Chimney Repair Scam

My elderly mother heats part of her house with a very large Sears wood burning stove. She started off with a metal chimney - were several house fires caused by these things - so she had a brick chimney built with flu liners. She has a fire all winter long. She was told she should have her chimney swept. This past summer the chimney sweep did his thing - and showed my mother some pictures of how damaged her chimney was from cracked all the fires she kept going. He told her he could repair the chimney for $2,500.
My mother has insurance covering everything - called her insurance agent - showed him the pictures and told him it was going to cost $2,500 to repair and what portion of that repair would the insurance cover. The agent got one of their adjusters to check it out. Guess what her chimney was in perfect condition - not a crack in any tile.
My mother called several other people who were using this crook - a couple had similiar stories and one of them had already agreed to have her chimney repaired.
She would not go after the crook - but be careful out there.
Two years ago she had an "insulation expert" tell her she needed more insulation under the metal roof on the second floor of the house - another crook - there is no room for more insulation in that space - I installed it many years ago.
So be careful out there - crooks abound.
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And you only just figured that out now. So when was it different.
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Agreed - it is just when they go after senior citizens that I get angry. Before she lets any of these crooks in her house - she calls me.
The world is full of them because they do manage to fleece gullable people. I love going head to head with people trying to scam me - really fun putting them in their place is a real turn on. Somebody ought to make a list of the lines scam artists use by type of systems they work on.
The most frequent source of consumer complaints in this area is home remodeling/repair.
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Out of curiousity, what kind of insurance policy covers cracking in a chimney and would even send an adjuster to look at it? That sounds like normal maintenance to me.
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For that matter, not all insurance companies have the customers' best interests in their hearts either.
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For that matter, not all insurance companies have the customers' best interests in their hearts either.
How true. I have USAA which is rated as one of the best insurance companies in this country - formed by active duty commissioned officers in the US Military - who just happened to have some of the lowest accident rates of any group. Had a low life hippie chick back into me on one of SF's steepest hills - cop was right there - he looked at me and said, "You have a looser here - no license or insurance." Called USAA with the claim - they started to give me some grief - first and only auto claim - they would not pay it till I provided the police report.
I would say very few insurance companies pay unless they have no other option.
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One good refrence is worth a few jobs, One bad refrence will loose you one hundred. Bubba had an interesting idea. but its not just your mom or the elderly, it happens to me every job I contract. You have to learn the work.
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m Ransley wrote:

not always true....many people just wot get references or second opinions and when they do they tend to go for the cheapest bid....Ive sen it all my working life...even people with very bad work habits...people who everyone knew did sorry work...they seem to slide along just find....always someone out there who will pinch pennies over common sense or good advise.
Get estimates on anything that has to do with your house or car if possible. Get second opinions on major repair work if at all possible...Use only people who have been recommended to you thru friends family or coworkers.

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A cracking chimney is not normal wear and tear. It is a "catastrophic event" which is covered by most homeowners policies. Chimney sweeping is normal maintenance and is not covered by insurance.
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wrote:

Ya know, instead of "getting your jollies" out of "putting them in their place" why not try something a little more useful like: Posting the crooks name somewhere that people might see so they too wont get "fleeced"? Somewhere in your moms hometown like in a supermarket, towncenter corkboard, bathroom wall..........wherever. It might get taken down but how much time or money is it going to cost you to keep putting up an "anonymous" piece of paper? Even in here. Look how many post are here everyday. Many may not be in your area but if one person keeps from getting "fleeced" its worth it, isnt it? Bubba
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Believe me she heads up the "Old Gals" network and everybody in the area knows about this scam artist now - yeah I agree with letting the light of day in on these creeps. I live in WI and the state just put names, addresses and pictures of sex offenders on line - I have printed off several sets - I plan on circulating pictures of child sex offenders in their neighborhoods so everybody knows who these creeps are. I live in a town of 5K people and there are over 20 of those creeps - many are child sex offenders. When these boys get put into prison - understand they get a very warm welcome.
As far as getting aggressive with the AH who tried to cheat my mother - am a little leary - she carries a pistol but is not very quick - would not really want him to get so PO'd he would try anything.
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Bubba wrote:

That plus cause them time loss. Guy pulls into my drive with the "I've got a bit of asphalt left from a job down the street..." scam. He spent time measuring my drive, answering a bunch of questions about asphalt drive building/maintenance and at the end was told "I'll think about it". Same with "I was driving by and noticed your roof will soon need replacing, I can coat it...". After he was up/down ladders with a helper doing the measuring, answering questions etc. "I'll think about it".
Harry K
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