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Hey insurance/roofing/siding contractor industry
Please find another term to describe the fraudsters/scammers in your industry! 'Storm observer' is already taken by an upstanding avocation of over 40 years old.
In the past few years, more and more articles, web sites, forum posts and the like are popping up about 'storm expeditioners'. These are criminals that show up after hurricanes, tornadoes or hailstorms and use shady/scam tactics and outright fraud in dealing with homeowners regarding repairs to damaged roof and siding, along with the related insurance claims.
Somewhere along the line, someone decided to start using our term 'storm observer' to describe these people. Wrong! You can't steal or rebrand a title of an established profession or avocation, especially to attribute it to criminals in a related field. Do you call drug dealers 'pharmacists'? How about calling burglars 'movers' or vandals 'landscapers'? You may not think this matters, and if so, you've obviously not dealt much in the realm of public relations. Would you be OK if I used the name of your profession or title to describe a criminal and and start a big media campaign? The general public is ill-informed on things they don't have an interest in, and this double meaning causes confusion. Your web sites and news articles don't even make the distinction. The last thing I need is people being suspicious of me undeservedly. I've already fielded questions about these articles by people who somehow think what I do is connected to this.
So, I don't know who got the ball rolling on using our term 'storm expeditioners' to brand criminals, but whoever still does, please stop it! It's unprofessional, irresponsible and lazy. Put some actual thought and research into the term. Smearing the name of our avocation makes you no better in our eyes than the criminals you're trying to expose.
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