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Consumer Alert – Roof repairs

05 Jun 2015

Topics

  • Dispute Resolution

History has shown that door to door salesman can be very effective in their approaches to provide various services.  Some are legitimate some are not.  They succeed usually in closing a deal by creating a need in the mind of the unsuspecting resident.

One of these areas is the area of roof “restoration”.  Basically this consists of an exercise in which the salesman offers to conduct a free inspection of the roof, confirms that there are a large number of areas where water penetration can occur and has the restorer offer to clean the roof with a high pressure hose, paint the tiles with a long lasting paint and possibly replace any specifically broken tiles.

One client of ours reported that after they had spent a significant amount of money doing this, a building company said there were still a lot of problems with the roof.  However, an engineer reported that in fact the roof was in good shape.  The curious part about this was, however, that the paint was guaranteed for seven years and the guarantee issued at the time of the work was that the roof would be sealed and free of leaks.

Within a few years the paint peeled and the roof leaked.

Unable to negotiate a settlement with the company that carried out the work, the client sought compensation in the ACAT.  The restorer’s line of defence was that the “restoration” was not a “roof repair”.  In other words that the restorer did not promise to repair the roof for any leaks but was simply restoring it to the standard of a “good looking” roof.  However, this did not gel with the terms of the guarantee.  The outcome of the matter was settled and some compensation was received by the client.

As in all these cases it is very important that a person only use services when they need them and take special care to assess any offers made when someone knocks on their door!