Price Gouging, Storm Chasers Could Emerge From Storm - WSPA.com

Price Gouging, Storm Chasers Could Emerge From Storm

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Beware of storm chasers and price gouging Beware of storm chasers and price gouging

A warning about storm chasers preying on victims of the winter weather. Right now South Carolina is under a state of emergency. That means price gouging laws are in effect. There are things you can do to make sure you don't get overcharged.

When this winter blast blows over you could be left with downed limbs and home repairs. If there's anything prior storms have taught us be extra cautious when contractors come knocking.

"Those guys might not be around when you need them in 2 weeks when something happened or they didn't repair what was supposed to be. Just be careful and check people out," said Vee Daniel with the Better Business Bureau.

She warns storm chasers will have their sights on the Upstate.

The FBI says in 2010 several homes hit by hail were targeted by roofing company American Shingle. One victim in Taylors told us via phone he still hasn't gotten his money back.

"They took my check for $4600 roughly, whatever that was that Allstate gave me, and with that I never got anything done, nothing," said Ron Hanks in Taylors, SC.

He paid them 2/3s of the price up front. Your best bet is to go with a repair company that doesn't charge you upfront. But if you do, industry experts say the standard rate is 30%. Don't let them charge you more before the work is done.

Another danger in this weather, price gougers. From towing companies, to grocery stores, if you feel you've been over-charged here's what you should know.

If you've been billed at an unusually high rate during a State of Emergency you may have a case. Keep any documentation.

And file a police report.

One more warning, if snow shovelers and people with chainsaws come to your door offering their service, keep this in mind:

"If they don't have insurance and they get hurt on your property, it's going to be your expense," said Daniel.

You may need the help, but don't let it cost you in the long run.

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