Beware: How to Spot a Painting Scam
How to Tell You're in a Painting Scam
Does it Sound Too Good to be True?
As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers can offer a great deal on a paint job, and if you don’t know the signs to look out for, you could easily fall for a scam. Reputable painting companies vastly outnumber disreputable ones and are usually easy to identify, but the bad guys work very hard at covering up their flaws, and they often know just the right thing to say to mislead the unsuspecting customer. Below are a few tips to help you discern the difference between a company you can trust and one you should avoid at all costs.
A reputable painting company will always have solid credentials. Not only will they have trained, experienced, skilled employees with workers’ compensation, but they will have proof of insurance. Always be sure to check that the insurance is up to date! These are there to protect both you and the workers, in the off chance that an accident should occur on your premises. If, when you ask for these credentials, the painter hesitates, you should take warning. Some scammers have even been known to use other forms of insurance in order to trick their customers. For example, they might show you their vehicle insurance policy, passing it off as the insurance required of legitimate painters. Any hesitation is a sure sign that these are individuals you don’t want working on your property.
Don’t Pay Upfront
If your local Bay-area painting contractor is asking for a large sum of money in order to start the painting project, you are absolutely looking at a scammer. Many homeowners have been put out many hundreds of dollars, only to have a poor paint job on their hands, if any work has been done at all. At this point they’d need to hire another Bay-area contractor, essentially doubling the cost of the job. Some individuals have even had their homes robbed due to scammers coming in and pretending to be legitimate contractors! When you’re working with a reputable company, you may pay for a consultation at the very beginning. This will lead to a detailed contract, in which every part of the process is laid out. You will have the painter committed to the job before any real money is exchanged.
A scammer might forge the type of contract mentioned above. A scammer’s contract will use vague language, and could easily be open to interpretation. This is an easy way to pay for things you don’t want, don’t get, to pay twice, or to simply pay more for what you do want. If the contract does not reflect the costs that were provided during the initial consultation, you should take warning. A reputable company will have everything covered and will not have any hidden costs in the contract.
Quality of Materials
A legitimate painting contractor will have a selection of quality materials and paints to choose from. Even the low-end paints will be of decent quality. Scammers offer what seems like a good deal, but they often use low quality paint that does not last very long or hold up to stress or the elements.
The final thing you want to look out for in a contractor is their experience. In addition to working with quality materials and providing you with their insurance and other information, a well-established contractor will have great skill and expertise. They should be able to address all of your questions and concerns right on the spot. With this knowledge, you should be able to avoid a painting scam. When you’re ready for a consultation, contact Endure Painting here!