Beware of ‘Storm Chasers’

The Better Business Bureau serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and southwest Iowa is warning both businesses and residents to use caution when hiring companies to make repairs in the wake of the damaging storms that moved through the area Tuesday night.

Storms like these often attract traveling workers commonly known as “storm chasers” or “travelers” offering their services. BBB is urging consumers to be cautious when dealing with these companies, as many of them are not trustworthy.

Storm chasing has become a multi-million dollar industry, complete with computerized hail forecasting, teams of out-of-state installers and trained salespeople who go door-to-door soliciting work.

“While some of these contractors may offer a low price and fast repairs, they may not stand behind their work,” said BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty. “If the contractor is from out-of-state, who will service the warranty if problems arise later? Consumers should ask questions.”

BBB is also warning area contractors to beware of “storm chasers” who are willing to pay local construction companies substantial amounts of money to use their business’s established name, reputation and phone so they can masquerade as a local entity.

“We have seen this happen before,” said Hegarty. “After doing repairs paid by insurance companies, the out-of-state contractors left the area. Many contractors who agreed to let storm chasers use their name regret their decision after they were left ‘holding the bag’ of unsatisfied customers because of poor workmanship and/or unfulfilled warranties.”

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