal estimate.
3. Lastly, beware of receiving a quote without an inspection being done. Estimates over the phone or purely verbal is solely just an estimate.
3 out of 5 leak detection scams: what is required upfront. You may have read this in other articles so much you might brush it off.
A professional leak detection company should not have any issue providing their credentials or any other forms of business identification. If they are resistant to show you, they might not have that crucial information.
To check if your leak detection and restoration company are licensed and fully certified, click here.
Additionally, a great leak detection company will not offer cash only as payment. “Companies” like this often don’t even carry insurance and may not even pay taxes.
One last upfront red flag to watch out for is if a leak detector asks for a high amount of money upfront. Most states have laws that prohibit leak detection contractors from asking more than 10% upfront. If they do ask for a high amount of money upfront, they could simply be taking the money and running.
Too Many People
Say you’ve hired a leak detector to locate and fix a leak, but throughout the week you’ve had three different people show up and you have no idea what they’re all doing. An untrustworthy company will subcontract parts of the job to family or friends and claim they have no control over other people’s hourly rates when it comes time to deliver the bill. This can lead to multiple and variously priced bills.
Sometimes one of these workers is an apprentice. However, this person should always be monitored and have their work checked by a licensed leak detection and restoration professional.
A shady leak detection and restoration company will pull up to your nice house, notice your nice car, see the beautiful and thought-out interior of your home and decide to raise the rate while you’d never know it. They may feel they can raise the price simply because you can afford it.
How To Avoid Leak Detection Scams
1. Research. Find a website, read reviews, and see if they’re in good standing with the BBB. Also, be sure to ask for licensing and certifications.
2. Get everything in writing. Have your well-researched leak detector come to your home for an inspection and receive a paper estimate. Without a contract, you won’t have much legal standing at all if you run into issues.
3. With the written estimate, compare prices of the materials listed at your local hardware store. Even the smallest items should be double-checked for high markups.
4. Ask how many people (including apprentices) will be on the job, and ask to specify what each person will be doing. You don’t want to unknowingly hire more than one contractor for a job that doesn’t require more than one.
5. If more than one person is required for the job, ask for each one’s hourly rate as they might differ.
6. Ask a lot of questions! An excellent leak detection company will not hesitate to answer all your questions and calm your concerns.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, never let a random person into your home claiming to be something they’re not. If someone random shows up to your door claiming they are a leak detection company, promptly ask to see licensing and certification first. If this happens to you and they don’t have the necessary proof, call the police immediately!
5 Leak Detection Scams
If you are in search of a trustworthy leak detection and restoration company, Leak Science has licensing, certifications, reviews, training, and expertise to back. We’re here to answer any questions and calm any concerns!