Hollywood Studio

Is Storm Chasing Unethical?

Let me get straight to my opinion... "No, it's not."
Taking money from a homeowner without doing the work is unethical.
That's called theft, right?
I'm willing to bet a box of chocolate donuts that a greater percentage of these thefts happen at the hands of somebody who already lives in the area--as opposed to a storm chaser taking the money and disappearing.
Thieves don't just live out of town. That's crazy talk!
They live among us. They're opportunistic. They like convenience.
It's a lot of work to pack up a roofing company, travel hundreds of miles, setup shop, and start systematically stealing from people. That's not how thieves usually work. Does it happen? Yes, of course it does. There are many examples, but most thefts are overwhelmingly local.
Most thefts are local for the same reason most accidents happen within a 5-mile radius of your home...that's where you're most likely to be for the majority of your lifetime...close...nearby...convenient.
Thieves love local because it's easier.
Doing crappy work is unethical.
Again, where somebody lives has little to do with the quality of their work.
The best roofer in the nation probably lives somewhere else besides my hometown. I'm good, but am I the best? If quality of work is the final determining factor for who should be roofing the homes in our hometown, we should all step aside and make way for the best, regardless of where they live. 
Obviously, you don't have to be the best to do a good job. If you're good at home, you'll be good on the road.
Bad roofers don't just live out of town. That's also crazy talk!
Crappy roofers live in our hometown, or maybe the next town over. We know who they are. They've been doing the same bad work for years--long before the chasers arrived--and long after they've left.
A hail storm hitting the bad roofer's hometown doesn't magically transform them into a good roofer.
Being local has nothing to do with quality. As long as you know a bad local roofer, you know being local is no guarantee of quality.
But then again, broad-brush, sweeping claims of storm chasers being unethical doesn't really have anything to do with quality of work, does it?
Crappy work is still crappy work regardless of the roofer's home address.
Giving a 5 year, 10 year, or a Lifetime warranty, when you're only going to stand behind the warranty until you leave town is also unethical.
If a roof is going to have a problem, you're going to find out soon enough.
The next big rain will probably tell most of the story. It doesn't take too long. You don't have to wait around for 10 years to find out if the workmanship was any good. The same is true for ice. It doesn't take a decade to find out the roofer should have installed an ice & water barrier.
Warranties are a problem because a warranty is only as good as the company standing behind the warranty.
We've all known that roofer with a "Lifetime Warranty" not worth the paper it's written on because they never intend on covering anything anyway. There's always an exclusion, a loophole, a way out.
Some of the biggest shingle manufacturers on the planet, my favorite and your favorite included, have taken reputation hits through the years for not honoring a requested warranty. Ask the next ten roofers you meet if they've ever had a manufacturer problem and I'll bet you find one or two willing to tell you a story.
Class action lawsuits have been filed and denied, won, or settled based on the terms of a shingle warranty. Some of these lawsuits are still pending today--even as you read this newsletter.
Roofers don't love it when the manufacturer denies their claim. By the same token, the homeowner doesn't exactly love hearing their 3-tab isn't covered by your warranty after the latest windstorm with 60 MPH+ winds. "What? You're not going to fix my roof for free?"
You don't have to be from out of town to get accused of not honoring a warranty. 
Two different roofers justifiably denying similar warranty requests for the same reason doesn't necessarily make the local roofer good and the storm chaser's warranty bad, does it?
Denying a warranty without cause, or not answering the claim at all, that's a totally different story. But only out of town roofers would do such a thing, right?
My closing thoughts on storm chasing being unethical.
Local roofing companies go out of business all the time. It's sad, but true.
Over 80% of small businesses fail within the first two years of being in business. They fail because they didn't sell enough, at profits high enough, to keep the doors open. Putting a collar of legislation around the neck of a small business owner won't solve the problem, but it could certainly make it worse. 
Obviously, this is why good roofers leave their families to work away from home.
They chase storms because they want to stay in business. Sure, they would rather be home at night, sleeping in their own bed, taking their kids to school, but they work away from home to make a living.
Obviously, one way to sell more, at higher profits, is to have less competition. I'm all for working the hidden honey hole. I love developing new marketing advantages. Staying open in the winter, when everybody else is working another job, is a good way to beat your competition.
All of these solutions, being better because you are better, are free-market answers to winning in business. If you believe artificial market manipulation is going to make your business better, it's not going to help. You'll end up selling your soul to an angel who supposedly has your best interests at heart. There are no such angels.
There are only men, and women, with power who want to stay in power in order to amass more power. Giving more control of your business back to you is not high on their list of priorities--and never will be.
Once they get control, they don't want less. They usually want more. They're like toll roads--"we're only going to charge until the road is paid for"--but do they ever stop charging or even lower prices? Do they? Do they?
You can't depend on a bureaucrat to improve your odds of success--only to make it more difficult. 
This sounds harsh, but please believe me: "If you suck now, you're most likely going to suck worse after they 'help' you out."
There's a good chance business will become even more difficult in the next storm because the truly unethical love competing where the odds are stacked in their favor. They're not good at obeying the rules, but they know you'll play fair so they can take even greater advantage of you.
Maybe you'll ask those supposed "angels" to pass even more rules to help you in the next storm.
Unfortunately, it won't help. You, and you alone, determine your business success. Rather than wishing it was easier, wish you were better.
"Never surrender your personal responsibility to get better." 
And finally...
Where you're from does not make you unethical.
Liars, on the other hand, are unethical.
Regardless of where they're from.
P.S. If you've been to one of my events, you've heard my story about being accused of unlicensed contracting--a third-degree felony--in the beautiful state of Florida. I certainly didn't get rich while there. A lot of the local homeowners did make good money from their hurricane damage. Me? I barely survived.

P.P.S. Before pointing blaming fingers down at the roofers, I would look to the top and figure out who stands to make the most money from publishing propaganda calling storm chasers unethical.
P.P.P.S. The answer to most questions are found by following the money or following the power. Who would have enough money or power to push this agenda? I can assure you it's not the manufacturers wanting to limit the ability of their highest-volume producers to sell more shingles, in more markets, when the work dries up at home. So, you can cross them off the list. Who else would have that kind of money or power?

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