Consumers Beware of Possible Hail Damage Scams - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/2/05

Consumers Beware of Possible Hail Damage Scams

Two days after a massive hail storm pounded Lubbock, dent shops and roofers remain inundated with phone calls and repair requests. Just hours after the storm, NewsChannel 11 warned you about the possibility of scam artists-known as storm troopers, and the high demand for hail repair is making way for these scam artists to move in temporally. But not all mobile shops are scams.

The Lone Star Dent Shop is one local company that has set up a mobile shop in addition to its permanent location. They're just trying to meet an overwhelming amount of business.

One local man said, "I got holes on the roof trailer and got both of our cars." And this is the story for thousands of Lubbockites two days after the hail as they are waiting in lines at car shops and insurance companies trying to fix the damage from the storm.

Pete Salinas of Lone Star Dent Repair says, "We are very busy, when catastrophe hits Lubbock, there's all kinds of work."

Where's there's work, there's a way for scam artists to take advantage of consumers in need. Salinas says, "A lot of people come from out of town and they'll hack up a car. They'll leave town, and then people are stuck with the car."

Ask the Expert - Paintless Hail and Dent Removal
Visit this Ask the Expert section for information on paintless dent removal with experts from AS Dent Shop.

Pete says look for local companies with city permits, and make sure they have a guarantee. Another suggestion, get more than one estimate to make sure you get the best deal. "Insurance companies will partner with local body shops, and next thing you know you're signing contracts. Make sure you know that it's just an estimate, and you don't need to feel obligated to stay."

Before doing business, make sure you seek out the business, instead of the business seeking you. If it's a mobile shop, make sure the business has a permit from the city of Lubbock. And never pay for service up-front. Reputable companies usually give you a free estimate and ask for payment once the job is complete.

The Better Business Bureau
For more information on consumer guidance, business guidance, dispute resolution, and consumer news and alerts; click here to goto the Better Business Bureau's web site.

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