No one is safe from the fraudulent schemes of a dishonest company. In construction and renovation, as in many other fields, some unscrupulous entrepreneurs try every year to make profits at the expense of consumers, too often at the mercy of their so-called expertise.
So don’t be surprised if traffickers are also rampant in the insulation business!
DISHONEST SOLICITATION ACTIVITIES
Normally, when you feel you need insulation services or want to have a specialist’s advice, you contact a competent contractor directly. Illicit companies, on the other hand, take the lead through telephone or door-to-door solicitations, gaining the owners’ confidence in a very skilful way: they pretend that they are mandated by the government to make them benefit from credits, taxes, and generous energy efficiency subsidies. Since the government doesn’t delegate any company to promote its various programs and strictly never do peddling, this should give you a clue.
Their trickery doesn’t end there.
Indeed, these companies don’t hesitate to play on the fear that owners feel at the idea of discovering that their attic (or other places) is infected with mildew, seriously compromising their health and that of their children. And they’re not afraid to exaggerate to make sure they’ve baited you well enough: “If you don’t decontaminate, you’re going to lose your house.” Worried and caught off guard by such findings, people unfortunately authorize a bogus inspection of their homes, then dubious and above all, unnecessary work, losing thousands of dollars at the hands of these illicit companies.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST SUCH SCAMPERS
BE CAREFUL. If you are approached, by phone or in person, to carry out work on your home, beware since this practice is illegal. Ask the entrepreneur for his itinerant merchant’s permit!
SUPERVISE. You still believe that the company has benevolent intentions and you allow them to inspect your attic (or other places)? Accompany them without hesitation in their examination of the premises (it’s your house, after all!) You will confirm immediately if they are transparent or if there is something wrong with them.
VERIFY. Conduct your investigation using the resources available to you. A simple glance at the Register of license holders of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) allows you to verify if the contractor in question holds a valid license. A quick visit to the Consumer Protection Office (OPC) website also informs you of any complaints that may have been filed against the said entrepreneur.
COMPARE. In order to eliminate any doubt, call on one or more trustworthy companies, which will confirm to you whether your insulation is safe, and whether your building does indeed have any anomalies. In some cases, upgrading is necessary, the cost generally ranging from $700 to $1,000, but you remain free to go ahead with the work if you choose to.
In short, keep an eye out and remember that any charlatan can come knocking on your door and claim to be an insulation expert. The reality can be quite different!
LA FACTURE TV SHOW TALKS ABOUT IT
During the program La Facture, which was broadcast on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Isolation Majeau team spoke with journalist Yvan Lamontagne about indecent and fraudulent estimates that have been provided by certain companies for the insulation of residential attics. This exclusive report highlighting the illicit activities of entrepreneurs ready for the worst absurdities to extort thousands of dollars from you was eye opening.
The report can be viewed at any time by clicking here. (program in French)
Have you been cheated by a contractor? Be sure to file a complaint with the Office de la Protection du Consommateur!
Also note that we remain available to answer your questions and provide you with competent advice if you suspect that you have obtained a dishonest estimate.
This article was originally published on July 1, 2022 by Marcel Lapierre
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