Storm chasers cause more damage than hail storm

Several days after the hail storm, Bay Village was invaded by clean-cut, all-American young men walking up our driveways with clip boards in hand, ready to show us all the damage that had been done to our homes.  

They represented themselves as allies that were going to help us negotiate with our insurance companies in exchange for using their contractors. They played the fear card and said that if we didn't correct the damages, we could experience leaks and further damage in the future.

John, a representative from a multi-state company with an office in Bay Village, was our wolf in sheep's clothing. He pointed out the golf ball dimples in our siding and roof, slapped down his samples and the presentation was in full force. I am sure this story is very similar to many. We were naive and afraid that if we didn't do something, we were going to see serious trouble in the future.  

We were clear with John that we were skeptical about using a storm chaser operation. He assured us that they had a local office and that they were all from the area and would be here if we needed them. He was very convincing, as most of them are. What followed was nothing short of a nightmare.  

John rarely showed up for scheduled appointments to discuss problems. No one ever supervised the work being done. Our yard was trashed for seven months. Water poured down our fireplace on the day the "30 year" roof was completed. They killed all the flowers.

They left nails and scraps everywhere, including garbage and materials all over the yard and driveway, for months. Workers rarely showed up to work. When they did, it was for a couple of hours and they were gone. The process was a nightmare, but each group of workers would promise to restore our faith, only to disappoint us again and again and again.

John, the clean-cut individual that promised to take care of everything, was no where to be found. The only time the company showed up on time was to be paid. When we asked for money off our bill for the unexpected "out of pocket" expenses that we incurred due to their negligence and a series of errors that dominated our summer, we were told they did everything to industry standard.

If we didn't pay in full, our warranties would not be valid. What a scam! Who determines these industry standards? If I had known what was coming up my driveway looking so harmless and helpful, I would never have agreed to use this company. Beware of the modern-day wolf in sheep's clothing. If we ever experience a hail storm like that again, I think we should close the borders of Bay Village!

My advice to homeowners who are overwhelmed when selecting a contractor is to contact the Better Business Bureau first! When I called to report my dissatisfaction with this particular company, I was told that over 30 complaints had been lodged against them in our area in the past six months. That would have been helpful to know ahead of time.

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 10:32 AM, 01.04.2011